Open Mind Open Heart – Thich Nhat Hanh
Thích Nhất Hạnh (/ˈtɪk ˈnjʌt ˈhʌn/; Vietnamese: [tʰǐk ɲɜ̌t hɐ̂ʔɲ] ( listen); born October 11, 1926) is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist. He lives in the Plum Village Monastery in the Dordogne region in the South of France, travelling internationally to give retreats and talks. He coined the term Engaged Buddhism in his book Vietnam: Lotus in a Sea of Fire. A long-term exile, he was given permission to make his first return trip to Vietnam in 2005. Nhất Hạnh has published more than 100 books, including more than 40 in English. Nhat Hanh is active in the peace movement, promoting non-violent solutions to conflict.
Nhat Hanh’s approach has been to combine a variety of traditional Zen teachings with insights from other Mahayana Buddhist traditions, methods from Theravada Buddhism, and ideas from Western psychology—to offer a modern light on meditation practice. Hanh’s presentation of the Prajñāpāramitā in terms of “interbeing” has doctrinal antecedents in the Huayan school of thought, which “is often said to provide a philosophical foundation” for Zen.
Nhat Hanh has also been a leader in the Engaged Buddhism movement (he coined the term), promoting the individual’s active role in creating change. He cites the 13th-century Vietnamese King Trần Nhân Tông with the origination of the concept. Trần Nhân Tông abdicated his throne to become a monk, and founded the Vietnamese Buddhist school in the Bamboo Forest tradition.