Tag Archives: Thich Nhat Hanh


A Buddhist Peacemaker
Born in Vietnam in 1926, Thich Nhat Hanh has been a peacemaker since his ordination as a Buddhist monk at the age of 16. During the Vietnam War, he helped villagers who were suffering as a result of bombing. He opposed his government’s policies and as a consequence was exiled from his country. He later settled in France. He is a pioneer of Engaged Buddhism, which argues that if Buddhists are to achieve true inner peace, they must work on changing the structures of society that influence people’s mental states and behaviour. Inner and outer change go hand in hand.
Thich Nhat Hanh has combined traditional meditative practices with non-violent protest, emphasising how meditation can help to dissolve anger, which is a primary cause of conflict. On one occasion, he was organising the rescue of hundreds of Vietnamese refugees using boats from Singapore. When the police found out his plan they ordered him out of the country and did not permit the boats to leave.

He wrote, ‘What could we do in such a situation? We had to breathe deeply and consciously. Otherwise we might panic, or fight with the police, or do something to express our anger at their lack of humanity.’

Source: Religion, Philosophy and Ethics at Haberdashers’ Abraham Darby


Contemplations on no coming, no-going
This body is not me,
I am not limited by this body.

I am life without boundaries.
I have never been born,
and I have never died.

Look at the ocean and the sky filled with stars,
Manifestations from my wondrous true mind.
Since before time, I have been free.

Birth and death are only doors through which we pass,
sacred thresholds on our journey.
Birth and death are a game of hide-and-seek.

So laugh with me,
hold my hand,
let us say good-bye,
say good-bye, to meet again soon.

We meet today,
We will meet again tomorrow.
We will meet at the source every moment.
We meet each other in all forms of life.

Source: Living and Dying in Peace



It is night.
Rain pelts the roof.
The soul awakens
to a flooded Earth –
a sea of storm 
then passing.

In that short moment,
shirting lines and shapes,
barely seen.

Before the passing moment tilts
and falls to melancholy,
laughter sojnds
in quiet raindrops.

                                                               Thich Nhat Hanh