Thich Nhat Hanh March Update

In a letter issued by the monks and nuns in Plum Village, it was announced that Thich Nhat Hanh’s health is improving after suffering a stroke last year and falling into a coma.

The statement offers the information that the peace activist has been moved to a clinic for stroke rehabilitation.  Also known as, “Thay,” the Vietnamese Buddhist monk and author had served as a teacher for the Plum Village Mindfulness Practice Center before he became ill.

Thay has been very active in the Plum Village spiritual community.  He has also traveled extensively to deliver talks regarding both peace and spiritual values.  He has dedicated his life to finding peaceful resolutions to conflicts.  He has also written at length on methods for finding inner peace and cultivating inner happiness.  He has been given credit for the phrase “Engaged Buddhism,” which he coined to denote a series of lessons about bringing the practical aspects of Buddhist wisdom into everyday life.

Much effort has gone into urging Thay’s recovery.  In mid-December, it was released that he had been showing signs of waking but he remained in a coma.  It was noted that Thay had periods of wakefulness, lasting up to two hours, and that he was showing some signs of becoming more responsive.  However, at that time, he had not been making any clear efforts at communicating.

While Thay is improving, it is not yet clear how much damage was caused by the stroke and its resultant hemorrhage.  His care is noted as being the best available, and is augmented by a team of monastic attendants who work with Thay’s doctors, therapists and nurses.  They are also helping Thay with his physical therapy and offering supportive care such as massage and acupuncture.

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