Post-Stroke Update: Thich Nhat Hanh

By Duc (pixiduc) from Paris, France. (Thich Nhat Hanh Marche meditative 06) [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

The Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh celebrated his 92nd birthday this month.

Thich Nhat Hanh turned 92 on October 11, and the monks and nuns who share the Plum Village community with him in France have issued an update on his health. According to them, Thich Nhat Hanh has experienced good days and bad days as he continues to recover from the stroke which he suffered in 2014.

The update states in part:

“On good days, Thay is able to eat several small meals a day and join the sangha for walking meditation in his wheelchair, or perhaps participate in a formal meal in the meditation hall, eating with great concentration, dignity and presence.”

This insight into the health habits and rituals that Thich Naht Hanh is able to partake in shows that he is recovering well for a man of his advanced age. Despite being 92-years-old this year, he continues to be a source of knowledge and insight for those around him. Even though he has lost the ability to speak, he can still gesture and communicate with those around him.

Thich Nhat Hanh is consistently visited by people from both Thailand and Vietnam who like to share their own experiences with him. Thay, as he is called, continues to love life every moment and not take anything for granted, especially considering his physical challenges.

For those who are unfamiliar with the work of Thich Nhat Hanh, he first rose to prominence as an activist during the Vietnam War. He advocated for peaceful solutions rather than war when it came to differences between the north and south. As a result of his campaigning for peace, he was exiled from Vietnam until 2005 when he was able to make a triumphant return to his homeland.

Thich Nhat Hanh has been an author of over 100 books concerning various topics about applying and engaging with Buddhism. Even though there was no winner for the 1967 Nobel Peace Prize, he was a nominee. For a person that has lived 92 years and done so much, there are only so many words that can outline his worth to the world. For now, his caretakers are happy to update the world on the fact that he is continuing to remain healthy compared to others his age and in his state of being.

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