Two years after suffering a stroke, Thich Nhat Hanh travels to Thailand to be closer to his homeland of Vietnam.

Thich Nhat Hanh, popularly referred to as Thay by his followers, is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist. At 90 years of age, Thay has been living in Plum village in the Dordogne region of southern France. On December 9, Thay embarked on a visit to Thailand. This comes after he suffered a stroke in 2014. According to his website Plum Village, Thay, “communicated a clear and determined wish to travel to Thailand.”

On December 9, his website stated:

“Although Thay’s wish has not been easy to realize, we are very happy to announce that at midday today, Thay and a small group of attendants took off from Bergerac airport and will arrive in Thailand tomorrow morning, 10th December.

There, they will be greeted by hundreds of monastics and lay practitioners, including many venerable elders from Thailand and Vietnam, who over the last few days have been making the journey by land and air to greet him and pay their respects. We are very happy that Thay is still able to make such a journey, to offer his presence in Asia and be closer to his homeland at this time.”

On December 10, following his safe arrival to Thailand, Plum Village posted the following, “During his stay in Thailand, Thay will be residing in his thatched hut at Thai Plum Village International Practice Center, Pakchong, Nakornratchasima Province. Thay has an opportunity to rest and restore his health, near the beautiful mountains of the Khao Yai National Park, and surrounded by the practice energy of his students.

The purpose of this trip is primarily Thay’s health and wellbeing, and there are no plans for Thay to lead retreats, to join any particular sangha activities at the practice center, or indeed to receive any guests. This is to give Thay all the space and quiet he needs to support his health. Thay is receiving daily physical therapy and medical care, and is nourishing himself with his practice of mindful breathing, mindful eating, and mindful exercise and so on. As his health permits, we hope that Thay may be able to join some sangha activities from time to time.”

Thay has published about 100 books and 40 of them are in English. He has been active in promoting nonviolent solutions to conflict, and also advocates for refraining from animal product consumption as this promotes nonviolence towards animals. Thay is a dharmacharya (teacher) and is the spiritual head of the Từ Hiếu Pagoda and associated monasteries.

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