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8 must-read books by Thich Nhat Hanh, the monk who founded engaged Buddhism

Martin Luther King Jr once nominated Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) for the Nobel Peace Prize. Thay wrote on topics like mindfulness, overcoming grief and suffering, and the path to happiness.

January 23, 2022 / 10:41 AM IST
Thich Nhat Hanh arriving in Vietnam in 2007. He taught widely in the United States, established the Plum Village monastery in France, and published an astonishing variety of books during his 95 years. (Image: D Nelson via Wikimedia Commons 2.0)

Thich Nhat Hanh arriving in Vietnam in 2007. He taught widely in the United States, established the Plum Village monastery in France, and published an astonishing variety of books during his 95 years. (Image: D Nelson via Wikimedia Commons 2.0)

Thich Nhat Hanh (1926-2022), the Vietnamese monk who founded the Engaged Buddhism movement emphasizing social justice and spiritual cultivation, passed away on January 22.

He was a poet, peace activist and Zen master, fondly addressed as ‘Thay’ (teacher). Thich Nhat Hanh taught widely in the United States, established the Plum Village monastery in France, and published an astonishing variety of books during his 95 years.

He had a strained relationship with the Vietnamese state because of his advocacy for non-violent action during the Vietnam War and later, but he moved back to Vietnam in his final years. He was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr but he never got it.

In his books, Thich Nhat Hanh spoke about the Buddha's teachings, compassionate communication, dealing with anger and practices like breathing exercises, mindfulness training, walking meditation and deep relaxation to transform suffering. Recommended list: