Cherishing the singular life and far-reaching literary legacy of our founder
Since January 22, together with countless others across the planet, I have been moved by the outpouring of tributes, accolades, and gratitude for the humble yet monumental presence known as Thich Nhat Hanh, who passed away peacefully on that day at his root temple of Tu Hieu in Vietnam. With tremendous grace, inclusivity, and generosity, the monastics of the Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism have been supplying all of us with a flow of live-streamed ceremonies and teachings from Tu Hieu and the monasteries he founded around the world. At times the resonant power of their chanting has seemed to burst through our screens and make us feel as if we are right there, surrounded by the golden colors of chrysanthemums and sanghati robes. Most of us recognize that this is a truly extraordinary moment, an event that we will never again witness in our lifetimes: the transformation of a great bodhisattva of compassion.
Thich Nhat Hanh’s peace, clarity, and wisdom has touched the lives of millions. A Vietnamese monk with global influence, for almost eighty years he offered us a shining example of socially engaged Buddhism, offering public talks and meditations, retreats, and books on mindfulness and the path of freedom from suffering. Viewing his obituaries in The New York Times, The Guardian, and Le Monde, I am again and again struck by the intimacy of the comments from readers recounting how their lives were changed by one of his books. Such is the power of our teacher’s gentle words.
If you would like to connect with Thich Nhat Hanh through his inspiring writings, you may find many of his books listed on our website and at bookstores all around the world. We’ve loved seeing people on social media sharing images of their favorite books, as well as the beautiful displays bookstores have been creating to honor his life and his works. Our press has selected a short list of books to begin with here—may you find them a support during this time. As we approach the last day of ceremonies on Friday, January 28, at Parallax Press we are following our breathing and breathing with you, our beloved community, remembering Thay with immeasurable gratitude.
—Hisae Matsuda, publisher, and the Parallax Press family, January 26, 2022
Please visit plumvillage.org/memorial for the full program of events. Most of the chants in the ceremonies can be found in the book Chanting from the Heart. We have made a $1 eBook PDF available online for everyone.