To Teacher, with Love

We need to be aware of the suffering, but retain our clarity, calmness and strength so we can help transform the situation. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

thay-smiles, upon arrival at his root temple, Tue Hue, in VietNam, 2007 ~d nelson

Breathing in a calm breath I pass on the news that on November 11th 2014 Thay (endearing Vietnamese term for “teacher”), Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, experienced a severe brain hemorrhage, and for a period, falling into coma. According to Plum Village Monastery, Thay is receiving 24 hour intensive care from specialist doctors, nurses and from his monastic disciples. At present, Thay is still very responsive and shows every indication of being aware of the presence of those around him. He is able to move his feet, hands and eyes. There are signs that a full recovery may be possible. It has been asked that, besides compassionate prayers and meditations, the best way to support his recovery is to diligently continue practicing our mindfulness, concentration and insight, to cultivate freshness & solidity. The pioneer of the Engaged Buddhism movement was due to join Pope Francis and other world faith leaders for a historic summit at the Vatican this December 2nd, hosted by the Global Freedom Network, to take action against modern slavery and human trafficking.  His current status is posted at .


August 2009 I posted “Happy 4 me & U” about the publication of “Mindful Living Every Day”, available on Parallax Press. Many have commented how it has supported their mindfulness practice at home by helping friends and family understand these teachings and practices of love. In tribute to my teacher, my movie, for a short time, can be seen below.  May it support your aspiration of living with the energy of mindfulness, for the benefit of yourself and all beings.


35 Replies to “To Teacher, with Love”

  1. Bless you, David. Thank you so very much for posting this and for sharing your film with us right now. I look forward to viewing it very soon. I breathed a sigh of relief that you wrote this post. I have done what I could by sharing with friends and posting on Twitter and giving the info so others can access up-to-date news. But I know you have many followers and many of those who follow you follow Thay. On Insight Connect, it was posted on the Thich Nhat Hanh group that we have been asked to sit for Thay with the worldwide sangha at 5:00am and 2:00pm Eastern time. I put it into my iPhone calendar but haven’t been able to join in yet. When I do sit now twice daily, Thay and his well being are prominent in my intentions. I have also listened to his “Drops of Emptiness” (cd available on iTunes), the track “Heart Sutra” in particular. And the Great Bell Chant video on YouTube brings comfort as we hear Thay’s voice reminding us that “the universal dharma door is open.” With love, Sonnische.

    1. This is what an Insight Connect TNH member in France posted regarding what I shared above:
      “I have received an email from a French sangha who says Sister Chan Khong has designated two times today that we can send peaceful, loving energy to Thay in unison. It is 11am and 8pm Central European Time which is 5am and 2pm Eastern Time in the USA.”

    2. Thank you dear Sonnische
      for your boundless giving
      to yourself and others.
      i’m grateful knowing that many, including us
      are doing their best to support Thay and the sangha
      and all others. Yes, there are many wonderful sounds and images to help up find beauty. i hope you like “mindful living every day.” 🙂

  2. This news about Thay is distressing, but breathing in I calm my rapidly beating heart and breathing out, I smile, grateful for his transformative work for me and so many others, for the world. Breathing in, I fill to capacity with Love and light. Breathing out, I send it all to Thay, to speed his recovery. Thank you for this post.

  3. We can but hope and pray for Thay. But as I think he would say, it is all a part of impermanence.
    It is in our nature to grow old, to grow sick and to pass away. And in this life Thay has burned so brightly.
    I look forward to watching your film, thank you.

    1. Thank you my friend
      for your understanding
      of no coming, no going,
      as Thay has taught.
      His retreat this summer on
      what happens when we die
      was the perfect preparation
      for his, as well as
      all of our beautiful continuations.

  4. I’ve always held Thay close, more so after learning of his illness. Thanks for the lovely photographs of him, and I’ll be sure to check out your video. Blessings and mindful breaths, John

  5. David – what a gift you have given the world in creating and sharing this beautiful and in depth video of Plum Village and Mindfulness Practice, as inspired by Thay. Words cannot express the depth of my gratitude. Especially in this moment, I am in awe and have much greater understanding. The filming and narrating is superb, as is Thay’s calligraphy. Thank you David for this gift! In friendship, peace & solidarity – Bruce

    1. thanks Bruce for keeping this labor of love
      from 5 years ago
      fresh and relevant
      with your kind, thoughtful words.
      it was intended to help others
      find the beauty of love
      in their own everyday existence
      through living in mindfulness.
      be well, my friend, david

  6. I’m shocked. Will need to watch your video soon, as it is, I’m too shocked about the news of Thay. Need some time to take it all in.
    Thanks for letting us all know, David.

    1. May you feel held and supported
      by the energy of compassion and understanding, Genevieve,
      along with so many who have had the privilege to be with Thay, in person, or with his teachings.
      That we may be Thay’s beautiful continuations,
      I share this humble practice video to support our practice of love, understanding and compassion
      for ourselves, our loved ones, and the world.

  7. Oh wow…I’m overwhelmed by this information. Thank you for sharing David, I had no idea. His way continues to teach me so much. Bless his present journey. Jules

  8. Reblogged this on Mamamaitri and commented:
    I feel compelled to share this article with you as it involves a much beloved man I’ve come to adore and appreciate through my delves into Buddhist practice. I practice it’s teachings regarding mindfulness, meditation, awareness, compassion and loving-kindness or “maitri” in Tibetan (I chose mama/maitri to remind myself to be lovingly kind to my self 🙂 ), a constant practice to be sure. Hopefully we are ever learning and growing. My true definition of death is to cease to be curious, to learn. I send Thay loving, healing white light as he goes through this new journey of ill health. Namaste.

  9. “Living Buddha, Living Christ” is one of my favorite reads and refer back to it regularly, I thank God for revealing his beautiful nature and grace through people and circumstances. A beautiful spirit resides within Thich Nhat Hanh.

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