An Update on Thay’s Health: 24th December 2015

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Official Announcement

Plum Village, France
December 24, 2015

To all Plum Village Practice Centers,
To all Practice Centers and Sanghas worldwide,
To our Dear Beloved Friends,


Our monastic centers in the United States and Europe are now a month into our traditional annual practice of the three-month Winter Retreat, observing ninety continuous days of mindfulness practice, without leaving the monastery to teach outside. In this spirit, the attendants taking care of Thay in San Francisco have also opened a Winter Retreat practice period with Thay, including early morning sitting meditation, walking meditation, silent meals, watching videos of Thay’s Dharma Talks and participating in Dharma sharings.

Every day, Thay has enjoyed joining the brothers and sisters in all of these practices, and we can see that practicing with the community is an important source of spiritual nourishment for Thay, supporting his recovery in every respect. Thay recently enjoyed watching an old Dharma talk that he gave many years ago in the UK. He listened attentively to the entire talk, often smiling and nodding when his younger self made key points. The specialists tell us that this kind of activity is very therapeutic and supportive to speech recovery. Sadly, at this time, Thay has made only slight improvements and is still unable to speak. He continues to sing with us, and is making more and more recognizable words whenever we sing the Plum Village songs he remembers so well. We witness Thay putting a lot of effort and energy into trying to form the words, even though it can sometimes be frustrating for him. We are happy to report that we have now found a new speech therapist who will be working with Thay on a daily basis throughout January. In addition, we continue to explore many new and groundbreaking neuroplastic healing techniques, including neurofeedback, and cold laser therapy.

Thay continues to enjoy peaceful and happy moments gazing at the Golden Gate Bridge and making outings to the botanical gardens and other beautiful scenic spots in San Francisco. With the support of a brace on his right leg, Thay has begun to put more weight through the right side of his body and is training to become gradually more independent in terms of balance and standing. He continues to practice walking every day, for several hours per day, with the support of his physiotherapist and monastic attendants, who are receiving expert guidance and training.

We are inspired by Thay’s spiritual vitality, his strong perseverance, and his immense will that has directed his recovery from the start. Thay is teaching us that he does not appreciate pity; he appreciates practice – and is sensitive to the mindfulness and true presence of everyone around him. We are learning from Thay’s great dignity in accepting what he has. We can see in his whole way of being that, for Thay, what he has is enough. This does not hold us back, however, from doing everything we can to support his recovery; nor does it hold Thay back from diligently re-training body and mind. We are reminded of Thay’s powerful calligraphy phrase: “This is it”. In our efforts to support Thay’s recovery, we are grounding our practice in our acceptance of the present moment, embracing it just as it is, without fear for the future, nor regrets about the past. Thay has always reminded us that the Buddha was a human being. Thay is grappling with this human challenge and we, his spiritual continuation, are always at his side. We can be at peace because we know all of us are doing our best to practice and to be there for our Teacher.

We feel deeply that Thay’s physical recovery is inextricably linked to the health and flourishing of our fourfold spiritual family. This has been evident in the recent ordination of twenty young men and women into the “Redwood Ordination Family”. Nine were ordained in Thailand, and another ten ordained in Plum Village, from Ireland, France, Holland, Italy, Indonesia and Australia. These novices ordained because they are inspired by the strength of Thay’s Sangha Body and his living Dharma Body of teachings and practices. As a community, we are taking care of every aspect of Thay’s body because we see deeply that he is not just in San Francisco. We can see his Sangha Body thriving a little bit everywhere, in ourselves, in each of the new novices, and in everyone. Thay’s vision of the next Buddha manifesting as a Sangha is being realized.

We would like to express our deep gratitude to our spiritual family for being there, practicing wholeheartedly wherever you are. Each one of us is a cell in Thay’s Sangha Body, and we contribute to taking care of Thay by coming home to take care of ourselves, our practice and our loved ones. In this way we are a beautiful, active cell in Thay’s Sangha Body and Dharma Body.

Thank you for being there for us. We are here for you.

Wishing you all a peaceful holiday season,

With love and trust,

The Monks and Nuns of Plum Village


Future official reports on Thay’s recovery will be posted from time to time at,,, and

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Winter Opening Ceremony at the Healing Hamlet, San Francisco, December 2015

Just a simple monk!

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64 comments on “An Update on Thay’s Health: 24th December 2015
  1. Diana says:

    As a cell in your sangha body, I will cultivate love and health. May you be free of suffering and it’s root causes. Emancipating Joy Of The Source

  2. So nice to see Dear Thay in the photo. Wishing you continued healing and happiness. You have given us all so very much love and happiness.
    Love from your yoga Hmmm friends in Houston, Texas.

  3. Seeing Thay surrounded by joyful loving monks and nuns was a perfect way to start this new year. Thank you so much for sharing the photo with us, and for taking good care of our beloved teacher.
    With much gratitude, I bow deeply,
    Maryanne (Great Action of the Heart)

  4. daniel scalvini says:

    living buddha, living christ. living thay nhat hanh.

  5. James says:

    Thank you for updating us on Thay’s health. I greatly appreciate his teachings, and want to thank him for helping me to find compassion, practice awareness and remember breathing. I wish him continuing recovery. Thank you.

  6. Patricia says:

    Thank you so much for posting updated information about Thay. It was such a great relief to see the photo, and it brought a smile to my face. I am glad you reminded us of our interconnectedness.

  7. Kristi Anderson says:

    I am sorry to hear of Thay’s stroke but I can tell from your post that he is being well cared for by all of you. He was a wonderful teacher for my mother and has my admiration as well as a fellow Buddhist. I will keep him in my practice and send love to him and to all of you.
    Kristi Anderson, student of Chogyam Trungpa

  8. Man Ninh says:

    A beautiful picture with your loved one as a million words…. Pray for your health, Thầy!
    Happy New Year 2016… 🙂

  9. Refreshing Tune of the Heart says:

    Dear Thay, May your every precious moment be filled with more love, joy, and peace than you ever dreamed possible.

    Bowing Deeply,
    Refreshing Tune of the Heart

  10. kay maughan says:

    Dear Sangha friends thank you so much for the update on Thays health,I am happy to hear he is doing so well. I continue to dedicate and pray for Thay and all at Plum village I hope 2016 is a good happy and healthy year for you all. MANY BLESSINGS kay maughan

  11. Cathrene says:

    Sending the greatest respect, gratitude, healing, love, and light.

  12. Jan J. R. Toussaint says:

    May you recover to the extend possible, following the news update there’s so much heartfelt care around you, equal to to the tremendous love and happiness you shared with me through your books, so I wish you well for the years to come.

  13. Melanie Vesser says:

    Dear Sangha at Plum Village and Deer Park, I am so happy to have an update on Thay’s recovery in San Francisco. I wonder if it would be possible to visit? I do not live to far away. Or where to send a card?

    I have been twice to Plum Village and studied twice with Thay here in California. So much kindness I experienced from the monks and nuns in Plum village.I have shared walking meditation with many yoga students.My husband and I were in Plum Village in the summer together 12 years ago and often enjoy walking meditation together. Thank you Thay for all you have done for all of us and thank you to the sangha who are caretakers of Thay.

    I wish Thay a continued recovery

    • Dear Melanie,
      We are sorry but it is not possible to visit Thay during this time of treatment and recovery. We hope you will be able to visit us in Deer Park instead 🙂 A lotus for you.

  14. martha neumann says:

    “Apparently, there is nothing that cannot happen today.” Mark Twain

    I can see you healing today.

    your student,
    martha in michigan

  15. Pam Murnane says:

    Thank you for this update and photo. I think of Thay often and have been reading some of his books. I was reintroduced to him in the middle of the night when I discovered a Dharma talk on youtube and listened to the beautiful compassion song by all the monastics. Thay makes me think of what Jesus(someone more familiar to me) must have really been like. I look forward to evolving with both of them in my 71st year Thank you Thay, Pam

  16. Pam Murnane says:

    Thank you for this update and photo. I think of Thay often and have been reading some of his books. I was reintroduced to him in the middle of the night when I discovered a Dharma talk on youtube and listened to the beautiful compassion song by all the monastics. Thay makes me think of what Jesus must have been like. I look forward to evolving with both of them in my 71st year Thank you Thay

  17. enrico mainato chiesa says:

    Phosphorus 30ch five granules/day. Please let our theacher take it for six weeks.

    Thank you all for assisting with compassionate love.


  18. liz says:

    It is so good to get this update, and a picture! Each morning, when I wake up, I recite Thay’s morning gata…and I often breathe and smile and think of him, and see him in my tea. Love to him, and to all of you…we continue on…

  19. Dear Thay, dear Sangha Family, thanks for the encouraging update and happiness shared so freely. From all of us in the St. Louis area, a lotus breaks through the mud of winter this solstice, a lotus for each of you. Peace, Daniel

  20. kamala Fernando says:

    I am a fan of Thay. I greatly admire him and wanted to see him at least one time in my life. If I am in San Francisco is there any way I can come visit him for a few minutes.

  21. ani says:

    Happy Christmas to dear Thay and all of our beautiful Sangha. Thank you for telling us how Thay is and give him my love.
    I am doing the lovely chant to Avolokiteshvara each day since your stroke and next term I am taking your beautiful teachings into my school, I am so grateful _()_

    (Beautiful Practice of the Heart)

  22. Thank you dear Friends, best greetings for THAY, let us go on practicing BuddhaDharmaSangha to benefit everybeing everywhere everytime.

  23. Rossco says:

    You are very, Very Loved.

  24. Jane says:

    Greetings dear ones,
    A delight to see the picture of Thay and all the beloved helpers. Great energy and blessings to you all.

    • Susanne says:


      I have been following Thay’s teachings among other Tibetan Buddhist lamas as well. I first got in contact with Thay’s teachings in 1980’s, through books and his tapes. I also attended a teaching in US once.
      Through the years I have been listening to his teachings on youtube and continued to read his books. My family also enjoy very much,his books… He has meant a lot for me, my family and friends…

      So, I just remembered a friend of mine who also had a stroke some years ago…he told me what really helped him, was some special Thai chi movements that someone taught him…He has regained his speech and pretty much his movements…

      If he not already are doing thai Chi, maybe someone could help him with that…?
      Much Love and many, many soon-get-well-wishes from Sweden, from all of us!

  25. EU says:

    Merry Christmas Thich Nhat Hanh and everyone. Peace.

  26. Dear friends,
    thank you for your wonderful and nourishing words.
    All of us cells of the body of Thay of the Sangha, of the World.

  27. Andrew Burgess says:


    You have been an inspiration to me for a long time. May you continue healing in a positive direction. Your message is always in my heart, and I hope to visit Plum village this year to honor your leadership.

    In Peace – Andrew

  28. Steve Mitchell says:

    As a fellow stroke survivor, i connect directly with Thay’s struggles. I also have great admiration for his hard work in recovery. He is a shining light or me to follow in every way possible.

  29. Faye Harasack says:

    Dear Thay, dear Sangha, Thank you to each one – to Thay and to each of those accompanying him during this time. Every day, I recognize with gratitude how my life has changed since I met Thay and began to try to practice the teachings. I feel so fortunate to be a part of this sangha body, and your example inspires me to open my mind/heart wide enough to encompass these two aspects of experience: the knowledge that “this is it” and we are enough, and the desire to meet challenges and to grow in order to be of greater benefit to all beings. A lotus to each one, sending energy of peace and deep happiness –
    Faye H, Still Pond of the Heart

  30. Anne Steyaert says:

    Thank you very much for being such a wonderful teacher. I wish you a full recovery very soon! From my heart to your heart. I shin den shin.

  31. Adriene Anderson says:

    Dear Thay and Sangha,
    Thank you for letting me and others know how Thay is doing. I am interfaith and a Buddhist novice. I am encouraged and healing by mindfulness practice. Thank you Thay. All is well in the here and now.

  32. Juliper says:

    Thank you for taking the time to write an update. I was hoping there would be one today. Many best wishes to Thay and the monks and nuns at plum village and at deer park monastery!

  33. Becky says:

    Thay was beautiful in wellness and is beautiful in sickness.

  34. katherine rivera says:

    thank you for this beautiful update and my Thay health continue to improve Love and Peace
    Katherine Rivera

  35. Vivian Taube says:

    So good to hear this update on Christmas Eve! I like that where Thay stays now is called Healing Hamlet. I like the part about what he has being “enough,” but everyone’s diligence towards his recovery, too. That makes me happy.

  36. Amy Issenberg says:

    We love you Thay!

  37. Since Thay is responding well to music, you might want to consider getting a certified music therapist to work with him. I have friends who may be able to recommend someone in SF, if you like.

  38. Thank you for this. Thay is such an inspiration to humanity. May we deserve him.

  39. Robin says:

    Thank you for this beautiful update. I keep Thay in my heart and in my prayers. He is a blessing for always.

  40. Don Kelly Cordero says:

    Like the flower, Thay remains and shall always be a wonder. He is the Dharmakaya, ever present in the Kingdom of God….

  41. petri tirkkonen says:

    dear teacher Thay thankfully :petri in finland

  42. Lou Therrell says:

    Thank you for all you do.

  43. minna says:

    i’m so happy Thay is recovering. is he in hospital?

  44. Lynda Bidlake says:

    Thank you so much for the update on Thay’s health. And thank you for the lessons you gave us in this article. I especially appreciate your comments on “This is it.” We have this calligraphy of Thay’s on our bedroom wall, so it is one of the first things we see when we wake up. You have reminded me to really notice it and take it in, to remember that what we have is enough. Thank you again, Thay, for this and all your teachings.

    May you and all beings be well and happy.

  45. Mariette Murphy says:

    Deeply grateful for all Thay’s teachings. I am building a new sangha to continue his work. Thanks for being a blessing to so many all over the world.

  46. Sherry Cash says:

    We practice together.♡♡♡♡
    My grandmother had great results with the Feldenkrais Method®. 5here are many practitioners in your area. I hope it helps.

  47. Christopher Budny says:

    What a beautiful picture. 🙂
    Thank you so much for the update.
    Wonderful to see so many familiar faces from Magnolia Grove there with Thay at the Healing Hamlet.
    Wishing you many happy moments in the winter retreat.
    ~peace and deep bow

  48. Kathleen Sullivan says:

    Thank you for your loving and mindful devotion to him and his healing and recovery. There are nuggets of wisdom in this update that can definitely be helpful for those of us who provide care for those with similar conditions. Thank you again.

  49. Amy Moranz says:

    I wanted you to be aware of a EHT a all natural Brain Enhancement Supplement developed out of 20 years of research from Princeton University. It enhances our neural networking and enhances memory. If you go to my website there is a descriptive video about it. Please contact me if you have any questions. The testimonies have been astounding!

    Healing Love, Amy

  50. Romina Strigencz says:

    My best wishes for Thay’s recovery. I am learning so much From his words in his talks and books. When I first saw him on a talk given at Google, he gave so much peace.

    My regards and season’s greetings from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    Romina Strigencz

  51. Ann Murtha says:

    Thay has been my heart’s love over many years as I have followed his teachings, writings, and the evolution of Plum Village and other teaching centers in the USA. I attended the 2 or 3 events in Boulder, close to home, during his visits but never able to leave my ailing husband for longer periods of time. I feel I am a spiritual friend to your Sangha from afar, so I appreciate remaining close through the internet. When I heard of his stroke, in my imagination I lay down beside him in the hospital and imagined our breathing was synchronized as a possible way of healing energy for him and comfort for me, of being near to one whom I dearly love.
    Thank you for keeping me on your internet list and deep gratitude for all you are doing to coordinate his treatment processes and seek new possibilities for his partial recovery. Namaste, Ann

  52. Roberto Cogo says:

    il passato non è più,
    il futuro non è ancora – solo qui, ora

    A little homage to Thich Nhat Hanh

  53. Dear Sangha:

    Thank you very much for the update, here in northern wisconsin we greatly appreciate words from the sangha and updates on our teachers well being. May your efforts be as rewarding there as we feel them here.

    Thank you once more.


  54. carol montgomery says:

    Deeply grateful for Thay and all those who practice with him. We are truly all one.

  55. Pat Maslowski says:

    Thank you. Courage, kindness, thoughtfulness appreciated. Thay is in my heart.

  56. Tu says:

    Please let us know if we can visit Thay in SF with my almost 3 year old daughter Zoey and/or where to drop off letters/gifts.

    Kind thoughts, gestures from others are great for healing.

    Thank you.

  57. Inspired by Thay says:

    Dear Sangha,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been cheching the website daily for an update and for a very long time.

    I am so happy that Thay’s health has stabilized and he is enjoying his activities in San Francisco.

    Please let him know on my behalf and others that he is dear to our hearts, that we love him and send him our gratitude and appreciation, and that he is an inspiration to all of us.

    May Thay soon recover his health and his speech, and may we all find peace, joy and happiness!

    • Chan Lien Tam/Elaine Sparrow, Colorado, USA says:

      Dear Thay,

      With deep appreciation for you & the day you came into my life those many years ago, I bow to you. May your health continue to improve as you teach & show us all how to live each moment, each day with joy & happiness.

      I send love & gratitude with a smile & a hug to you across the miles.
      Chan Lien Tam

      • Raja jaber says:

        Dear healing sangha.
        Norman Doidge wrote the book ; the brain that heals itself. He may be a good person to contact for ideas re helping Thay with speech recovery
        Love and peace and gratitude to Thay and all of the healing sangha