Thich Nhat Hanh Returns Home

Official Announcement

Plum Village International Practice Center
Le Pey, Thénac 24240, France

The monks and nuns of the Plum Village International Community of Engaged Buddhists stand by our beloved teacher, the Zen master, global spiritual leader, peace activist and poet Thich Nhat Hanh, as he returns again to his homeland. Since celebrating his 92nd birthday last month, he has expressed a deep wish to go back to reside at his “root temple,” Tu Hieu Temple in Hue, Vietnam, to live his remaining days. Thich Nhat Hanh has turned formidable physical challenges arising from the major stroke he suffered four years ago into a powerful teaching by continuing to live each moment peacefully and joyfully, with great presence and meaning.

Tu Hieu Temple is where Thich Nhat Hanh first became a monk in 1942, aged sixteen. After nearly sixty years spreading the teachings abroad, Thich Nhat Hanh’s final homecoming is a source of peace and happiness for his students, Tu Hieu Temple and lineage. It is very precious for Thich Nhat Hanh’s large international following to maintain this deep and enduring connection to our spiritual roots in Vietnam. Thich Nhat Hanh, who coined the term “Engaged Buddhism” and who has dedicated his life to renewing Buddhism so it can help individuals and societies address the challenges of our times, has always seen the roots of his teachings in the engaged spiritual life of the distinguished Buddhist patriarchs during Vietnam’s ancient Ly and Tran dynasties.

Although since his stroke Thich Nhat Hanh has no longer been able to speak, he remains powerfully alert and present. After summoning his senior disciples to a meeting on 24th October in Plum Village Thailand, where he has been residing since December 2016, Thich Nhat Hanh clearly communicated his wish to return to Vietnam using gestures, nodding and shaking his head in response to questions. The necessary arrangements were made for his return and he landed at Da Nang Airport, Vietnam on the afternoon of 26th October. His arrival was celebrated by a receiving party of senior Buddhist venerables, monks, nuns and lay followers.

After resting for two days by the ocean to recover from the journey, Thich Nhat Hanh arrived at Tu Hieu on the afternoon of October 28th, where he was welcomed with a traditional formal procession and the sound of drums and bells. As he entered, he took a moment to reach out and touch the cool stone of the ancient gateway: a seal of arrival and return. Everyone present remained silent as he contemplated the half-moon pond, where he had spent many memorable moments as a young monk, and then made his way to the Buddha hall to pay his respects and offer incense at the ancestral altar.  

Since his arrival, Thich Nhat Hanh’s health has remained fragile but stable. He has joined his community in walking meditation at dawn, visiting every corner of this temple that was his home and where he was nurtured as he embarked on his spiritual path. On the evening of October 26th in Da Nang, as the current Abbot and Head of Tu Hieu lineage, Thich Nhat Hanh directed his disciples to draft a letter inviting all the monks and nuns of the Tu Hieu lineage (disciples and descendants of Zen Master Thanh Quy, his teacher), to a joyful family gathering and homecoming celebration at Tu Hieu Temple on Saturday November 3rd. As Thich Nhat Hanh said when he first returned to Vietnam in 2005, after four decades of exile, “There is no religion, no doctrine higher than brotherhood and sisterhood.”

Even at this moment, Thich Nhat Hanh remains steadfast and energetic in using every breath and every action to build and strengthen the “beloved community of compassion,” and to cultivate healing, reconciliation and transformation in his community, society and the world.

Join the conversation

  • Dear Thay, Though a couple of days late, I want to honor you on your birthday.
    I have wonderful and blessed memories of the many times that I was able to sit with you and the Sangha. What wonderful blessings! Brother Phap De was a big brother to me when I would visit Plum Village. I bow to you in loving reverence, dear Thay. Thank you for the gift of your presence in my life.

    • Dear Father Brian, so wonderful to receive your wishes, thank you. We remember you fondly here in Plum Village and look forward to your next visit whenever you are able to come walk, sit and break bread with us. A lotus for you 🙏

  • Dear One, For a long time I have been touched and helped by your sweet simplicity and teachings. I have grieved the loss of my dear husband James since last November.Today I am listening to your teachings and and I feel better. I would love to meet you. I love you.

  • Dear Thay
    I spent many years as a hopeless addict until someone very dear to me introduced me to your teachings. Your words literally saved my life! Because of you, my children have a mother! I so wish I could have met you but no words could ever express my gratitude. your spirit is always with me and I will walk in peace. Love to you always ❤️☮️🕉️

  • Gratitude Vénérable THICH NHAT HANH vont m’aider sur le chemin du Pardon , du Bonheur ,de l’Amour ,la Gratitude ,la compassion Que l’Univers vous Bénisse 🙏🕊🙏

  • I walked with Thay during two city retreats here in Berlin, even asking a question on stage. I understood none of the words that Thay spoke in reply to my question since I was caught up in this ball of strong light emanating from him while he was directing his focus towards me. A stream of infinite blessing. We can learn a lot from Thay and the Sangha in terms of wisdom, compassion and emptiness.

    • Dear Friend,

      Thank you for expressing your wish to visit Thay in Vietnam.

      Our “root temple”, Từ Hiếu Temple, in Huế, Vietnam, is open to the public year round for day visits. It is a beautiful, traditional old temple, with courtyards and charming grounds, including ponds, a belltower, a stupa ground and lovely paths through the pine trees. You may have read about it in Thay’s books My Master’s Robe, At Home in the World, and Please Call Me By My True Names. It is a beautiful temple to visit, and you can pay your respects at the ancestral altars, including the main Buddha altar, and the altar of Thay’s own teacher. It is customary to bow at these altars or even to touch the earth (make a prostration) if you wish to do so. [Please note that major renovation & reconstruction works are currently underway at the main Buddha hall, which will not be completed until Spring/Summer 2020]

      Thay spends most of his time in his hut, and yet we can feel the joy and peace of his presence around the whole temple. From time to time, depending on his health, Thay comes out in his wheelchair to enjoy the birdsong, the warm sunlight, and the sound of the wind in the pines. These are short visits around the temple grounds and ponds. It is not possible to know when or if Thay will come out. When Thay does come out, what he wants most is not for people to touch the earth or take photos, but to join in walking meditation behind him, mindful of each step. When we walk around the ponds and paths, whether we can see Thay or not, we also know that we are walking for Thay and with Thay. To be at Từ Hiếu Temple is also to practice to get in touch with Thay through all the non-Thay elements that make Thay: the environment, the ancestors, the Buddha, the Dharma, the Sangha and so on. To see all these elements there and to connect to them with the energy of mindfulness, is also to see Thay. Thay’s physical body is only one small part of Thay.

      We wish you peace in every step,

      A lotus for you,

      The monks and nuns of Plum Village

  • Dearest Thay
    It is Saturday the 15th of February 2020.
    As much as we wish for your presence in France with perhaps a greater threat in Vietnam than in Europe with the new concerns amongst the most current epidemic, we…inside of LOVE all around the world..
    (Yes I used the most dangerous word *frowny face*)
    Understand why you are, also so needed in your spawn point (that’s a joke.. also very serious) as your extended eternal family and in this time, people also on a greater level of consciousness, and in a hope worldwide, that in this period of transition can all take part in a sharing that we may one day live the peace you have strived to be, so eloquently to teach and have so perfectly articulated as your life’s message. Hey.. Perhaps you may choose to wake up as a thousand butterfly’s before you return to work.
    That would be pretty groovy huh. *smiles*

    Timeless – ness.

    Love and Respect Always.
    Greatest Teacher.

    Lee.. the Blessed Lion ~

  • Thay’s teachings have contributed a great deal to my spirituality and transformed my life, and I know have transformed many other lives.
    And even the smallest changes help to make the world a better place.
    I am eternally grateful and thankful to him and the other members of this Sangha, and glad to hear he has been able to return to the root and close his circle. I would like to convey my best wishes of peace for him and all his Sangha now, and for everyone and everything in this wonderful world.

  • To my beloved Thay
    It is now almost twenty years ago since I was confronted with Buddhism for the first time trough your book “The Heart of Buddha’s Teaching”, which I found occasionally in the book store. This book was the initial and it was the beginning of a long journey to happiness. Since then I practice every day and have done many retreats. Just these days I read the book again and still I find so many views and points which are worth to think over again. You will always be in my heart.
    Thank you so much _()_ ()_ ()_ , Ernst

  • 2020


    Thay travels to Bangkok for health check-ups

    1st December, 2019 Dear Beloved Community, We’re happy to announce that on Thursday 28th November, Thay traveled from Huế, Vietnam to Bangkok, Thailand for a full medical check-up in Bangkok. The trip and hospital...

    Thich Nhat Hanh turns 93

    Dear Beloved Community, We are very happy to share that today Thay has been celebrating his 93rd birthday at Từ Hiếu Temple in Huế, Vietnam, his “Root Temple” where he first entered the monkhood...


    Thay’s 92nd Birthday

    As we celebrate Thay’s 92nd continuation day on 11th October, we'd like to take this opportunity to share with you how our beloved Teacher has been doing in Thailand.


    Thay visits Vietnam for a few days

    We are very happy to confirm that earlier today, 29th August 2017, at 12h35 local time, our dear Teacher landed safely at Đà Nẵng airport in Vietnam. This is his first visit to Vietnam...


    Thich Nhat Hanh arrives in Thailand

    The Thai Plum Village Sangha is delighted that our beloved teacher was strong enough to travel to Thailand from France a week ago, arriving in the early morning on Saturday, December 10.

    Thay returns to France

    Thay has decided to return to Plum Village, France to be with his spiritual community after six months of steady progress in San Francisco.


    A Christmas update from San Francisco

    Although Thay is unable to recover his speech, he continues to inspire with his spiritual vitality, his strong perseverance, and his immense will that has directed his recovery from the start.

    Report on Thay’s progress in San Francisco

    We are happy to be able to share that Thay is benefitting from the best of Western, Eastern, conventional, and alternative medical approaches. Thay is receiving acupuncture every day, as well as physical therapy,...

    Thay returns to Plum Village

    This week the medical team have given their approval for Thay to leave the rehabilitation clinic and return to his Hermitage at Plum Village. We are deeply grateful to the entire medical team at...

    Thay transfers to Bordeaux rehabilitation clinic

    The team of monastic attendants work closely with doctors, nurses and professional therapists, and accompany Thay twenty-four hours a day, offering massage, acupuncture and comfort care, and helping Thay with his physical training. Thay...

    Thay emerges into wakefulness

    In the last three weeks Thay has gradually emerged into wakefulness, and has his eyes open for much of the day, to the point where the doctors can now say that he is no...


    Thay’s condition stabilises

    Thay continues to rest peacefully with the ticking clock on his pillow, and we sense that he is relying on his deep awareness of breathing, rooted in Store Consciousness, to guide his healing process....

    Thay remains in intensive care

    Thay's blood pressure and pulse are stable, he is still breathing on his own, and he is becoming increasingly peaceful. However, in recent days Thay has been sleeping more deeply and communicating less.