Category: Open Letters, Public Statements and Messages from Thay

Here you will find a collection of Thich Nhat Hanh’s open letters, public statements, speeches and messages. They are posted chronologically (most recent first).

Celebrating the History of Buddhism in Vietnam, and a way forward

THICH NHAT HANH Celebrating 1,000 Years of Hanoi In the year 1010, one thousand years ago, the first king of the Ly dynasty founded Thang Long, the city now known as Hanoi. The Ly dynasty has been described as “the most compassionate, peaceful and harmonious in the history of Vietnam” by the eminent historian Hoang

Tagged with: , , , ,

English Translation of Thay’s letter to Root Temple Descendants, October 2018

Thich Nhat Hanh’s statement on Climate Change for the United Nations

  In 2014, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) approached Thich Nhat Hanh as an international faith leader, to request a brief statement about climate change and our relationship to one another and to the Earth. This statement was published on the UNFCCC website, ahead of the Paris Climate Summit in September 2015.   THICH

Connecting to Our Root Teacher: A Letter from Thay, 27 Sept 2014

Thay wrote this letter to all of his students last autumn, as his health was beginning to weaken. Although Thay did not have enough strength to give Dharma Talks, he was able to dictate and edit this letter. It has been translated from the Vietnamese, so that everyone enjoy his rich, deep and heartfelt teaching on how “devotional practice” and the

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Thich Nhat Hanh’s Speech at the Vatican, December 2, 2014

On December 2, 2014, a delegation of monks and nuns from Plum Village travelled to the Vatican to represent Thich Nhat Hanh at a Summit of World Faith Leaders to End Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking. At the time, Thich Nhat Hanh was still critically ill in hospital in Bordeaux, France, following his stroke on

Tagged with: , , , ,

New Plum Village Monastic Fashion

Agen, France October 13th, 2014 To my beloved children across the world, Today our monastic community is practicing and teaching all over the world. We have over 1000 monastics belonging to more than 30 nationalities, and many of our young monastics are from the West. As an international delegation we need to consider the way

Tagged with: , , , , , ,

New Heart Sutra translation by Thich Nhat Hanh

On 11th September Thay completed a profound and beautiful new English translation of the Heart Sutra, one of the most important sutras in Mahayana Buddhism. This new English translation is based on the new Vietnamese translation that Thay began working on three weeks ago at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Germany. Below the

Tagged with: , , , , ,

Thich Nhat Hanh: Letter to a prisoner

On March 12, Thay received a letter from Zachary Crow, who is supporting a young man called Daniel on Death Row in Jackson, Georgia in the USA. Together, Zachary and Daniel have been practising mindfulness and studying Thay’s book The Heart of The Buddha’s Teaching, but Daniel’s time is drawing near. Thay was very touched

Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Message to Friends in Japan

This message was written by Thay, and posted on his Facebook page on March 15, 2011, a few days after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami on March 11th.     Dear friends in Japan,   As we contemplate the great number of people who have died in this tragedy, we may feel very strongly that

Twelve proposals from Thich Nhat Hanh to celebrate Hanoi’s millenium

Lunar New Year, February 2010 THICH NHAT HANH Celebrating 1,000 Years of Hanoi In the year 1010, one thousand years ago, the first king of the Ly dynasty founded Thang Long, the city now known as Hanoi. The Ly dynasty has been described as “the most compassionate, peaceful and harmonious in the history of Vietnam”

Bat Nha: a Koan

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s compassionate response to the persecution of his students in Vietnam “The koan “Bat Nha” is everyone’s koan; it is the koan of every individual and every community. The koan can be practiced by a Bat Nha monastic, by a monk or nun studying at a Buddhist Institute in Vietnam, a

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Bat Nha: The Indestructible Seed of Awakening

Fragrant Source Inner Monastery The last days of 2009 To my Bat Nha children, I know that in these moments, you have to disperse to many places, and you cannot live together to practice as a monastic community anymore, but I trust that my letter will still reach you. On Sunday 20th, 2009, brothers and

Bat Nha: Rekindling the Sacred Fire

Thay’s letter to the Bat Nha Monastics, continued. Blue Cliff Monastery October 21, 2009 Yesterday, in the Great Harmony Meditation Hall of Blue Cliff Monastery, there was an ordination ceremony for two young people, one who had already graduated from Dental School and the other, from Business School. They are sisters Chan Lan Nghiem (True

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Bat Nha: Magical Sound of the Sitar

Thay is continuing to write a letter to you from the hermitage Thach Lang in Blue Cliff Monastery. It is October 13th, 2009. Thay just came back from New York. In New York, Thay and the Sangha guided two days of practice for over 2000 American practitioners in the Northeast. It took place in the

Bat Nha: Diamond Body

Blue Cliff, October 7th, 2009 To my Bat Nha Children, I write “my Bat Nha children” and not “my children in Bat Nha” as I had done before, because even though you are not living in Bat Nha anymore, you continue to carry the name of the Bat Nha Sangha. You and Bat Nha are

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

A Young Monastic’s Dream

My dear students, near and far, In the Daily Chanting book, there is a chant that I really liked when I was a novice. The prose of this piece is very beautiful, and its content has a great capacity to nourish the aspiration of monastics. Every time the novice Phùng Xuân [Thầy’s earlier name] chanted

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Everyone can see Thay in the Sangha

To Friends and Co-practitioners at the “One Buddha is Not Enough” Retreat Dear Friends, This is Thay again writing to you from the Massachusetts General Hospital. The treatment is going well and we have noticed several aspects of the improvement of Thay’s conditions after the first week. Thank you for having sent your loving energy

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Thay Misses The Sangha

Dear Friends and Co-practitioners at the Retreat One Buddha is Not Enough, Estes Park, CO. My dear friends, I am writing to you from the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. I know the Sangha has manifested today in Estes Park. I miss the Reterat. I miss the beautiful setting of the Retreat. Especially I miss

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

The Mountain Rock Cliff Robe

European Institute of Applied Buddhism Waldbroel, Germany 2009 Last night while sleeping here Thầy had a dream. He saw that he was climbing a mountain with the Buddha and with little Hải Triều Âm (Sound of the Rising Tide). At that time, it was about 2 am in the morning which is 8 o’clock in

Sitting Still, Imperturbable

Sitting Still Hut, Upper Hamlet, Plum Village July 20, 2009 To my students in Bat Nha, Tu Hieu and everywhere, Thay is sitting at “Sitting Still Hut,” in the Upper Hamlet of Plum Village while writing this letter to you.  The Summer Retreat in Plum Village is very joyful and peaceful.  There is economic difficulty

The Toadskin Hut and Paths of Legend

Thay wrote this end-of-year letter addressed to all of his students about the Toadskin Hut, the hermit of Still Sitting Hut, walking meditation paths that have become legendary, and the new young Dharma Teachers in Plum Village.   Still Sitting Hut, Plum Village Upper Hamlet, France December 5, 2008 There is sunshine in Upper Hamlet today. I went for walking

Letter to the CEO of KFC

Thay wrote this letter to David Novak, the CEO of Kentucky Fried Chicken, in 2008.

The Times of India, 2 October, 2008: Terrorists are victims who create more victims

‘Terrorists are victims who create more victims’ TNN | Oct 2, 2008, 12.19 AM IST Midway through the news meeting on Wednesday, the grim news came in: Agartala had been rocked by serial blasts. All eyes immediately turned to Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, the Guest Editor for our special Peace Edition. As journalists, what should

The Times of India, 2 October, 2008: Thich Nhat Hanh on the use of force to bring peace

You can use a knife to kill or you can use it to chop vegetables Oct 1, 2008, 07.41 PM IST An Israeli soldier asks about the use of force during a question and answer session with Thich Nhat Hanh on November 29th, 2001. Question: I am from the Israeli-Palestinian group. I want to ask

The Times of India: Editorial by Thich Nhat Hanh, 2 October 2008

Only you can uproot the terror menace Editorial by Thich Nhat Hanh | 2 October, 2008 The roots of war and conflict are in us. There are afflictions in us to be recognised, embraced, and transformed: anger, hatred, discrimination, pride and despair. It is important to look deeply into their roots, to understand them and learn

Thich Nhat Hanh on Tibet (27 March, 2008)

When the Plum Village delegation led by Thich Nhat Hanh landed in Rome in March 2008 for fourteen days of public talks, retreats, and other events, the demonstration by 600 Tibetan monks on the occasion of the forty-ninth year of the movement to oppose the yoke of Chinese rule was in its eighth day. The capital of Tibet, Lhasa,

Sitting in the Autumn Breeze

October 12, 2007 Dear Spiritual Family, Blue Cliff in autumn is very beautiful. Forests are adorned by the ripening leaves. Today, starting at 11 a.m., retreatants from everywhere will come to attend a retreat with the topic Sitting in the Autumn Breeze. A great number of people signed up, but we could not accommodate all

TIME Magazine, 12 October 2007: Burma’s Monks “already a success”

Exclusive Interview with Thich Nhat Hanh: Burma’s Monks: ‘Already a Success’ By David Van Biema / New York City | Friday, Oct. 12, 2007 A renowned Buddhist leader — once opposed to the Vietnam War — talks to TIME about the embattled monks of Burma.   The monk sat cross-legged in the Manhattan hotel room in augbergine robes on an aubergine

Call for a Collective Awakening: Speech to UNESCO

Thich Nhat Hanh gave this speech at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, October 7, 2006   Ten years ago, I was asked by the director of UNESCO, his Excellency Federico Mayor, to write a manual on the practice of peace and nonviolence, and I readily accepted the work. For me, writing this manual was an

Letter to President G.W.Bush

In August 2006, in the spirit of right speech, Thich Nhat Hanh sent this handwritten letter to President George Bush (full text below).   Honorable George W. Bush The White House Washington DC, USA Plum Village Le Pey 24240 Thenac, France 8.8.2006   Dear Mr President Last night, I saw my brother (who died two weeks ago in