An Update on Thay’s Health: 14th July 2015

CBZ letterhead header

Official Announcement

Plum Village, France
July 14, 2015

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


Since our last update, Thay has been able to communicate more clearly a very strong wish to intensify his recovery program. Thay is very determined to do everything possible to recover both his physical movement and speech. After many options were presented to Thay, he made a clear decision to travel to the United States to receive a more intensive rehabilitation program that could be specifically adapted to his needs.

We are happy to report that Thay arrived safely on the West Coast of the United States on the afternoon of July 11. In order to make the flight as safe as possible for Thay, he was flown in a private jet, generously offered by a kind friend. He was accompanied by Sister Chan Khong and the team of attendants who will be continuing their round-the-clock care for him during this new stage of recovery. Thay’s rehabilitation will be guided by a team of distinguished neurologists specializing in stroke and cognitive rehabilitation at UCSF Medical Center.

We remain deeply grateful to all the bodhisattvas on the medical team in France, in particular the doctors and nurses at the University Hospital of Bordeaux. It is thanks to their loving care, professionalism, and kindness that Thay has made such remarkable progress. In preparation for Thay’s flight, they even set aside a whole day to conduct thorough medical tests to ensure he would be strong enough to make the journey.

With a new US team of doctors, we are confident Thay will continue to progress to his maximum capacity. It is a new chapter for our Teacher and our community. The doctors recommend that Thay follow an intensive program of therapy for five to six months, including hospital visits during which he will have access to the latest innovations in robotic rehabilitation techniques, as well as physical training with specialists. Thay will also have therapists visit and train with him at home during the other days of the week.

During the flight, Thay was relaxed and at ease, eager to practice walking meditation through the plane with the help of his attendants. He enjoyed looking out of the window and contemplating the icebergs passing beneath. When the flight finally touched down, Thay was determined to leave the plane on foot rather than in a wheelchair, and he smiled with the joy of arrival.

Thay’s diligence and determination are a powerful message for us all. Thay’s heart and mind will never abandon us or the practice. Although he cannot speak to us, he continues to transmit the essence of the practice. He continues to be with his beloved community, even in times of difficulty.

Let us renew our efforts to practice and connect with our Sangha, whether locally or at mindfulness retreats in practice centers around the world. Let us open our hearts and reach out to our loved ones and to those who are suffering and need a little kindness. We know that with every mindful step and breath, our collective energy of practice and togetherness is supporting our Teacher’s healing.

We have been able to assist Thay in realising his intention to come to the US thanks to the extraordinary generosity and support of a few friends. Now we would like to invite you all to participate in this new chapter of his journey. Thay has shown tremendous courage and determination in every moment since his stroke last November. Let us come together to do everything we can to support him. Many of us have expressed our appreciation to Thay by sending beautiful letters, cards, and well wishes over the past months. We are so grateful for this outpouring of love. And we invite you to express your gratitude for Thay in another concrete way, by helping us to take care of his medical costs at this pivotal time. Our wish is to raise the necessary funds as a collective manifestation of the love of the whole community – your contribution, no matter how small, will be an important support for Thay’s healing.  

The new team of specialists is preparing an estimate of overall costs for Thay’s rehabilitation program, and we expect it to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Your gift will actively help give Thay the best possible chance of recovering his ability to walk and talk again.

We invite you to contribute at We will keep this page updated with the latest information on Thay’s health care and our collective progress towards the fundraising goal. All gifts made through the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation are tax deductible for US donors.

We are deeply grateful for your generosity.

May you and your loved ones be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit. May you experience your own deep healing and transformation on the beautiful path of practice that Thay has opened up for us all.

With love and trust,


The Monks and Nuns of Plum Village



As Thay’s recovery is progressing well, we will offer updates only from time to time. We will keep our global community informed of any major developments, and provide information on how you can continue to support Thay’s healing. All official announcements will continue to appear at,,, and

pdf download logo

Thay enjoying the fragrance of a lotus flower, 16 June, 2015

Thay enjoying the fragrance of a lotus flower, 16 June, 2015

Just a simple monk!

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
52 comments on “An Update on Thay’s Health: 14th July 2015
  1. Gerrit Schaap says:

    Thay, your light is shining so bright on Earth. Thank you!

  2. Andre Fleet says:

    Thank you Master Thay. Smiling.

  3. Arturo Maximiliano Jeger says:

    El Zen llegó a la vida del que escribe hace no muchos años. Las enseñanzas del Maestro Thay han tocado profundamente en mi corazón.
    Que la Existencia dé fortaleza y salud al Maestro para que pueda seguir sembrando las semillas de la Paz de los budas.

  4. Tamara Soltysik says:

    Dear Thay, thank you for the love, hapiness and joy , you bring to the world, I am thankfull that your health is progressing.
    Get well soon. I send endless Flowers to you.

  5. Tran Minh Nguyen says:

    Thanks Buddha for Thay’s recovery. Please be stronger. I need to keep hearing your voice. I started and ended my day with your teaching. Please be strong and teach me more and more to live better for myself and everyone around me. I gave up my bad spending habit due to your teaching of breathing, Thay. Thank you so much for your help.

  6. Cameron Green says:

    Thay taught me to listen deeply. This has given me life as I had never imagined. I know Thay is listening deeply every day. Holding up a flower is a dharma talk. Holding up our beloved Thay is a dharma talk. Let us speak in the requested way. Our opportunity for unity on his behalf is his current gift to us. It is a joy to send help along with all who can. Thay changed the world and he changed me. Yesterday I sat in the shade to meditate, and to avoid the direct light, and the sun moved until it found me. I retreated and it found me again. Like Thay, it refuses to leave me in darkness. And we are all with our teacher in our hearts seeing with the eyes he gives us. Our love to you dear Thay.

  7. modesty says:

    hello. on first reading, an idea was arising as such. like one writer did, trying to stay open. deeply believing that Thay, the most empowered as possible, has the most impacting energy possible.
    there are so many issues, just today. economic, consumer society. refugees .. not sure it’s a ‘need’ to ‘have’ this issue at all. if there was peace. or better, if there was a just distribution of goods, land, etc. not e.g. oil and the most powerful with the biggest tanks gets it .. maybe one of the biggest issues.
    i firmly believe that people like Thay, the most in strength as possible; are able to stand for the switch – the switch of hearts. that, the most important, are other people and their wellbeing and joy .. insights to give, that’s fine, surely good. however, standing for a world that does not stand on economic power or better: consumer wishes .. that’s worth everything.
    wishing all the best, and taking him in the heart and thoughts .. and actions. may he be back as strong as possible, as soon as possible.
    so grateful that somebody like him, decided to go his way.

    • Nancy Perrone says:

      Your deep inner strength, inspirational.
      Healing thoughts, prayers and meditations are for you.
      In Deep Gratitude

  8. Kimberly Feffer says:

    Namaste, Thich Nhat Hanh, healing abounds in your favor.

  9. Sig Schwarz says:

    God Bless Thay

  10. Margaret says:

    P.S. Here’s the lesson I get from this: Go watch the Christmas movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” with James Stewart. Thay, as part of a Global community needs our help. It’s simple.

  11. Margaret says:

    Thay is trying to heal, so let’s help him do that and not second guess why – it’s enough to know he is making tremendous progress and feels he can do much more. I’m inspired, personally, by his ability to take the present moment and make it a work of art. I’m learning how to heal my own back injury by watching Thay work through this. Because of Thay’s example, I suffer much less.

    Dear Sangha,
    Thank you for posting a link to make donations – it’s really nice to be able to give back to Thay! Thank you for being strong and for having the collective courage to reach out – we all walk with you in support.

    Dear Thay,
    We’re here for you! You’re doing beautifully – keep going!

  12. Lisa says:

    May we all do our best to generate love, joy and happiness to nourish Thay and ourselves.

    I raised my children with this breathing exercise he taught in Berkeley years ago:

    in -out
    mountain -solid

    With Love and Gratitude,

  13. Lynne Owen says:

    Blessings to Thay for his work and life

  14. Tin 'Allen' Pham says:

    Dear Thay –

    It was short of a miracle that I chanced upon an older taping of your interview with Oprah on youtube about 2 + months ago in 2015. Along with less than a handful of teachers / mentors across all faiths, your gift to me with your lectures on youtube are beyond words to convey. There’s so much more I want to ask or have you validate for me about life. I understand you’re going through therapy and may need to rest. But I’m very hopeful that when you recover, please allow me to just be in your presence meditating, if I am unable to ask a question before returning to France. I pray you a speedy recovery. I’ll be sure to send you healing light through intent from meditations and whenever I’m able to remember to do so during my waking hours. Cam on thay – Allen

  15. david olguisser llanos says:

    this is to say i’m here fo you dear thay

  16. The letter is long, and on first reading, I missed part of the message. I wanted to help in whatever way I could, but the answer was in the letter:

    “Let us renew our efforts to practice and connect with our Sangha, whether locally or at mindfulness retreats in practice centers around the world. Let us open our hearts and reach out to our loved ones and to those who are suffering and need a little kindness. We know that with every mindful step and breath, our collective energy of practice and togetherness is supporting our Teacher’s healing.”

  17. Michelle Wilson says:

    Thank you so much for keeping those of us who are and have been so extremely positively impacted by Thay’s teaching, as many of us, such as myself, have derived so much benefit from his strength, his kindness, and his conviction on Dharma. Of course some may not understand that although yes everything is indeed impermanent, and we all should try to keep our overhead as low as possible, there is absolutely nothing wrong about wanting to fully recover from a health crisis or extend your life to continue helping people for as long as possible. It is in fact the right choice. On that note, I would like to offer any assistance in his recovery that I can provide, at no charge. I have a background in nutrition, traditional herbs, massage and yoga, and I would very much like to contribute in any way to his recovery that I am able. I am in Scottsdale AZ and could provide hands on therapy as well as review his diet, physical therapy regimen, and supplemental nutrition. I feel my comprehensive, as well as its simplicity, approach to health could be of help, and I extend that for any time, so please do not hesitate to contact me if interested. I am deeply grateful for Thay’s work and anything I can do to give back, I would.

  18. PAM TRAN says:

    should Thay try stem cells therapy?

  19. On behalf of Jikoji Zen Temple in Los Gatos California I would like to extend our home, sangha and support to Thay. We’re close. Waves of prayers. Waves of healing. And so it is… Gassho.

  20. Michael B. says:

    Can Thay’s friends here in San Francisco be of any help/support?

  21. ioma jones says:

    Continuing Hope Healing and Love to Thay ,I am not a buddhist but often wish i were !Broke my arm recently and reached out to the invisable sangha that i know is there ,I derived much comfort knowing there are people of Good will and kindness everywhere.if you send details of how to send a small amount through snail mail.i would be gratefull.

  22. Faye Harasack says:

    Like some others who have written here, I too was confused when I first heard this news, wondering why Thay would request this option, which he surely knew was very expensive and difficult to carry out. The confusion caused me pain, but I tried to keep my mind and heart open to understand some of the things that might motivate him, and these thoughts came to me:
    I’ve seen the way Thay has lived his life up till now, so I have confidence that he wouldn’t take any action just to get some small, passing satisfaction for himself on a personal level. Since the update tells us that “Thay is very determined to do everything possible to recover both his physical movement and speech” that must mean that he feels it would benefit not only himself but all of us, his students and friends, and that it could also benefit others who don’t yet know the teachings.
    It might be that during his stroke and recovery Thay has learned things that he wants to share with us directly, in spoken or written words. Right now he is able to communicate with those who come into contact with him, and they can tell us how his actions and way of being inspire them. He teaches us all without words, and will keep on doing so. But that’s not the same as if he could express for himself what he wants to tell us.
    I know from reading books like Jill Bolte Taylor’s “My Stroke of Insight”, that people who undergo a stroke can have deep and beautiful experiences that give them insights into the nature of reality. Maybe Thay has things like this to tell us, and maybe he knows that if he shared those experiences with the world, it would relieve the suffering of many other people.
    Of course I don’t know any of this for sure – maybe his reasons are completely different! But I do have confidence that his choices are based on compassion for all beings. So, though I still don’t understand completely, I’ll support him as much as I can. And I’ll try to follow his example of working to improve my ability to communicate love and compassion to others.
    Gratitude to all who are assisting Thay on this path of healing, which is also the heaing and strengthening of the sangha body!

    • Julie Roberts says:

      Beautifully put. I too wondered why he would agree to an expensive treatment, but also thought that perhaps he has a great insight that has come since the stroke, which would be of benefit to many. I don’t believe that he is just doing this for a personal, short-term extension of life. I hope he succeeds in recovering, and that his battle to get well is an inspiration to all those struggling with major illnesses.

  23. Erica Solano Plummer says:

    I’m picturing you with your beautiful smile. Sparkling, dazzling healing energy flowing all through your being. So many beautiful healers focusing their love on you right now :)

  24. Wajeedah says:

    It is so touching, reassuring, and amazing to see all of us students coming together and expressing our well wishes for Thay’s recovery. As I’ve seen others say, he truly is the Buddha of our time and has given us an abundance of peace and happiness, and most importantly, has made Buddhism more accessible & comprehensive. It is a beautiful and rare thing to see the legacy & impact you have created while you are still on this Earth. Sending healing energy to our Beloved Thay. I have never felt so connected with a group of people as I do now reading everyone’s well wishes. Namaste.

  25. Thomas Voelker says:

    I hope each day of his life continues to encourage others along their path.

  26. Maria says:

    I am so glad to hear this good news. Gratitude to Thay for the love and light he has shed on so many lives and for his ongoing work to heal the Earth. Wishing Thay love and support for this new step in his journey. I hope the new doctors will be successful in bringing him a full recovery.

  27. George Bush says:

    You have THE most famous stroke doctor (acupuncturist) in the world on the West coast. Dr. Zhu Ming. He has literally performed miracles on people with strokes. You should absolutely take Thay there!

  28. Mary T. says:

    I’m am so happy to hear that Thay’s trip was smooth and that he arrived here in my home state safely! He is a treasure to me and I hold him in great honor and respect. I wish him all the best! Namaste, dearest Thay _/|\_

  29. Nelunika Gunawardena Rajapakse says:

    Thay has been my living inspiration of spirituality since the day I began my search for my beloved dad, when I lost him nearly thirty years ago. Today, I am healed knowing that both my precious parents along with all of our ancestors are wth me and all others – through every breath and every step! Thay, you have expounded the Buddha Dharma do succinctly. I am eternally grateful to you! You are the living Buddha of our time!

  30. Shelle says:

    Great lesson for all of us. We will keep sending healing vibes. Blessings Thay!

  31. Constancia Bonak says:

    Prayers and blessings for a positive recovery.

  32. Kathleen says:

    Are the therapists helping Thay to crawl? Hand chakra contact to earth should stimulate speech.

  33. Cloris Sciaroni says:

    Namaste to all the staff of Plum Village and the Sanga,
    I amo really happy to hear this wonderful news about Tha’s Health. I was a little worried to read that he wonted really go to the USA for more rehabilitation because it’s not a simple journey, but I am released now to read that everything went ok and I am shure he will be in good hands and he has also the spiritual support of his Monks and Nuns but also our prayers. We love him so much and would like to hear his lovely voice again. Please let me know how to send you some money on line, but not with Credit cards. You should please let me know your IBAN and Bic Nr., the name of the Bank and the name of a responsable Person there at Plum Village, with the address, so that everything will go easly . Send you all my love and best wishes. Namaste.

  34. Carlos Poblete says:

    Me alegra enormemente que Thay esté mejor. Personas como el hacen mucha falta. No dispongo dinero en absoluto, vivo de una pequeña pensión.. sALUD, tHAY. Un abrazo con mucho cariño.

  35. greta says:

    Prayers for his continued recovery!

  36. Dilip Ekanath says:

    I never met the master but His name alone brought grace and blessings in great tides. He arrived last weekend in CA and I had been feeling His love for few days but I just read the news about Him,

    At your feets master,

  37. Georges says:

    I have to confess I am a bit confused with such news. I do not mean to judge. I have myself just been injured after falling from a tree. I know how it feels to be scared to lose one of the body’s ability – as my hip is damaged and I may develop arthrosis anytime now. I am very grateful to receive free medical care in one of the best hospitals in France thanks to the French social security system. I cannot imagine how strong the desire to recover must be when it is a brain function that is threatening to disappear. I cannot but admire Thay’s resilience in overcoming this challenge.
    But what about the teaching of the Buddha that Thay’s conveys to us all ? Isn’t it about learning to accept life’s impermanence, and to live happily with what the universe gives us ? I’m very happy to know that someone is generous enough to offer to fly Thay to a more advanced facility, and I support people to give whatever they want in order to support Thay’s recovery, if that is their wish. But I am still confused. Would we do the same for anyone in the Sangha ? Isn’t flying a private jet across the planet an extremely heavy cost to add to the environment’s already huge toll ? Every day at lunch, Thay invites us to eat in a way that is beneficial to life on this planet. How can this teaching cohabit with such a huge spending we are making, to prolonge a life that is intresically impermanent ?
    I wish all of you to be well and happy.

    • Dave says:

      Accepting the truth of impermanence doesn’t mean not doing what is reasonable and within ones power or means to continue living. Accepting impermanence means letting go of attachment that causes suffering and using our lives for what is meaningful and of benefit to others. Though Thay’s students likely have attachment to him and thus want him to continue to live, they also probably recognize how precious and important he is to the ultimate happiness of others and themselves. To find a teacher like Thay and have a wish to study and practice under him and to be able to develop his qualities of love and compassion is difficult. Also Thay’s desire to continue to live doesn’t likely come out of attachment but likely out of a recognition of the value of a rare and precious human life, and a wish to continue helping others develop love and compassion and attain a state of unchanging happiness. While Thay’s trip and continued care may come at some financial cost and cost to the environment, so does every other human beings life come at a cost. Many beings die for our clothes, meals (even if it is vegetarian) etc. A lot of suffering is experienced by others just so we can live. It can’t be avoided. This cost to others could be seen as part of the reason why we need to use our lives to benefit others. thus if anybody’s life is worth a jet trip and a few hundred thousand dollars it would be somebody like Thay’s, a teacher who is always showing others the way to happiness.

    • KM says:

      People have offered to incur the travel and health expenses to one of the greatest spiritual leaders of all time. I would hope that it would do more damage to man’s spiritual growth, not to accept the offer, than harm the environment. Our hearts and minds yearn for wisdom daily and it spreads contagiously and is desperately needed in a hurting world. The gift from God through Thay’s teaching on how to love the earth will allow us to provide better care of the earth hopefully thereby mitigating and surpassing the extent of environmental harm. God makes no mistakes. This care for him is intended for continued growth and nurturing of the spirit of man. Peace and love to the earth and mankind.

    • A very religious man was in a ship that sank. He grabbed onto a piece of wood and prayed. A dolphin swam up to him and tried to take him on its back, but he pushed it away, saying to himself, “God will save me. I must have faith.” A ship came by and dropped a lifeboat, but he pushed it away, saying, “God will save me. My faith is strong.” A helicopter flew over and dropped a rope, but he pushed it away saying, “God will save me. Only my faith will carry me through.”

      Then he drowned. When he got to heaven, he went to God and said, “God, I believed in you, and you betrayed me!” And God said, “What do you mean? I sent a dolphin; I sent a ship; and I sent a helicopter!”

      So, this is a long way to say that we don’t have to refuse help when it is offered, and I sense that Thay has much more that he wishes to communicate, and part of that may be that we don’t have to feel sorry for ourselves and give up when faced with tough times. _/\_

    • Lauren says:

      Dear Georges, a lot of time has passed, but I want to share that I think your questioning is appropriate — the Buddha encourages us to examine all things. Such questioning may make others uncomfortable, as can be seen below. My thought on this news has been that those closest to Thay can’t possibly share all the factors that went into these decisions, thus we on the other end of this letter don’t have enough information to be able to make a discernment. Also, through the progression of update letters about Thay’s health, it’s clear that there is concern to present the most positive picture possible, in order to water seeds of hope and joy, and to help us all cope with our encroaching sense of deep loss. The monastics are showing us utmost compassion in this way. My aim is to hold all my inner responses with equanimity — I want to know more about how the decision was made, and how Thay is really doing, and on and on, but this is not mine to know right now. I wish dear Thay joy and ease in his ongoing recovery, and a beautiful continuation, moment by moment, starting with me.

  38. martine kerr says:

    Your recovery has a special place in the chamber of my heart.
    God hold you in his protective embrace,comfort and strengthen you.

  39. Claudia Stone says:

    Thay continues to teach me without words. Thank you so much for this detailed update. Tears of joy are streaming down my face! What an example he sets for us. My career as a social worker lead me to work with many stroke survivors, mostly in Canada, where they have universal healthcare and also some in the U.S. where they do not. He is truly an inspiration. I wish all people could have access to such great health care and loving attention. Namaste and blessed be. Thank you Master Thay!

    • samten Lhendup says:

      I offer my prayers and wish for Thay’s recovery and healing, his teachings are just amazing, teachings on mindfulness, what more could he offer to the world than this priceless teachings, he is a true bodhisattva showing us the ways and means for the journey to city of liberation….I sincerely wish for his recovery soon!

  40. Sherry Thompson says:

    I am so happy for Thay’s continuing recovery and healing. Very good news indeed!

  41. Fatima says:

    This are good news! My best wishes and healing thoughts to Thay!

    • Margie Smith says:

      Sending healing vibes your way,on your next page of your journey, live the love,& light your were given, because you inspire so many of us to be better humans on this planet!