Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist. Throughout most of his life, heâ€™s been active in the peace movement â€“ promoting non-violent solutions to conflict. For this work, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He taught at Columbia University and the Sorbonne and has published more than 100 books. He has traveled throughout the world conducting retreats to advance what he calls "Engaged Buddhism".
I regret that I have not been to Plum Village to see Thay and his monks at work. It has been on my â€œto doâ€ list for several years. I learned recently, with great sorrow, that he has suffered a stroke. He is quite old.
I am glad, however, that I did attend one of his retreats. In 2005, I spent a week in Colorado, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where, along with 1,000 other people, I heard Thayâ€™s simple quiet lectures. In the years afterwards, I have incorporated his wise teachings into meditations and hypnosis to benefit myself and my clients.
During this holiday season, when I hear my friends exchange wishes for â€œpeace on earth!â€ Iâ€™m reminded of Thich Nhat Hanhâ€™s teachings about â€œseeds.â€ He said that we all are sowing seeds every day. Sometimes, these seeds are seeds of kindness; sometimes they are of peace; and sometimes they are of dissension and ill will. He reminded his readers that these seeds â€“ whether consciously or unconsciously scattered â€“ grow and take root. He encouraged us to sow seeds of peace.