In 1967 Martin Luther King, Jr. nominated Thich Nhat Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, revered around the world for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace. Martin Luther King referred to Thich Nhat Hanh as “An Apostle of peace and nonviolence.” His key teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present moment—the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world.
Born in central Vietnam in 1926, Thich Nhat Hanh entered Tu Hieu Temple, in Hue city, as a novice monk at the age of sixteen. As a young bhikshu in the early 1950s he was actively engaged in the movement to renew Vietnamese Buddhism.
When war came to Vietnam, Thich Nhat Hanh founded the Engaged Buddhism movement of which monks and nuns apply the insights from meditation practice and dharma teachings to help local civilians who were suffering from the turmoils of war. He also founded the School of Youth and Social Service, a grass-roots relief organization of 10,000 volunteers based on the Buddhist principles of non-violence and compassionate action.
In 1961 he travelled to the United States to teach Comparative Religion at Princeton University and the following year went on to teach and research Buddhism at Columbia University.
Thich Nhat Hanh has been a pioneer in bringing Buddhism to the West, founding six monasteries and dozens of practice centers in America and Europe, as well as over 1,000 local mindfulness practice communities, known as ‘sanghas’. He has built a thriving community of over 600 monks and nuns worldwide, who, together with his tens of thousands of lay students, apply his teachings on mindfulness, peace-making and community-building in schools, workplaces, businesses – and even prisons – throughout the world.
Thich Nhat Hanh, now in his 88th year, is a gentle, humble monk, is often referred to as Thay "master or teacher." Thay has published over 100 titles on meditation, mindfulness and Engaged Buddhism, as well as poems, children’s stories, and commentaries on ancient Buddhist texts. He has sold over three million books in America alone, some of the best-known include Being Peace, Peace is Every Step, The Miracle of Mindfulness, The Art of Power, True Love, and Anger.