In my late thirties, I was having a real crisis of faith. I was searching for meaning in life, living in my past and dreading the future. Mental Illness had a fierce grip on me. And then I read about Thích Nhất Hạnh in one of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s books and looked him up online. I became enchanted by this simple Vietnamese Buddhist monk and ordered many of his books. I learned about his exile from Vietnam for helping the Buddhist there fight for their freedom through nonviolence. I read about his visit with Martin Luther King, Jr. during which time he encouraged King to denounce the Vietnam War, which King did. I read everything he wrote with great interest and began practicing many of his teachings. I now consider Thay, as his friends call him, my spiritual teacher. It would be my wish to some day visit his monastery called Plum Village, situated in the Dordogne region of southern France. His health has been bad for a while since he had a stroke in 2014, but he appears to be improving. I say a little prayer each day for his health just before my morning mediation. Here are some of my favorite quotes by Thay:
And the quote that taught me the importance of Silence:
Interesting Fact: After decades in exile, Thay was finally allowed back into Vietnam in 2005, though his visit swarmed with controversy.