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Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh returns to his first monastery in Vietnam

Monday, October 29, 2018, 18:11 GMT+7
Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh returns to his first monastery in Vietnam
Thich Nhat Hanh (sitting) is surrounded by other Buddhist monks at the Tu Hieu Pagoda in Thua Thien-Hue Province, central Vietnam, October 28, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

On his fifth return trip to Vietnam, Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh has chosen to stay at the pagoda in the central region where he was ordained 76 years ago.

The 92-year-old Zen master landed at Da Nang International Airport on Friday after leaving the Plum Village International Practice Center in northeastern Thailand, making his second visit to the motherland in over a year.

He then left for Tu Hieu Pagoda, the monastery where he became a novice Buddhist monk at 16, in nearby Thua Thien-Hue Province on Sunday afternoon.

Thich Nhat Hanh was welcomed at the Tu Hieu temple by a large number of Buddhist nuns, monks and lay practitioners who had already gathered there way earlier. Amongst those present at the event were foreigners.

Thich Nhat Hanh was taken in a wheelchair around the pagoda before offering incense in the main hall with a statue of the Buddha.

Nuns and monks line to welcome Thich Nhat Hanh at the Tu Hieu Pagoda in Thua Thien-Hue Province, central Vietnam, October 28, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Nuns and monks get line to welcome Thich Nhat Hanh at Tu Hieu Pagoda in Thua Thien-Hue Province, central Vietnam, October 28, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A monk holds flowers to be given to Thich Nhat Hanh at the Tu Hieu Pagoda in Thua Thien-Hue Province, central Vietnam, October 28, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A monk holds flowers to be given to Thich Nhat Hanh at Tu Hieu Pagoda in Thua Thien-Hue Province, central Vietnam, October 28, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

He seemed to have healthy countenance, able to communicate by hand gesture and eye movement, although he looked frailer than he was during his nine-day visit to this place in September 2017.

He is staying at the monastery, pursuant to a schedule that has not been specifically revealed.

This is his fifth return to Vietnam, following those in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2017.

In 2014 he was taken to the U.S. for treatment for a health problem.

Thich Nhat Hanh is generally considered to rank second amongst Buddhist leaders influential in the West, only after the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama.

In 1966, he left Vietnam on a peace mission and met Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who nominated him for the Nobel Prize in 1967. The monk then traveled widely across the world, spreading the Buddha’s teachings on compassion and peace.

He established a community of Zen Buddhists called Plum Village in rural France.

In 2005 he returned to Vietnam for the first time after nearly 40 years living in foreign countries.

The lifestyle at Plum Village was featured in Walk With Me, a documentary that was showed at the 2017 Southwest film festival in Texas and became available in cinemas across Vietnam early this year.

Thich Nhat Hanh and other Buddhist monks are seen at the Tu Hieu Pagoda in Thua Thien-Hue Province, central Vietnam, October 28, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Thich Nhat Hanh and other Buddhist monks are seen at Tu Hieu Pagoda in Thua Thien-Hue Province, central Vietnam, October 28, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Thich Nhat Hanh looks at a lake at the Tu Hieu Pagoda in Thua Thien-Hue Province, central Vietnam, October 28, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Thich Nhat Hanh looks at a pond at Tu Hieu Pagoda in Thua Thien-Hue Province, central Vietnam, October 28, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A monk carries offering flowers, followed by Thich Nhat Hanh at the Tu Hieu Pagoda in Thua Thien-Hue Province, central Vietnam, October 28, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A monk carries offering flowers, followed by Thich Nhat Hanh at Tu Hieu Pagoda in Thua Thien-Hue Province, central Vietnam, October 28, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Thich Nhat Hanh offers incense sticks at the Tu Hieu Pagoda in Thua Thien-Hue Province, central Vietnam, October 28, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Thich Nhat Hanh offers incense sticks at Tu Hieu Pagoda in Thua Thien-Hue Province, central Vietnam, October 28, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Thich Nhat Hanh sits in the Tu Hieu Pagoda in Thua Thien-Hue Province, central Vietnam, October 28, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Thich Nhat Hanh sits in Tu Hieu Pagoda in Thua Thien-Hue Province, central Vietnam, October 28, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Thich Nhat Hanh visits Tu Hieu Pagoda in Thua Thien-Hue Province, central Vietnam, October 28, 2018. Video: Tuoi Tre

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Thai Xuan / Tuoi Tre News

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