In a Hue pagoda, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh is back home

By Vo Thanh   February 12, 2020 | 12:22 pm GMT+7

Peace reigns deep at Tu Hieu Pagoda after the return of renowned Buddhist leader Thich Nhat Hanh, whose phenomenal journey began there.

Tu Hieu Pagoda on Le Ngo Cat Street, six kilometers from the center of Hue, is where Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh practiced Zen Buddhism at the age of 16 and became a monk seven years later after graduating from a Buddhism institute in Hue. The Zen Master has been staying at the pagoda ever since he returned to Vietnam on October 26 last year.The pagoda was originally a built by a monk for his mother. The Nguyen royal family, who lived in the Royal Palace across the Perfume River, helped expand it in 1848.Following the return of the Zen Master, the quiet pagoda has received much attention from locals and tourists.

Tu Hieu Pagoda on Le Ngo Cat Street, six kilometers from downtown Hue, is where the journey of Thich Nhat Hanh to a world renowned apostle of peace began. He became a novice here at the age of 16 and became a monk seven years later after graduating from a Buddhism institute in Hue. After more than half-a-century, the Zen Master returned home on October 26 last year.

The pagoda was originally built by a monk for his mother and the Nguyen royal family, who lived in the Royal Palace across the Perfume River, helped expand it in 1848. Hue is the seat of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), Vietnam's last royal family. 

Today, following the return of the Zen Master, the quiet pagoda has drawn devout followers drawn by his message of mindful living that has inspired millions across the globe.

Every day, in the warm sunshine, he sits on a wheelchair and was accompanied by monks and nuns for a walk around the pagoda. He left the country in 1966 and lived in Plum Village in southern France for decades, traveling regularly throughout North America and Europe to give lectures on mindfulness and peace. In 2014 he suffered a stroke and was hospitalized in France for four and a half months. He moved to Plum Village in Thailand in 2016.Thich Nhat Hanh is also a poet and peace activist. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1967, and is the author of more than 100 books, including the bestselling The Miracle of Mindfulness.

Every day, in the warm sunshine, the venerated Thich Nhat Hanh is taken around the pagoda on a wheelchair by monks and nuns.

Thich Nhat Hanh left Vietnam in 1966 and lived in Plum Village in southern France for decades, traveling regularly throughout the world to talk about peace and mindfulness, gathering a worldwide following.

In 2014 he suffered a stroke and was hospitalized in France for four and a half months. He moved to Plum Village in Thailand in 2016.

Thich Nhat Hanh is also a prolific author, poet and peace activist. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1967. He has authored more than 100 books, including the bestselling "The Miracle of Mindfulness."

A small house located right of the main hall of the pagoda is the place where the Zen Master has been staying in.

A small house located right to the main hall of the pagoda is today the abode of the Zen Master.

Since the return of the Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, the pagoda has become busier on weekends with many Buddhist prayers flocking with hopes of meeting one of Buddhism’s most influential leaders. 

Since his return, the pagoda has become busier on weekends with many devout Buddhists flocking to the place, hoping to meet one of Buddhism’s most influential leaders.

A moss-covered ancient stupa is the burial place of the monks who helped to build the pagoda. The temple also has a separate tomb area for eunuchs of the Nguyen Dynasty, the last ruling family (1802-1945), who used to contribute money to build the pagoda.

A moss-covered ancient stupa is the burial place of the monks who helped to build the pagoda centuries ago. The temple also has a separate tomb area for eunuchs of the Nguyen Dynasty, who contributed money to build the pagoda.

Tu Hieu Pagodas campus is full of green trees and boats a quiet atmosphere, suitable for those who want to meditate.

The Tu Hieu Pagoda premises are lush with trees and plants, and has a serenity that is ideal for meditation.

Two girls wearing red ao dai (traditional Vietnamese long dress) pose for a shot inside the pagoda.

Two girls wearing ao dai (traditional Vietnamese long dress) have their picture at a pond in the pagoda.

It has become a popular destination for visitors in Hue and a spiritual site for Buddhist devotees to pray during the full moon of each month and major festivals.

The pagoda has been a sacred site that draws devout Buddhists who pray there on auspicious days every month as also during major festivals.

 
 
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