A day after Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh suffered a brain hemorrhage, his religious community said a “full recovery may be possible.” News of the Buddhist leader’s hospitalization, which was announced Wednesday but went viral Thursday, triggered a massive social media response with followers and fans wishing the 88-year-old, known as Thay to his followers, a speedy recovery.
“At present, Thay is still very responsive and shows every indication of being aware of the presence of those around him. He is able to move his feet, hands and eyes,” according to a statement made by teachers at Plum Village, the Buddhist meditation center in the south of France that Hanh cofounded in 1975.
The group said Hanh, in intensive care in Bordeaux, France, has been ill for several months “due to his advanced age.” The 88-year-old was hospitalized Nov. 1 and had been recovering steadily until he suffered the brain hemorrhage Tuesday. Plum Village has asked followers to send healing and loving energy to Hanh during this time.
Sister Chan Khong, a Buddhist nun who works closely with Hanh, suggested well-wishers can send healing energy by refraining from eating beef, pork, chicken or fish once a week. Hanh, who is a renowned peace activist, is a vegetarian as a way to promote nonviolence towards animals.
Hanh, who has published more than 100 books, is known for his key teaching that through "mindfulness," we can learn to live happily in the present. He helped introduce Buddhism to the West by founding six monasteries and dozens of practice centers in the United States and Europe. His community now has more than 600 monks and nuns worldwide.
So far, social media has responded en masse to news of Hanh’s hospitalization. Many are sharing their favorite quotes, teachings and lessons their teacher has taught them.
Thoughts and prayers with Thich Nhat Hanh. No Death, No Fear is a beautiful book that has helped me in countless ways.
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) November 13, 2014
As we keep @thichnhathanh in our prayers, we practice the spiritual teachings he instilled in us: mindfulness, stability, peace & positivity
— Super Soul Sunday (@SuperSoulSunday) November 13, 2014
Sending love and wellness to the world's dear teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh. pic.twitter.com/RtnS1RTyjm
— Manduka (@mandukayoga) November 13, 2014
Sending love and prayers to Plum Village and Thich Nhat Hanh today <3 http://t.co/4zCBIrNe8e
— Carolyn Gregoire (@carolyn_greg) November 13, 2014
"If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything." - Thich Nhat Hanh
— T. Harv Eker (@T_Harv_Eker) November 13, 2014
A great citizen of the world is ill. Mindful contemplation for Thich Nhat Hanh. http://t.co/0ucY8FFBxy
— Robert Schwoch (@schwochster) November 13, 2014
— ilma (@IlmaGenie) November 13, 2014