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Thousands gather for funeral of influential monk Thich Nhat Hanh in Vietnam

Nhat Hanh was globally recognised for helping spread the practice of mindfulness in the West and socially engaged Buddhism in the East.

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The coffin of Thich Nhat Hanh is carried through the street during his funeral in Hue, Vietnam, on Saturday (AP Photo/Thanh Vo).

The coffin of Thich Nhat Hanh is carried through the street during his funeral in Hue, Vietnam, on Saturday (AP Photo/Thanh Vo).

The coffin of Thich Nhat Hanh is carried through the street during his funeral in Hue, Vietnam, on Saturday (AP Photo/Thanh Vo).

A funeral has been held for the Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh a week after the renowned Zen master died at the age of 95.

Thousands of monks and disciples trailed a procession of pallbearers carrying Nhat Hanh’s coffin from Tu Hieu Pagoda, where he spent his last days, to the cremation site. Others kneeled and clasped their hands in prayer on the roadside and bowed to the ground as the casket went past.

Nhat Hanh, known as Thay to his followers, was globally recognised for helping spread the practice of mindfulness in the West and socially engaged Buddhism in the East.

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Monks and Thich Nhat Hanh followers pray during the funeral of the Vietnamese Buddhist monk in Hue, Vietnam Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022. A funeral was held Saturday for Thich Nhat Hanh, a week after the renowned Zen master died at the age of 95 in Hue in central Vietnam. (AP Photo/Thanh Vo)

Monks and Thich Nhat Hanh followers pray during the funeral of the Vietnamese Buddhist monk in Hue, Vietnam Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022. A funeral was held Saturday for Thich Nhat Hanh, a week after the renowned Zen master died at the age of 95 in Hue in central Vietnam. (AP Photo/Thanh Vo)

AP

Monks and Thich Nhat Hanh followers pray during the funeral of the Vietnamese Buddhist monk in Hue, Vietnam Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022. A funeral was held Saturday for Thich Nhat Hanh, a week after the renowned Zen master died at the age of 95 in Hue in central Vietnam. (AP Photo/Thanh Vo)

Born Nguyen Dinh Lang in 1926 in Hue, central Vietnam, and ordained at the age of 16, Nhat Hanh distilled Buddhist teachings on compassion and suffering into easily grasped guidance over a lifetime dedicated to working for peace.

He founded the Plum Village Tradition, a practice of the art of mindful living, and gained a significant number of followers worldwide.

During the seven-day wake, Nhat Hanh was laid in state in Tu Hieu Pagoda’s full moon reception hall, where his disciples came to pay respect in silence and practice meditation as a tribute to his teachings.

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Pallbearers lift up the coffin of Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh during his funeral in Hue, Vietnam Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022. A funeral was held Saturday for Thich Nhat Hanh, a week after the renowned Zen master died at the age of 95 in Hue in central Vietnam. (AP Photo/Thanh Vo)

Pallbearers lift up the coffin of Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh during his funeral in Hue, Vietnam Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022. A funeral was held Saturday for Thich Nhat Hanh, a week after the renowned Zen master died at the age of 95 in Hue in central Vietnam. (AP Photo/Thanh Vo)

AP

Pallbearers lift up the coffin of Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh during his funeral in Hue, Vietnam Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022. A funeral was held Saturday for Thich Nhat Hanh, a week after the renowned Zen master died at the age of 95 in Hue in central Vietnam. (AP Photo/Thanh Vo)

Do Minh Hieu, a follower of Nhat Hanh’s who travelled from Ho Chi Minh City with his family for the funeral, told AP: “I am happy and feel at peace that I could come to Hue to say farewell and meditate with ‘Su Ong’ for the last time.”

“Su Ong” is an affectionate Vietnamese term meaning “Grandpa Monk”.

According to his wishes, Nhat Hanh will be cremated and his ashes will be scattered at Plum Village centres and monasteries around the world.


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