Thich Nhat Hanh
Chronology of Events

 1926

  • Thich Nhat Hanh is born.

1938

  • Sister Chan Khong is born.

1942

  • Thich Nhat Hanh enters the Tu Hieu Temple Monastery near Hue in Central Vietnam, ordained as a novice.

1949

  • Thich Nhat Hanh is ordained as a Buddhist monk.

1954

  • After a century of colonial rule by the French and years of war between the French and Ho Chi Minh’s Communist forces, the Geneva Peace Accords are signed, temporarily dividing Vietnam. Tensions continue to mount between the North and the South.

1955

  • Thich Nhat Hanh establishes the Phuong Boi (Fragrant Palm Leaves) Meditation Center in the highlands of Vietnam.

1960

  • Thich Nhat Hanh establishes the Buddhist Student Union in South Vietnam.

1961

  • Thich Nhat Hanh studies and teaches at Columbia and Princeton Universities.

1963

  • Buddhist monks in South Vietnam self-immolate in protest at raids on Buddhist temples by the South Vietnamese government.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh returns to Vietnam.
  • Sister Chan Khong goes to Paris to complete her degree in biology.

1964

  • Thich Nhat Hanh establishes Van Hanh University in South Vietnam and founds La Boi Press with Thich Thanh Tue and Thich Tu Man.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh founds the Hungry Children Project.

1965

  • United States President Lyndon B. Johnson sends the first combat troops to Vietnam.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh writes a letter to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. urging him to publicly oppose the Vietnam War.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh establishes the School for Youth and Social Service, a grassroots relief organization that trains 10,000 young volunteers in Buddhist principles of non-violence and compassionate action.
  • Sister Chan Khong returns to Vietnam to work with the School for Youth and Social Service.

1966

  • Sister Chan Khong is named operations director of the School for Youth and Social Service, which continues to work despite the harassment and murder of many of its members.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh establishes the Order of Interbeing.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh publishes “Lotus in a Sea of Fire: A Buddhist Proposal for Peace,” with a foreword by Catholic Trappist monk and writer, Thomas Merton.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh tours the United States with Alfred Hassler to raise awareness about the impact of the war on the Vietnamese people, and meets with influential leaders, including Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh holds a press conference in Washington, D.C., releasing a Five-Point Peace Proposal to the United States government. On the same day, he is declared a traitor to South Vietnam.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh is received by His Holiness, Pope Paul VI in Rome.
  • The School for Youth and Social Service is renounced by the Dean of Van Hanh University.

 

1967

  • Thich Nhat Hanh is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who writes in his nominating letter, “I do not personally know of anyone more worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize than this gentle Buddhist monk from Vietnam.”
  • Thich Nhat Hanh is exiled from Vietnam and gains asylum in France.
  • Nhat Chi Mai, one of the first six Order of Interbeing members, immolates herself for peace.

1968

  • Around the United States, hundreds of thousands of people protest their government’s intervention in Vietnam.
  • In late January, North Vietnam and the National Liberation Front launch coordinated attacks, known as the Tet Offensive, against the major southern cities.

1969

  • Sister Chan Khong joins Thich Nhat Hanh in France to assist with the Buddhist Peace Delegation; she is considered an enemy of the Vietnamese government and is exiled.

1970

  • Thich Nhat Hanh, Alfred Hassler, and others from around the world, initiate the Dai Dong (Great Togetherness) Project with a view to protecting the planet.

1973

  • The Paris Peace Accords are signed, ending open hostilities between the United States and North Vietnam. Thich Nhat Hanh is not allowed re-entry into Vietnam.

1975

  • Communist forces capture Saigon, ending the war.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh establishes Sweet Potato Hermitage outside of Paris, France.

1976-77

  • Thich Nhat Hanh conducts an operation to rescue boat people in the Gulf of Siam, but hostility from the governments of Thailand and Singapore make it impossible to continue. So for the following five years, he stayed at Sweet Potato in retreat – meditating, reading, writing, binding books, and gardening.

1982

  • Thich Nhat Hanh establishes Plum Village in southern France.

1985

  • Thich Nhat Hanh and Arnie Kolter found Parallax Press.

1988

  • Sister Chan Khong is ordained as a nun by Thich Nhat Hanh.

1991

  • Thich Nhat Hanh is awarded the Courage of Conscience award from the Peace Abbey.

1993

  • Thich Nhat Hanh meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, which culminates in the affirmation of “Towards a Global Ethic: An Initial Declaration,” a recognition of the ethical precepts shared by the world’s religious traditions, drafted by Father Hans Küng.

1996

  • On Thich Nhat Hanh’s second visit to India, he meets with K.R. Narayanan (then Vice- President of India, soon-to-be President of India), as a result of which the Indian Parliament sets up an Ethics Committee.

1997

  • Thich Nhat Hanh founds Green Mountain Dharma Center and Maple Forest Monastery in Vermont.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh visits Israel.

1998

•    Thich Nhat Hanh collaborates with Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in their appeal to the United Nations on behalf the children of the world to declare 2000-2010 The Decade For a Culture Of Non-Violence.

2000

  • Thich Nhat Hanh addresses the White House World Summit Conference on HIV/AIDS.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh establishes Deer Park Monastery in California.

2001

  • Thich Nhat Hanh fasts for peace and to remember those who died in the September 11 attacks.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh speaks at Riverside Church in New York City, urging everyone to think before reacting to the events of September 11 and to look for a peaceful resolution.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh receives honorary doctorate degrees from Long Island University, Boston.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh receives the first Mind/Body/Spirit Award from The Mind/Body Medical Institute, at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School.

2003

  • Thich Nhat Hanh addresses political leaders at the United States Library of Congress at a Congressional Retreat in Washington, D.C.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh receives honorary doctorate degrees from Loyola University, Chicago.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh introduces the Plum Village revised Buddhist monastic code, the first of very few in the world, during his visit to Korea.
  • “Thich Nhat Hanh introduces the Plum Village revised Buddhist monastic code, one of the first revised Buddhist monastic codes in the world, during his visit to Korea.”
  • The Thich Nhat Hanh international book archive is founded in Plum Village, France, housing thousands of Thich Nhat Hanh book titles in many different languages.

2005

  • Thich Nhat Hanh returns to Vietnam for the first time in almost 40 years, to visit Buddhist temples, teach, and publish a limited number of his books in Vietnamese.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh re-establishes two temples (Tu Hieu Temple and Bat Nha Monastery) in Vietnam

2006

  • Thich Nhat Hanh addresses UNESCO in Paris, calling for specific steps to reverse the cycle of violence, war, and global warming.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh is listed as one of the Sixty Heroes of Asia, along with Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, and Aung San Suu Kyi in TIME Magazine (Asia edition).

2007

  • Thich Nhat Hanh leads three Grand Requiem Ceremonies in the three major cities of Vietnam for peace, forgiveness, and equality for those who died in the Vietnam War.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh establishes Blue Cliff Monastery in New York.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village international practice communities commit to practicing veganism (to replace their vegetarian practice) to help protect Mother Earth.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh receives the Doshi Family Bridgebuilder Award from Loyola Marymount University of California.

2008

  • Thich Nhat Hanh initiates the Wake Up Movement, an international movement for young people to come together to practice mindfulness and to develop communities for a healthy and compassionate society.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh creates the European Institute of Applied Buddhism (EIAB) in Germany.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh addresses the Parliament of India on “Leading with Courage and Compassion” attended by many political leaders and dignitaries, including Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and Mrs. Tara Bhattacharya (granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi).
  • Thich Nhat Hanh receives honorary doctorate degrees from Nalanda University in India.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh addresses Italian Television to express his support for the Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet during the struggle between Tibet and China.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh is the keynote speaker for the United Nations Wesak Celebration in Hanoi.

2009

  • A massive crackdown is carried out by the Vietnamese authorities on a group of Buddhist monks and nuns at Thich Nhat Hanh’s Bat Nha Monastery in Vietnam.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh addresses the World Parliament of Religions in Melbourne, Australia via video-link.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh establishes Magnolia Grove Monastery in Mississippi.

2010

  • Thich Nhat Hanh’s first calligraphy exhibition, Calligraphic Meditation: The Mindful Art of Thich Nhat Hanh, opens at the University Museum and Art Gallery of the University of Hong Kong, curated by Eve Yuen and the European Institute of Applied Buddhism.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh launches an Applied Ethics program, training teachers to teach mindfulness in schools across the world.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh receives honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

2011

  • Thich Nhat Hanh addresses political leaders in Washington, D.C. on “Leading with Clarity, Compassion and Courage.”
  • Thich Nhat Hanh addresses Google staff at Google headquarters in California on the topic of mindful consumption.
  • The City of Oakland, California, erects a massive bronze sculpture of Thich Nhat Hanh in the city’s center as one of twenty-five Champions of Humanity featured in the monument “Remember Them.”
  • Thich Nhat Hanh establishes the Asian Institute of Applied Buddhism in Hong Kong.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh’s calligraphies are exhibited with the Chinese Calligraphy Works of Master Sheng Shen at the Dharma Drum Mountain’s World Center for Buddhist Education in New Taipai City.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh’s calligraphies are exhibited at the Asian Centre Auditorium, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

2012

  • Thich Nhat Hanh addresses the United Kingdom Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh and the monks and nuns of Plum Village hold a flash mob sitting meditation, “Sit in Peace,” in Trafalgar Square, London, attended by 4,000 people.
  • Calligraphic Meditation: The Mindful Art of Thich Nhat Hanh is shown at Son Ha Temple, Plum Village, France, as part of the 30-year anniversary celebrations.

2013

  • Thich Nhat Hanh establishes Thai Plum Village monastery in Khao Yai, Thailand.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh’s calligraphies are exhibited at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) in Bangkok, Thailand.
  • The exhibit Calligraphic Meditation: The Mindful Art of Thich Nhat Hanh makes its United States debut at ABC Home in New York City.

 

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