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Zen master, peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh dead at 95

Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, a Zen master, author and peace activist from Vietnam, has died at age 95, Reuters reports.

Thich Nhat Hanh became well-known due to his opposition to the Vietnam War, according to the wire service. Martin Luther King Jr., who Thich Nhat Hanh persuaded to speak out against the war, called the monk “an apostle of peace and non-violence” and nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967.

“I do not personally know of anyone more worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize than this gentle Buddhist monk from Vietnam,” King said, per Reuters. The prize was not awarded to anyone that year.

Thich Nhat Hanh’s official Twitter account announced his death on Friday.

“The International Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism announces that our beloved teacher Thich Nhat Hanh passed away peacefully at Tu Hieu Temple in Hue, Vietnam, at 00:00hrs on 22nd January, 2022, at the age of 95,” the account tweeted.

Consul General Marie C. Damour of the U.S. Mission to Vietnam praised Thich Nhat Hanh in a statement following his death.

“Thich Nhat Hanh will be remembered as arguably one of the most influential and prominent religious leaders in the world,” Damour said, per Reuters.

Thich Nhat Hanh led a movement of Buddhism in the West, lecturing at American universities such as Princeton and Columbia and founding a monastery in France, according to the wire service.

Thich Nhat Hanh’s teaching focused on mindfulness and the Buddhist tradition of distancing oneself from one’s thoughts, per Reuters.

“The art of happiness and the art of suffering always go together,” he said in a 2013 lecture.

Thich Nhat Hanh spent most of his life in exile, but returned to Vietnam after experiencing a stroke in 2014.

His funeral will take place over the span of a week at the Tu Hieu Temple in Hue, Vietnam, according to Reuters.

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