I remember when I first learned about Thich Nhat Hanh. I was taking a workshop at Green Gulch Zen Center, and while walking to lunch someone mentioned I might be interested in his books. He has been my example when I step into self-righteousness. He works with Vietnam vets. He works to heal what was destroyed in his country and ours in the Vietnam War. He works for peace.
from Writer's Almanac today:
It's the birthday of Vietnamese monk, writer, and activist Thich Nhat Hanh, (books by this author) born in 1926 in Tha Tien, Vietnam. He became a Buddhist monk when he was 16 years old. During the Vietnam War, he decided that monks shouldn't just stay in monasteries and meditate all day long while a war was going on. So he founded an organization that helped rebuild bombed villages, set up schools and medical centers, and organize agricultural cooperatives. He traveled to the United States to urge the American government to withdraw its troops, and he persuaded Martin Luther King Jr. to publicly oppose the Vietnam War. But both the non-Communist and Communist governments banned him from Vietnam in 1966, and it was just a few years ago, in 2005, that he was finally allowed to return for a visit. Since he was banned from Vietnam, he set up a monastic community in southern France, called Plum Village.
Thich Nhat Hanh has published more than 100 books, books of poetry and Buddhist thought. About 40 of them are in English, and many of those have been best-sellers, including Peace Is Every Step (1991), Call Me by My True Names (1993), and Living Buddha, Living Christ (1995).