A burial was held Saturday for the Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, who passed away a week ago in Hue, central Vietnam, at the age of 95.
Thousands of monks and disciples followed a procession of pallbearers transporting Nhat Hanh’s coffin from Tu Hieu Pagoda, where he spent his final days, to the cremation site. Others on the highway kneeled and clasped their hands in prayer, bowing to the earth as the casket passed.
Nhat Hanh was widely credited for popularising mindfulness and socially active Buddhism, particularly in the West. He spent the majority of his life in exile in Plum Village, a retreat facility he built in southern France.
Nhat Hanh, who was born Nguyen Dinh Lang in Hue in 1926 and ordained at the age of 16, refined Buddhist teachings on compassion and suffering into simply understood counsel over a lifetime dedicated to fighting for peace.
During his anti-Vietnam War campaign in the 1960s, he was forbidden from returning to both North and South Vietnam. He was only permitted to return to the country in 2005, when the communist-ruled administration welcomed him back for the first of multiple visits.
After suffering a stroke in 2014 that rendered him mute, Nhat Hanh came home in October 2018, spending his final years at the Tu Hieu Pagoda.