I first ran across the name of Thich Nhat Hahn in an airport bookstore. No less than Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. himself nominated Thich for the Nobel Prize in 1967, with the following ringing endorsement:
I do not personally know of anyone more worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize than this gentle Buddhist monk from Vietnam…. He is a holy man, for he is humble and devout. He is a scholar of immense intellectual capacity.
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Anyway, the book was entitled “Going Home: Jesus and Buddha As Brothers.” As someone who believes that Jesus was not the only great spiritual teacher, this intrigued me enough to pick up the book, which is so indescribably peaceful to read that I’m not even going to try to do so here. Suffice to say that since then, I’ve read many of Thich’s books, including True Love and Peace Is Every Step.
Every two years or so, Thich teaches at Magnolia Village in Batesville, Mississippi. In 2009, I was planning to go and learn from him, but unfortunately, he caught pneumonia and was hospitalized. But while I couldn’t make the trip, I ran across this piece by Ryan Croken at Religious Dispatches. Has to do with how we define “toughness.” I hope you enjoy it!