Internationally renowned Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh has been discharged from a hospital in France recently after four and a half months of stroke treatment and rehabilitation.
Hanh, 88, returned to his monastic community at Plum Village in southern France on April 3, according to a post on his website, plumvillage.org.
In the last few weeks, Hanh has been able to “enjoy going outside”, “sitting under a tree”, “listening to birdsong”, and “drinking a cup of tea” at the University Hospital in Bordeaux, the Plum Village’s monks and nuns said in the post.
“A team of monastic attendants are continuing to support him and care for him 24 hours a day, under the guidance of visiting doctors and nurses,” reads the post.
The monks and nuns said they hope he will have "favorable conditions to treat his hemiparesis and make progress in swallowing and recovering his speech,” with the support of on-site physical therapy and speech therapy.
Hanh was hospitalized in early November after experiencing a severe brain hemorrhage. Two months later, he was transferred to the rehabilitation clinic at the hospital after emerging from his coma.
Hanh has lived at Plum Village for decades, traveling regularly throughout North America and Europe to offer lectures on mindfulness and peace.
His key teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present moment -- the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world.
Remarkably, Hanh does not ask his Western followers to abandon their religion.
He has returned to Vietnam three times -- in 2005, 2007 and 2008 -- to meet with Buddhist followers and offer prayer requiems for the war dead.