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Inspiring Lives # 2: Thich Nhat Hanh

Inspirational Trait: Innocence (Beginner’s mind).

Thich Nhat Hanh is a zen master from Vietnam.  A wise man.  A gifted writer, in prose and poetry.  A peacemaker, nominated for the nobel prize by Martin Luther King.

Known as “Thay” (which means teacher in Vietnamese) to his followers and friends, his creations are

manifold.  They include: a Buddhist University; a publishing house; an influential peace activist magazine in Vietnam; more than 85 books of poems and prose; and Plum Village, his world famous Buddhist community in France, where he continues his work to alleviate the suffering of refugees, boat people, political prisoners and hungry families in Vietnam and throughout the Third World.

The spirit that keeps this man, now in his seventies, still writing and teaching and contributing so creatively is revealed in this recent letter, addressed to the management at Kentucky Fried Chicken.  There is something almost  childlike about this appeal, its concern for the chickens and the open-hearted honesty of its tone: 

www.plumvillage.org/HTML/news/Thay%20letter.JPG

The pulse of any creation, says renowned creativity teacher Julia Cameron, is the question HOW: Honesty, Openness, Willingness. 

In developing these qualities, we can learn much from teacher Thay’s letter to Kentucky Fried Chicken.

 

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