Thich Nhat Hanh Leads New York City Peace Walk with More Than 1,600
RHINEBECK, NY – Omega Institute hosted renowned author and spiritual teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the most influential Buddhist leaders in the world, at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, Friday, October 9, and Saturday, October 10, 2009. The theme, “Building a Peaceful and Compassionate Society,” is an urgent message for a world filled with persistent violent conflict and human threat to the survival of the Earth. Today Thich Nhat Hanh led more than 1,600 people in a Mindfulness Walk to demonstrate that we make peace with “every step.”
Thich Nhat Hanh has been working to promote peace since the Vietnam War, when he persuaded Martin Luther King, Jr., to publically oppose the war, which helped galvanize the peace movement. Dr. King nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967.
“Omega shares Thich Nhat Hanh’s vision and commitment to creating a more compassionate global community that recognizes the interconnectedness of all,” said Robet C. Backus, Chief Executive Officer of Omega. “He helps us understand that every person has a responsibility to end the suffering of others, and to do the hard and deeply personal work of living in a nonviolent way,” said Backus.
The New York Times has written, “Among Buddhist leaders influential in the West, Thich Nhat Hanh ranks second only to the Dalai Lama.” He has published more than 100 books, including Peace Is Every Step, Being Peace, Touching Peace, Living Buddha Living Christ, Teachings on Love, and Anger.
About Thich Nhat Hanh
Thich Nhat Hanh has addressed audiences at the White House World Summit Conference on HIV and AIDS, The Gorbachev World Forum, and the World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland. He has led retreats on mindful living for Vietnam veterans, prison inmates, ecologists, businessmen, police officers and members of Congress. Just a few days after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, Thich Nhat Hanh preached nonviolence and forgiveness in a memorable speech at Riverside Church in New York City.
Born in Vietnam in 1926, Thich Nhat Hanh became a monk at the age of sixteen. The Vietnam War forced the monks to confront the question of whether to remain meditating in the monasteries or help the villagers suffering under bombings and other devastations of war. Thich Nhat Hanh chose to do both, helping found the “engaged Buddhism” movement.
After visiting the United States and Europe in 1966 on a peace mission, he was banned from returning to Vietnam. On subsequent travels to the United States, he made the case for peace to federal officials. He persuaded Martin Luther King Jr. to publically oppose the Vietnam War, which helped galvanize the peace movement. In 1967, King nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1969, Thich Nhat Hanh founded the Unified Buddhist Church, usually referred to as the Plum Village Sangha, in France where he now resides. His U.S. teaching tour this year also includes events at his branch monasteries in California (Deer Park) and New York (Blue Cliff). Blue Cliff, a mere 90 miles outside NYC in the Catskill Mountains, holds ongoing retreats, and is open year-round to guests.
About Omega Institute for Holistic Studies
Founded in 1977, Omega Institute for Holistic Studies is the nation’s most trusted source for wellness and personal growth. As a nonprofit organization, Omega offers diverse and innovative educational experiences that inspire an integrated approach to personal and social change. Located on 195 acres in the beautiful Hudson Valley, Omega welcomes more than 23,000 people to its workshops, conferences, and retreats in Rhinebeck, New York and at exceptional locations around the world. eOmega.org