“Thay’s health is still very variable, with times when he is weak and other times when he is stronger. Although his spirit remains bright and strong, in the last month or so, Thay’s body has been notably weaker and he has lost his appetite.”
Thich Nhat Hanh returned to his homeland in October 2018 from Thailand, where he had been convalescing since late December 2016, following a severe stroke in 2014. The celebrated Zen master said in a letter to his disciples at the time that he had decided to live the remainder of his life at his root monastery, Tu Hieu Temple, in the central Vietnamese city of Hue, where he was ordained as a novice monk at the age of 16.
Plum Village said that since retiring to Tu Hieu, Thay had been able to spend time visiting the temple grounds and joining the monastic community there for walking meditation, attending ceremonies and festivals, and interacting with visiting students and well-wishers from all over the world. Since the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tu Hieu has been closed to the public, with precautions in place to protect the health of the celebrated Dharma teacher.
“As Thay’s disciples, we are responsible for ensuring [that] Thay has every support he needs for body and spirit, and ensuring that all provisions for his care are adapted to the current COVID situation,” said Plum Village. “At present, there is a quarantine in place before anyone can enter Vietnam, and another quarantine upon arrival in Hue. Since many of Thay’s senior disciples have been serving and teaching in other countries over the last two years, it is our wish that some of those close to him can be present with Thay for his upcoming birthday on 11 October. We are grateful that they have been given permission to enter the country during the pandemic.”
(sources: www.plumvillage.org and www.buddhistdoor.net)