Plum Village releases documentary on Thich Nhat Hanh – Buddhistdoor Global


The Plum Village International Sangha has released a new documentary about the life of revered teacher and committed Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh (affectionately nicknamed Thay). Shared in response to the war and the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, A cloud never diesdocuments the life and impact of the famous Zen master and is accompanied by an open letter calling for peace and an immediate ceasefire.

“As a ‘spiritual continuation’ of Thay and in response to the war and the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. . . Plum Village International Community launches A cloud never dies, a moving documentary about Thay’s life, as well as a letter from his leading monks calling on all parties to stop the killings in Ukraine,” the sangha announced on April 2. (Plum Village)

A cloud never dies seeks to offer an intimate insight into Thay’s legacy as a Buddhist practitioner, author, poet, peace activist and global spiritual leader, whose teachings on mindfulness, global ethics and peace have had and continue to have an immeasurable impact that spans the globe.


“Throughout his life, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. . . was a tireless advocate for peace and human rights,” said Plum Village. “Some of its most profound teachings, ideas and practices were forged during the Vietnam Wars.” (Plum Village)

Narrated by actor Peter Coyote, A cloud never dies is the result of a collaboration that involved monastic historians and members of the Plum Village community working with filmmakers Max Pugh and Marc J. Francis.

A cloud never dies is not only intended to inform viewers. We hope it also inspires you to take action, in line with Thay’s teachings on Engaged Buddhism,” Plum Village noted. “After watching this film and reading the letter on Ukraine, you may ask yourself: what can I do to be a continuation of Thay and an instrument of peace? (Plum Village)

Plum Village too offers suggestions for practitioners to consider as their next steps toward peace, including book talks, peace walks, writing love letters, and engaging in righteous action.

The accompanying open letter to Plum Village on the Ukraine crisis – signed by Thay’s lifelong collaborator in the Dharma, Sister Chan Khong, and senior disciple Thich Chan Phap An – begins:

Dear human family,

As we watch the tragedy of war continue to unfold daily in Ukraine, we open our hearts to the suffering of young and old alike. As an international community of Buddhism committed to the plum village tradition, we watch the war with pain and concern.

In our Buddhist community, every Christmas we listen with great joy to the sound of Russian church bells and we open our hearts to the rich spiritual heritage of Russia and Europe. Our master, the venerable Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh, said: “A bell is still a bell; whether Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox or Buddhist, it is always a bell. By listening to the bell, whatever our cultural or religious roots, we can have a profound encounter where we touch on peace and a shared spiritual dimension. We all yearn for peace. We all need peace.

Our community’s own roots lie in the tradition of committed Buddhism in Vietnam, where more than three million people died in a war that lasted nearly 20 years and some two million fled as refugees. We know from our teacher that war is never a solution. It only leads to division and hatred that can last for generations.

Read the full text of the open letter here


Born Nguyen Dinh Lang on October 11, 1926 in Hue, central Vietnam, and ordained at the age of 16, Thay achieved worldwide recognition for teaching the practice of mindfulness in the West and for spreading the philosophy and the practice of committed Buddhism, based on the concept of interbeing. In a life dedicated to working for peace, the revered master succeeded in distilling Buddhist teachings on compassion and the cessation of suffering for new generations of Buddhist practitioners. After suffering a severe stroke in 2014, Thay returned to Vietnam in 2018 to live out his final days at his root temple, of which he remained abbot, having spent most of his adult life in exile. .

There is no way to peace; peace is the way.

Thich Nhat Hanh

See more

Plum Village
A cloud never dies (Plum Village)
An open letter calling for peace (Plum Village)
Biographical documentary “A Cloud Never Dies” of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh narrated by Peter Coyote (Youtube)

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