Thich Nhat Hanh (pronounced pronounced Tick-Naught-Han) is not only one of the most famous Zen masters currently living, he is also venerated the world over for his poetry, and fervent peace activism. Born in 1926 in Vietnam, Hanh felt his calling early and left home at the age of 16 to become a Buddhist Monk.
Later while teaching in the United States for a time, Hanh was called back to Vietnam by his monk-collegues due to the growing conflict in Southeast Asia. It was during the early 1960's that Hanh came to the attention of the world stage for his tireless efforts toward peace in that area of the world. This activism, based on an idealogy of pacifism, earned Hanh the attention of none other than Martin Luther King Jr, who nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967.
As a Vietnamese exile since the fall of Saigon in 1975, Hanh has traveled the world with his message of mindful peace. He founded the Plum Village Buddhist center in 1982, a community that has become world renowned in its own right. Seminars and lectures given at this retreat in Southern France have formed the basis of many of Hanh's audio programs and have led to the author's many best-selling books.
Hanh has become a leading voice in the propogation of "Engaged Buddhism" a spiritual path that seeks to engage with other societies, races and religions in order to relieve the world's suffering through co-existence. Currently Hanh leads the Order of Inter-Being, which teaches the fourteen Mindfulness Trainings in Engaged Buddhism and has many books on CD and Cassette that deal with various aspects of buddhism, peace studies and meditation.
There are severa Audio Books by Hanh available for the beginner. To start with, you may want to try The Art of Mindful Living. This audio seminar, recorded live, allows Hanh the opportunity to address how traditional Buddhist teachings can be applied in the modern world, and offers step by step instructional guides for meditation, proper breathing, communication and other techniques that will allow you to open your heart.
Next we suggest trying The Ultimate Dimension an audio book in which the Zen Master describes the two realities each human being lives in: the "historical dimension" which deal with the finites of space, time and form and the "ultimate dimension" which exists beyond the material; a place of liberation, peace and joy.
Finally there's the more autobiographical Call Me by My True Names. With this recording Hanh explores his personal history, shares his poetry, and pushes forward his dream of an international community informed by mindfulness and peace. This is Hanh in conversation talking about his childhood, his spiritual journey, and the activism that has lead to his ideal of Engaged Buddhism.