Thich Nhat Hanh’s Health (Updated)

On 11th November 2014, a month after his 89th birthday, our dear Teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, suffered a severe brain hemorrhage (stroke).

We are grateful to our global spiritual family for sending so much loving energy and support. Thay’s journey of recovery will be long, and we thank you for continuing to send him your prayers and energy of compassion and healing.

Here are the official updates from the Plum Village community reporting Thay’s progress…


13th December 2014: Announcing that Thay is still in a coma, steadily emerging to more wakefulness

30th November 2014: Announcing that Thay’s condition stabilizes and the doctors begin planning medium-term care

22nd November 2014: Announcing that Thay remains in intensive care

15th November 2014: Announcing that Thay is moved to a specialist unit in Bordeaux

12th November 2014: Announcing that our Beloved Teacher has suffered a severe brain hemorrhage (stroke).


24th December 2015: Announcing that Thay is making slow and steady progress in terms of recovering physical strength and movement, but is still unable to speak

8th September 2015: Announcing that Thay is receiving a full rehabilitation program in San Francisco. Although recovery remains very challenging, he has been able to say a few words

14th July 2015: Announcing that Thay has requested to intensify his rehabilitation program, and has been transferred to the USA, to receive treatment at UCSF Medical Center, California

28th June 2015: Announcing that Thay is able to eat, to vocalise and sing, and has begun to take his first steps walking

6th April 2015: Announcing that Thay has returned to his Hermitage at Plum Village, where he continues his recovery in the peaceful, natural environment of his spiritual home

19th February 2015: Announcing that Thay has moved to a specialist stroke clinic, to begin his program of rehabilitation, focussing on physical therapy and speech therapy

3rd January 2015: Announcing that Thay is no longer in a coma and is responsive to those around him



17th December 2016: Announcing that Thay was was strong enough to travel to Thailand, to rest and restore his health near the beautiful mountains of the Khao Yai National Park, and surrounded by the practice energy of his students

8th January 2016: Announcing that Thay has decided to return to Plum Village to be with his spiritual community after six months of steady progress in San Francisco



29th August 2017: Announcing that Thay made his first visit to Vietnam since 2008.



June 18th, 2018.

Sister Chan Khong brings us up to date on Thich Nhat Hanh’s health..

Following his stroke three years ago, Thich Nhat Hanh is now resting and recovering at Plum Village in Thailand. How is he doing?

He cannot stand up on his feet yet, but he is stronger and stronger every day. He has started to say a few words, although not very clearly. Sometimes we sing songs like, “I have arrived, I am home in the here and now,” and he’ll say “here,” “now,” and so on. He is making good progress, but it is slow.

I had the honor to visit Thay when he was being treated in San Francisco. He was in a wheelchair and didn’t speak, but it was clear he was as sharp, present, and engaged as ever. You were with him in San Francisco then, and you told me how close he had come to death.

Thich Nhat Hanh already had serious health problems for many years—with his lungs and his digestive system—before he had the stroke. When he had the stroke, the neurologists said he would not live more than one day. I think it was a miracle that he survived.

Yes. You told me that you believe the prayers and good wishes of people around the world—students and non-students, Buddhists and people of other faiths—made the difference.

When he was still alive after three days, they moved him to the best neurological hospital in that part of France. Then the press mistakenly reported that Thich Nhat Hanh had died. Andrea Miller from Lion’s Roar called me and asked if it was true. I said, “No, my master is still alive.” She said, “Can we announce that he is still alive?” and I said, “Of course, please.”

After that, millions of people sent the energy of healing and love from their hearts to him. Then the neurologist discovered that the fluid in Thay’s brain had reduced quite a lot. He said, “I cannot understand why that happened, but now I can guarantee you he will live.


November 2018

Thay has requested to spend his remaining days at home in Vietnam.




Root temple in Huế, Vietnam. 2nd February, 2019

A charming old peach tree, already showing its first delicate pink blossoms, has been planted in front of Thay’s window for him to enjoy as he sips his tea.

Thay viewing a book of paintings last Wednesday, 30 January 2019 (the peach tree in blossom is reflected in his window)

Despite the cool and rainy weather, Thay’s health has been remarkably stable over the past few weeks, and he is continuing to receive Eastern treatment and acupuncture. When there’s a break in the heavy rains, Thay comes outside to enjoy visiting the Root Temple’s ponds and stupas, in his wheelchair, joined by his disciples. Although his body is frail, Thay’s mind is still very lucid. 



Yesterday, (April 20th, 2019) Senator Leahy and the US Ambassador led a delegation of nine senators to visit the riot temple, Tu Hieu in Hue, to pay their respects to Thay. The delegation is currently on an official trip to Vietnam, supporting the US – Vietnam partnership programs for peace and reconciliation, including toxin clean up from agent orange, led by USAID.

Thay was strong and in good health, and was able to spend over an hour with the delegation. #repost @thichnhathanh_foundation  #worldpeace #peace #thay #mindfulnessinpolitics #thichnhathanh #repost #multipost #thichnhathanhquotecollective



January 4, 2020

Dear Beloved Community,

The sangha is very happy to announce that today, January 4th, Thay will fly back to Vietnam, and return to Từ Hiếu Root Temple in Huế, after spending five weeks in Thailand for medical check-ups. Thay is doing well, has recovered his appetite, and remains strong in spirit. 

While at Thai Plum Village, near Khao Yai National Park, Thay enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere of the practice center, and was able to attend the ordination ceremony for fourteen new young monks and nuns in his community. Thay is looking forward to seeing the completed renovation works of the new Shrine Hall at Từ Hiếu Temple, and returns to his homeland in time for the Lunar New Year celebrations later this month.