Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh Suffers Brain Hemorrhage

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Image: French-based Buddhist zen master Thich Nhat Hanh gestures during his arrival at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok
French-based Buddhist zen master Thich Nhat Hanh on his arrival at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok on Oct. 11, 2010. Chaiwat Subprasom / Reuters file

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Prominent Buddhist leader and Vietnam War opponent, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, has suffered a severe brain hemorrhage, a monastery he founded says, and is being treated at a hospital in western France.

Nhat Hanh, who rose to renown in the 1960s as an opponent of the Vietnam War, experienced the hemorrhage on Tuesday. He had already been admitted to a hospital in Bordeaux on Nov. 1 for his "fragile" health and was receiving around-the-clock care there, Plum Village said Wednesday in a statement.

"At present, Thay is still very responsive and shows every indication of being aware of the presence of those around him. He is able to move his feet, hands and eyes. There are signs that a full recovery may be possible," the statement continued.

During the Vietnam-War era, Nhat Hanh, now 88, traveled to the U.S. — where he met Martin Luther King, Jr. — and Europe, urging an end to hostilities and calling for peace. He was then forced into exile for 39 years by Vietnamese officials in the north and the south, Plum Village said.

Nhat Hanh founded the Engaged Buddhism movement, has an international following and has authored many books.

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— Miranda Leitsinger

Material from Reuters was used in this report.

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