The Order of Interbeing (Vietnamese: Tiếp Hiện, anglicised Tiep Hien, French: Ordre de l'Interêtre) is an international Buddhist community of monks, nuns and laypeople in the Plum Village Tradition founded between 1964[1] and 1966[2] by Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thích Nhất Hạnh.[3][4]

Initially, Nhất Hạnh established the Order of Interbeing from a selection of six board members of the School for Youth and Social Services, three men and three women.[5] The first members were ordained in February 1966 and vowed to study and practice the Fourteen Precepts of Engaged Buddhism.[5] In 1981, Nguyen Anh Huong, a microbiologist and lay meditation teacher, became the seventh member of the Order.[5] As of 2020, the Order of Interbeing had more than one thousand core members.[6]

Tiếp Hiện () is a Sino-Vietnamese term. The term did predate the Order of Interbeing's use in other contexts in Vietnamese, but was and remains uncommon. Tiếp means "being in touch with" and "continuing." Hiện means "realizing" and "making it here and now." The translation "Interbeing" (French: Interêtre) is a word coined by Nhất Hạnh to represent the Buddhist principles of anatta, pratītyasamutpāda, and the Madhyamaka understanding of śūnyatā. The order contains members of the "Fourfold Sangha" (male and female monastics and male and female laypersons) and is guided by the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings.[7][8][9]

Timeline Edit


  • October 11 - Birth of Thich Nhat Hanh (birth name: Nguyễn Xuân Bảo) in Thừa Thiên, Vietnam)





  • Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh is ordained a Buddhist monk



  • Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh Founded the Phuong Boi (Fragrant Palm Leaves) Meditation Center in the highlands of Vietnam


  • Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh named Editor-in-Chief of “Vietnamese Buddhism” the periodical of the Unified Vietnam Buddhist Association


  • Chân Không enrolled at the University of Saigon, studying biology



  • Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh Teaches at Columbia University and Princeton University


  • Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh returns to Vietnam
  • Sister Chân Không goes to Paris, France to complete her degree in biology




  • February 5 – the first members - the "Six Cedars" - are ordained into the Order of Interbeing.[5] Among the six are Chân Không and Nhat Chi Mai. The latter would immolate herself in protest against the war a year later.[10]
  • May 1 - TNH is given the Lamp Transmission at Từ Hiếu Temple from Master Chân Thật, making him a Dharmacharya (Dharma Teacher)
  • Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh returns to the US to lead a symposium at Cornell University
  • Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh speaks to many groups and leaders, including Robert McNamara and Martin Luther King, Jr. urging peace in Vietnam
  • Sister Chân Không is named operations director of the SYSS
  • Control of Van Hanh University is taken over by the Vice Chancellor who severs ties with the SYSS, calling Sister Chân Không a communist
  • The SYSS continues to work despite the harassment and murder of many of its members



  • Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh Leads the Buddhist Peace Delegation
  • Sister Chân Không joins TNH in France to assist with the Buddhist Peace Delegation; she is considered an enemy of the Vietnamese government and exiled as well
  • Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh Establishes the Unified Buddhist Church in France
  • Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh lectures at the Sorbonne in Paris



  • Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh and Chân Không form the Sweet Potatoes Meditation Center in France




  • Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh ordains the first North American members of the Order of Interbeing at Camp les Sommets Camp (Eastern Townships, Quebec, Canada)




  • The first conference of the International Order of Interbeing is held. This conference established the Order of Interbeing Charter, elected an Executive Council, and established that Assembly meetings would be held regularly to revise and amend the Charter. It also established a Council of Elders and a Council of Youth to draw from the experience of its members for leadership and guidance.[1]


  • Maple Forest Monastery was formed in Vermont


  • Unified Buddhist Church is formed in the United States
  • Annabel Laity named to head the UBC, Inc
  • Green Mountain Dharma Center formed
  • Annabel Laity named Abbess of the Maple Forest Monastery and Green Mountain Dharma Center


  • June - Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh assists in writing the Manifesto 2000 which consists of six pledges to promote a culture of peace and non-violence in the world. It has been signed by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates [2]
  • Deer Park Monastery is formed in California near Escondido


  • September 21 – Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh begins a fast for peace and to remember those who have died in the September 11 attacks
  • September 25 - Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh gives a speech at the Riverside Church in New York City urging the American people and government to think before reacting to the events of September 11 and to look for a peaceful resolution.



  • January 12 to April 11 - Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh returns to Vietnam to visit Buddhist temples, teach, and is allowed to publish a limited number of his books in Vietnamese; 100 monastic and 90 lay members of the OI accompany him
  • Two temples are re-established in Vietnam with TNH as their spiritual head: the Tu Hieu Temple and the Prajña Temple
  • August - Magnolia Grove Monastery is accepted by Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh as an Order of Interbeing center in Mississippi
  • October 9, Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh and Order of Interbeing members lead the “Peace is Every Step” walk at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California.


  • May 22 - Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh's book Old Path White Clouds is optioned for the film Buddha to be produced by MCorpGlobal. TNH makes an appearance at the Canne's film festival to promote the project [3]
  • September 11 - Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh makes an appearance in Los Angeles to promote the Buddha film project. The Dalai Lama endorsed the project at the luncheon which was attended by a number of Hollywood actors.[4]
  • October 7 - Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh addresses UNESCO, calling for specific steps to reverse the cycle of violence, war, and global warming. He calls for a commitment of observing a weekly No Car Day to be promoted globally.[5]
  • October 11 - Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh enjoys his 80th birthday


  • February 20 to May 9 - Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh Returns to Vietnam to conduct "Grand Requiem For Praying" ceremonies to help heal the wounds of the Vietnam war.[6]
  • May 20 to May 31 - Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh visits Thailand, giving Dharma talks and a 5-day retreat.[7]
  • May - Blue Cliff Monastery established; Maple Forest Monastery and Green Mountain Dharma Center close and move to the new location as an extension of Plum Village Monastery [8]





  • March - The University of Hong Kong awards Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh an Honorary Doctorate in recognition of his contribution to world peace and humanity.



  • January 22 - Repose of Thầy Thich Nhat Hanh at the age of 95 in his residence in Từ Hiếu Temple in Huế, Vietnam.[13][14]

References Edit

  1. ^ a b "Religion & Ethics – Thich Nhat Hanh". BBC. April 4, 2006. Archived from the original on March 3, 2021. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  2. ^ Greenblatt, Lilly (January 21, 2022). "Remembering Thich Nhat Hanh (1926-2022)". Lion's Roar. Archived from the original on January 22, 2022. Retrieved 2022-01-25.
  3. ^ Robert Harlen King Thomas Merton and Thich Nhat Hanh: Engaged Spirituality in an Age of Globalization 2001
  4. ^ Jean Baubérot, Franck Frégosi, Jean-Paul Willaime Le religieux dans la commune: régulations locales du pluralisme en France 2001 - p288 "On observe en effet, à Strasbourg, l'émergence d'un groupe encore informel qui se constitue autour de plusieurs personnes habituées à la fréquentation du « village des pruniers » de Thich Nhât Hanh dans le Périgord. Ce moine vietnamien ..." p289 "Bien que le maître réside en France, c'est paradoxalement aux Etats-Unis et au Canada que les centres sont les plus développés. Ce qui caractérise la voie préconisée par Thich Nhât Hanh, ce sont des méditations assises ainsi que la..."
  5. ^ a b c d Hanh, Thich Nhat; Eppsteiner, Fred (April 12, 2017). "The Fourteen Precepts of Engaged Buddhism". Lion's Roar. Retrieved 2022-01-26.
  6. ^ Miller, Andrea (October 8, 2020). "Peace in Every Step". Lion's Roar. Archived from the original on 2014-10-20. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  7. ^ "The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings of the Order of Interbeing". Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  8. ^ Thích Nhất Hạnh 1968 Đạo Phật hiện đại hóa Page 198 "Mỗi tĩnh có một cơ sỡ Tiếp Hiện như thế. Mỗi sáng chủ nhật, cá Anh, Chị trong các dông đều về sinh hoạt tại chỉ nào gần nhất trong đó có it ra là một vị chủ thuộc dòng Tiếp Hiện."
  9. ^ Philip Taylor Modernity and Re-Enchantment: Religion in Post-Revolutionary Vietnam 2007 Page 341 "Five precepts taken on first entry to the Order of Interbeing [Tiếp Hiện] comprising (i) not killing, (ii) cultivating loving kindness, (iii) avoiding sexual misconduct, (iv) practising loving speech, and (vi) practising mindful consuming."
  10. ^ Chan Khong, Sister. (2007). Learning True Love. Berkeley: Parallax Press.
  11. ^ Gleig, Ann (June 28, 2021). "Engaged Buddhism". Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780199340378.013.755. ISBN 9780199340378. Archived from the original on July 7, 2021. Retrieved August 8, 2021.
  12. ^ Topmiller, Robert J. (2005). "Struggling for Peace: South Vietnamese Buddhist Women and Resistance to the Vietnam War". Journal of Women's History. 17 (3): 133–157. doi:10.1353/jowh.2005.0037. ISSN 1527-2036. Archived from the original on June 2, 2018. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
  13. ^ Mydans, Seth (January 21, 2022). "Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Master and Political Reformer, Dies at 95". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 22, 2022.
  14. ^ "Thich Nhat Hanh: 'Father of mindfulness' Buddhist monk dies aged 95". BBC News. January 22, 2022. Retrieved January 22, 2022.

External links Edit

  • Order of Interbeing website
  • I Am Home - Community of Mindful Living; home of the "Mindfulness Bell" magazine with news, articles, and talks by Thich Nhat Hanh and other Order of Interbeing members.
  • Plum Village UK "The UK organisation which supports the practice of mindfulness taught by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh"