Order of Interbeing

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The Order of Interbeing (Vietnamese: Tiếp Hiện, French: Ordre de l'Interêtre) was founded between 1964 and 1966 by Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thích Nhất Hạnh.[1][2]

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 Thich Nhat Hanh 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.[3][4][5]



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




  • TNH graduates from Bao Quoc Buddhist Academy


  • TNH is ordained a Buddhist monk



  • TNH Founded the Phuong Boi (Fragrant Palm Leaves) Meditation Center in the highlands of Vietnam


  • TNH 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



  • TNH Teaches at Columbia University and Princeton University


  • TNH returns to Vietnam
  • Sister Chan Khong goes to Paris, France to complete her degree in biology




  • February 5 – the first members - the "Six Cedars" - are ordained into the newly formed Order of Interbeing. Among the six are Chân Không and Nhat Chi Mai. The latter would immolate herself in protest against the war a year later.[6]
  • May 1 - TNH is given the Lamp Transmission at Từ Hiếu Temple from Master Chân Thật, making him a Dharmacharya (Dharma Teacher)
  • TNH returns to the US to lead a symposium at Cornell University
  • TNH speaks to many groups and leaders, including Robert McNamara and Martin Luther King, Jr. urging peace in Vietnam
  • Sister Chan Khong 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 Chan Khong a communist
  • The SYSS continues to work despite the harassment and murder of many of its members


  • TNH is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr.
  • TNH is exiled from Vietnam by the Vietnamese government
  • TNH gains right of asylum in France
  • May – Nhat Chi Mai, one of the "Six Cedars", immolates herself for peace


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



  • TNH and Chân Không form the Sweet Potatoes Meditation Center in France






  • 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.[2]


  • 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 - TNH 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 [3]
  • Deer Park Monastery is formed in California near Escondido


  • September 21 – TNH begins a fast for peace and to remember those who have died in the September 11 attacks
  • September 25 - TNH 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 - TNH 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 Village Practice Center is accepted by TNH as an Order of Interbeing center in Mississippi
  • October 9, TNH and Order of Interbeing members lead the “Peace is Every Step” walk at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California.


  • May 22 - TNHs 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 [4]
  • September 11 - TNH makes an appearance in Los Angeles to promote the Buddha film project. His Holiness the Dalai Lama endorsed the project at the luncheon which was attended by a number of Hollywood actors.[5]
  • October 7 - TNH 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.[6]
  • October 11 - TNH enjoys his 80th birthday


  • February 20 to May 9 - TNH Returns to Vietnam to conduct "Grand Requiem For Praying" ceremonies to help heal the wounds of the Vietnam war.[7]
  • May 20 to May 31 - TNH visits Thailand, giving Dharma talks and a 5-day retreat.[8]
  • 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 [9]



  1. ^ Robert Harlen King Thomas Merton and Thich Nhat Hanh: Engaged Spirituality in an Age of Globalization 2001
  2. ^ 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..."
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ 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."
  5. ^ 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."
  6. ^ Chan Khong, Sister. (2007). Learning True Love. Berkeley: Parallax Press.

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.
  • Community of Interbeing UK "The UK organisation which supports the practice of mindfulness taught by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh"