By Ric Hudgens
In the past six weeks, our community has lost bell hooks (December 15) and Jim Forest (Jan 13). Then earlier this week, on January 22, the great teacher of engaged Buddhism, Thich Nhat Hanh, passed. All three were linked. bell hooks wrote a foreword to The Raft Is Not the Shore, which are the transcribed dialogues between Thich Nhat Hanh and Daniel Berrigan. The final book that Jim Forest published was entitled Eyes of Compassion: Living with Thich Nhat Hanh.
Thich Nhat Hanh also had a connection with Dr. Martin Luther King and Thomas Merton. This places him as a surprisingly central figure in the history of our community. Because I already was finding these intersections fascinating, I was and was not surprised to discover an encounter between Thich Nhat Hanh and the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.