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Zen & The Art of Saving the Planet: Book launch

Friday November 19th, 2021 at Noon

Register here for this online book launch, hosted by the Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health Program, with co-sponsorship from the School of the Environment and the Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Centre for Buddhist Studies.

You are invited to join us for a special live webinar event with delegates from Zen Master, scholar and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village community. The presentation will explore how meditation and mindfulness can offer a compelling blueprint to help each one of us build our inner resilience and transform our daily actions so we can contribute to collective awakening and systemic change. This dialogue will be informed by the proposals put forth in Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet which offers radical insights that can help us break through the mental blocks preventing us from taking the transformative, compassionate action that is needed to protect all life. Thich Nhat Hanh has the conviction that when we see clearly that the Earth is not just the environment, but the Earth is us, everything becomes possible.

Sister True Dedication is the editor and author of the commentary in Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet. Sister True Dedication has been a Zen Buddhist nun since 2008. Before entering the monastery, Sister True Dedication studied History and Political Thought at Cambridge University and worked as a journalist for BBC News in London. In the early years of her monastic training, she assisted Thich Nhat Hanh and Sister Chan Khong in their engaged Buddhist actions for human rights, religious freedom, applied ethics, and ecology. She is co-founder of the international Wake Up Movement, a community of young meditators who are finding new ways to combine mindfulness and engaged Buddhism. Today, she contributes her time and energy to guiding a new generation of young monastics and to editing Thich Nhat Hanh’s writings, in particular his recent books on Buddhism and ecology, including Love Letter to the Earth (2013), The Art of Living (2017), and Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet (2021). At home in the monastery she enjoys taking care of trees, listening to the Earth, and (when it’s appropriate) acting in comedy skits.

Brother Phap Huu is a senior Teacher in Thich Nhat Hanh’s international community and the Abbot of the monks’ community in Plum Village, the practice center founded by Thich Nhat Hanh in southwest France. Born in Vietnam, he emigrated to Canada as a child. He began training with Thich Nhat Hanh at the age of thirteen, when he first entered the monastery to become a monk. Thich Nhat Hanh gave him the name Chân Pháp Hữu meaning “True Dharma Friend.” For over ten years, he accompanied Thich Nhat Hanh on his international teaching tours as his attendant and assistant. Today, Brother Phap Huu is deeply committed to building community and continuing Thich Nhat Hanh’s legacy, bringing his teachings in particular to businesspeople, families, and young adults. Brother Phap Huu is passionate about basketball, music, and developing new approaches to team-work, leadership, mentoring and coaching, and is a beloved co-host of the Plum Village podcast, THE WAY OUT IS IN.


Dr. Elli Weisbuam has worked internationally facilitating mindfulness workshops and retreats within the sectors of education, healthcare and business. She is currently an Assistant Professor (teaching stream) at the University of Toronto in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in the Buddhism, Mental Health & PSychology program. She completed her PhD through the Institute of Medical Science in the Faculty of Medicine at UofT, with a focus on applying mindfulness to physician wellbeing. Since 2015, she has been a member of the Mindfulness Project Team at The Hospital for Sick Children. She has collaborated with UofT’s Faculty of Law, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Faculty of Engineering, Rotman School of Management, Physical Therapy Department, the Ontario Hospital Association and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to integrate mindfulness into ongoing programming for factly, staff and students. She attended her first retreat with Zen Master and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Thich Nhat Hanh at the age of ten and has continued training with his international Plum Village community. Elli’s novel background in both academic research and traditional mindfulness practice provides a distinct approach to her ongoing work teaching and researching in the field.  


Thich Nhat Hanh is a Zen Master, global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist revered around the world for his pioneering teachings on mindfulness, global ethics and peace.  Through his books and retreats at monasteries he has founded in the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia, he has become a preeminent figure in contemporary Buddhism, offering teachings that are both deeply rooted in ancient wisdom and accessible to all.  Fifty years ago, he helped initiate one of the first international environmental conferences in Europe and since that time has shared his bold vision for compassionate leadership with politicians, businesspeople, and educators, and powerful message of deep ecology and global ethics. Ordained as a monk at the age of 16 in Vietnam, Thich Nhat Hanh envisioned a kind of engaged Buddhism that could respond directly to the needs of society.  In 1961, he travelled to the United States to teach Comparative Religion at Princeton University, and the following year he went to teach and research Buddhism at Columbia University. He was a prominent teacher and social activist in his home country before finding himself exiled for calling for peace. In 1966 he traveled to the U.S. and met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who called him “an Apostle of peace and nonviolence” and nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize. In the West he has played a key role in introducing mindfulness and created mindful communities around the world. His teachings have impacted politicians, business leaders, activists, teachers and countless others. Thich Nhat Hanh is the author of many books, including the classics Peace Is Every Step and The Art of Power. Having resided for many years in Plum Village, his meditation center in France, he has now returned to his “root temple” in Hue, Vietnam.  More at