'It isn't likely that this collection of journal entries will pass the censors. If it can't be published, I hope my friends will circulate it among themselves. I'll leave Vietnam tomorrow...' Thus Thich Nhat Hanh begins his 11 May 1966 journal entry. Since that time, he has been unable to return to his homeland but, now based in France, he has become one of the world's most respected spiritual leaders.
Fragrant Palm Leaves reveals a vulnerable and questioning young man reflecting on the many difficulties he and his fellow monks faced in Vietnam trying to make Buddhism relevant to the people's needs. We follow him, in 1964, as he helps establish the movement known as 'engaged Buddhism': starting self-help villages, a new university, a Buddhist order and many other efforts for peace. Fragrant Palm Leaves is regarded by many Vietnamese as Thich Nhat Hanh's most endearing and stimulating book. It offers readers a glimpse into the mind of a great thinker and activist and shows how to live fully, with awareness, during a time of challenge and upheaval.