Vietnamese monk to visit Pensacola

by Troy Moon, Pensacola News Journal, Aug 30, 2011

Pensacola, FL (USA) -- Noted Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thay Vien Thuc will be based in Pensacola during a six-week visit to the United States.

Vien Thuc is a 71-year-old monk who is often called “The Crazy
Monk’’ because of his perceived eccentricities. He is a tourist
attraction in his home at the Lam Ty Ni Pagoda in Dalat,
Vietnam, where he has lived alone since 1975.

He is know for painting or drawing portraits of visitors on the spot and for his thousands of poems, many of which emphasize a message of peace. He speaks six languages, including English.

Vien Thuc arrives in Pensacola Tuesday night, and will stay at the Dieu De Temple off of Nine Mile Road. The Buddhist temple holds services at 10 a.m. each Sunday, and Vien Thuc is expected to attend at least a few of the services during his first United States visit. He will also travel to other parts of the country, including Washington D.C. and California, during his stay. He will be accompanied by Pensacola Buddhists during his travels.

Still, his Pensacola schedule is tentative.

“He really doesn’t like to plan anything ahead of time,’’ said Kim Nguyen of Pensacola, who is helping coordinate the visit.

“That’s just the way he lives his life. He likes to live in the present.’’

Dieu De Temple is at 9602 Nims Lane off of Nine Mile Road.