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People sometimes think I am Buddhist. I am not, though Buddhism has deeply influenced me.

My introduction to Buddhism came on this day in 1963 when Thích Quảng Đức, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, set himself on fire in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City.) He was protesting the treatment of Buddhists by the Vietnamese government led by President Ngo Dinh Diem.



That photograph by journalist Malcolm Browne was published worldwide, and caused such an uproar that President Kennedy noted, “No news picture in history has generated so much emotion around the world as that one.”

I know it hit me hard.


Rest in peace, brother. You changed the way I look at the world.