Claude Anshin Thomas
Claude Anshin Thomas went to Vietnam at the age of eighteen, where he received numerous awards and decorations, including twenty-seven Air Medals, a Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Purple Heart. Today he is a monk in the Soto Zen tradition and an active speaker and Zen teacher in the United States and Europe. He is also the founder of the Zaltho Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes peace and nonviolence (www.zaltho.org). This is his first book.
A Soldier's Journey from War to Peace
In this raw and moving memoir, Claude Thomas describes his service in Vietnam, his subsequent emotional collapse, and his remarkable journey toward healing. At Hell's Gate is not only a gripping coming-of-age story but a spiritual travelogue from… Read More
Claude AnShin Thomas is a Zen Buddhist monk and the founder of the Zaltho Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization that promotes peace among individuals, families, societies, and countries. A Vietnam War veteran, he speaks internationally in religious and secular communities about cultures of violence and how they can become transformed. He visits war-torn countries, hospitals, schools, and prisons, and facilitates mindfulness meditation retreats, long-distance pilgrimages, and practice days in former concentration camps and other places of suffering.
In the years following the Vietnam War, Thomas worked to address the plight of many of his fellow veterans who were suffering from social isolation, homelessness, drug addiction, unemployment, and abnormally high rates of suicide, divorce, and imprisonment. He came to realize that the roots of war are within each one of us and that our acceptance of our own vulnerability, aggression, fear, and individual suffering is the starting point of peace.
In 1990, Thomas began to walk a Buddhist path. He received full ordination as a Zen Buddhist monk in the Japanese Soto Zen tradition in August 1995.