The most enduring feature of his spiritual legacy is his teaching and promotion of the concept of “mindfulness” or fully realized awareness of our engagement with beings beyond ourselves in the present moment.
Mindfulness is the conscious realization of our presence in the world and others and being in the presence of other beings who invite recognition and respect.
Mindfulness underpinned his anti-war advocacy and was part of what brought about his exclusion from Vietnam for 40 years
This legacy was embodied in more than a dozen retreat centers throughout the mostly Western world and in devotees who became, for want of a better word, the “spiritual directors” in the ways of mindfulness.
The mindfulness movement was an explicitly spiritual aspect of the pacifist wave that swept the Western world and occurred to temper or even reverse the local hostilities sponsored as expressions of the Cold War that extended worldwide.
Mindfulness underpinned his anti-war advocacy and was part of what brought about his exclusion from Vietnam for 40 years, ending only with his return to his homeland when he was ill in 2018.