FILE PHOTO: Buddhist monk Nhat Hanh walks among believers at a requiem mass at the Non Nuoc pagoda outside Hanoi

Influential Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh dies at 95

BANGKOK (AP) — Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, who helped pioneer the concept of mindfulness in the West and socially engaged Buddhism in the East, has died at age 95, according to an announcement on his verified Twitter page.

The International Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism, a monastic governing body that the monk established, said Thich Nhat Hanh, known as Thay, or teacher, to his followers, passed away peacefully at Tu Hieu Temple in Hue, Vietnam.

Thay lived much of his adult life at a retreat he founded in France but lived his final years in Vietnam at the monastery where he was ordained.

He distilled Buddhist teachings on compassion and suffering into easily grasped guidance over a lifetime dedicated to working for peace. He established the Order of Inter-being in 1964 and prominent people such as Oprah Winfrey and companies like Google sought his wisdom and guidance.