“Do Not Build A Shrine For Me”
“Please do not build a stupa (shrine) for me.
Please do not put my ashes in a vase, lock me inside and limit who I am.
I know this will be difficult for some of you.
If you must build a stupa though, please make sure that you put a sign on it that says, ‘I am not in here.’
In addition, you can also put another sign that says, ‘I am not out there either,’ and a third sign that says, ‘If I am anywhere, it is in your mindful breathing and in your peaceful steps.’”
—Thích Nhất Hạnh (1926–2022)
Thích Nhất Hạnh was a Vietnamese Thiền Buddhist monk, peace activist, prolific author, poet and teacher, who founded the Plum Village Tradition, historically recognized as the main inspiration for engaged Buddhism. Known as the “father of mindfulness”, Nhất Hạnh was a major influence on Western practices of Buddhism.