Thich Nhat Hanh had a profound effect on Linda Jones, a Minneapolis follower of the globally influential Zen master.

"It's the only time in my life that I felt like I was levitating," she said of seeing the monk she calls Thay or teacher, at a Colorado retreat. "Just his presence walking in, I thought I was floating off the floor, off my cushion."

Jones shared her memories during the "dharma sharing" portion of a Wednesday night Zoom memorial for Thich Nhat Hanh hosted by the Minneapolis Buddhist community Blooming Heart Sangha.

The online ceremony – which followed a similar Zoom event hosted by the Stillwater community Still Water Sangha – is part of a worldwide remembrance for the Vietnamese monk, teacher and peace activist, who was 95 when he died Saturday.

Nominated for the Nobel Peace Price by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Thich Nhat Hanh was exiled from his home country in the 1960s for opposing the war in Vietnam. He built a movement called "engaged Buddhism," working for political and social change. With his emphasis on mindfulness and compassion, he had a major influence on practice of Buddhism in the U.S. and Europe.

Ceremonies for Thich Nhat Hanh are being held over eight days around the world, from the temple in Hue, Vietnam, where he lived, to his monasteries in southern France, California and New York. His Plum Village organization is livestreaming many of the events over Youtube and Zoom.

In Minnesota, Buddhist communities, called sanghas, have been meeting online during the pandemic. So memorials for Thich Nhat Hanh are taking place online, as well.

On Wednesday evening, several dozen followers logged in to Blooming Heart Sangha's Zoom ceremony, which began with a guided meditation led by a monastic in Thich Nhat Hanh's Buddhist monastery in France.

After the meditation, sangha members shared their memories, describing lessons they'd learned from their teacher – whether they saw him in at a retreat in United States or France, read one of his many books or listened to his voice on a book-on-tape while driving from Bemidji to Bagley. (Thich Nhat Hanh had been unable to speak after a 2014 brain hemorrhage.)

His Minnesota followers said they are taking solace in his teachings about death, which he shared in his 2003 book, "No Death, No Fear: Comforting Wisdom for Life."

"The Buddha taught that there is no birth; there is no death; there is no coming; there is no going; there is no same; there is no different; there is no permanent self; there is no annihilation," he wrote. "We only think there is. When we understand that we cannot be destroyed, we are liberated from fear. It is a great relief. We can enjoy life and appreciate it in a new way."