Now is the Time: Both by nature empty


April 21, 2011. 104-minute question and answer session given in English, with consecutive translation into Mandarin, with Thich Nhat Hanh and others. This is the fifth day of a five-day retreat in Taipei, Taiwan.

The Sixteen Exercises of Mindful Breathing (Anapanasati Sutta) – we are encouraged to memorize these exercises. Here we review each of these again. For example, the concentration of impermanence (13th exercise) should not just be an idea.

In addition, there are other meditations (concentrations) that can help us liberate ourselves. Emptiness. Signlessness. Aimlessness.

Mindfulness brings about concentration and we gain wisdom of Right View and we can be liberated.

With signlessness we can see the impermanent nature of all beings.

No birth. No death.
Being and nonbeing.
No coming. No going.
No sameness. No otherness.

The talk was given in English and Mandarin at the same time and is available below for listening or download. You may also view the video.

By Chan Niem Hy

Dharma Teacher.


  1. Someone had asked about the 51-mental formations, so I have posted them below:

    Mental Formations

    In the Manifestation Only school of Buddhism, we divide mental formations into fifty-one categories.

    Five Universal Mental Formations
    1. contact
    2. attention
    3. feeling
    4. perception
    5. volition

    Five Particulars Mental Formations
    6. zeal
    7. determination
    8. mindfulness or memory
    9. concentration
    10. wisdom

    Eleven Wholesome Mental Formations
    11. faith
    12. energy
    13. share or remorse
    14. humility
    15. absence of craving
    16. absence of hatred and anger
    17. absence of ignorance, delusion, and misunderstanding
    18. feeling light and peaceful
    19. carefulness, mindfulness, and diligence
    20. nonviolence, harmlessness
    21. equanimity, nondiscrimination

    Six Fundamental Unwholesome Mental Formations
    22. greed or craving *
    23. hatred and anger *
    24. ignorance and delusion *
    25. arrogance and pride *
    26. doubt or suspicion *
    27. false or wrong views *

    Twenty Secondary Unwholesome Mental Formations
    28. irritation
    29. enmity
    30. hypocrisy
    31. gloom or vexation
    32. selfishness
    33. envy
    34. dishonesty
    35. deceit
    36. will to harm, harmfulness
    37. arrogance or shamelessness
    38. absence of humility
    39. impudence
    40. sloth
    41. restlessness
    42. lack of faith or trust
    43. laziness or idleness
    44. carelessness
    45. forgetfulness
    46. confusion or distraction
    47. wrong judgment, understanding, or perception

    Four Indeterminate
    48. remorse
    49. sleepiness
    50. thinking
    51. applied thinking

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