Beginning Our Practice of Mindfulness


August 26, 2013. 87-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Blue Cliff Monastery in Pine Bush, New York during the 2013 Nourishing Great Togetherness teaching tour. This is the first dharma talk for the 6-day retreat with the theme Transformation and Healing – The Art of Suffering. We begin with two chants from the monastics.


  • Why do we want to practice breathing-in and breathing-out? We don’t have to suffer and we can produce the energy of joy.
  • First exercise of mindful breathing
  • Walking in the kingdom is an end in itself
  • Three Energies: Mindfulness, Concentration, Insight
  • Second exercise of mindful breathing
  • Third exercise of mindfulbreathing – aware of body
  • Fourth exercise of mindful breathing – relax body
  • Fifth exercise of mindful breathing – producing joy
  • Sixth exercise of mindful breathing – producing happiness
  • Seventh exercise of mindful breathing – aware of painful feeling
  • Eighth exercise of mindful breathing – embrace painful feeling
  • Store and mind consciousness with mental formations
  • Teaching of The Second Arrow
  • Five Universal Mental Formatioms (Contact, Attention , Feeling , Perception, Volition)
  • Five Particular Mental Formations (intention, resolution, mindfulness, concentration, and insight)

By Chan Niem Hy

Dharma Teacher.


  1. I rejected ALL manner of “people making themselves somehow important” pseudo-religions. I don’t believe in one man, everything is sinful and evil, endless hell – basically, all faiths. And then I saw the interview with Oprah and Thich Nhat Hanh. He exuded peace, calmness, clarity and ease. I possess none of these. In my brain, my bipolar and sick brain, there is no quiet. In my life there is no purpose. In my day there is no joy. But I saw this man speak and it touched me – in a brand new way – more in 50 minutes than in 40 years of searching old roads. In the interview, he spoke about saying the phrase “I suffer” and how this was so hard. I suffer. So I thank you for this. I am going to find the place to start through these practices and hopefully can make my way towards a path of peace, away from the chaos.

  2. Dear one, you are so honest. My hope is that breathing and looking deeply help you come back home to yourself, to stop running, to be still and free. You already are all these things, and I know you will notice this
    with a little practice. Peace and love to you!

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