Welcome to episode 62 of The Way Out Is In: The Zen Art of Living, a podcast series mirroring Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s deep teachings of Buddhist philosophy: a simple yet profound methodology for dealing with our suffering, and for creating more happiness and joy in our lives.

In this episode, Zen Buddhist monk Brother Phap Huu and leadership coach/journalist Jo Confino continue their discussion with Sister True Dedication (Sister Hien Nghiem) about the 16 exercises of mindful breathing which are at the heart of the teachings offered by Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village community. 

This episode, the second of a two-part special, explains and breaks down the practice of breathing exercises nine to 16. It includes the exercises’ traditional texts, revised versions, and variations and adaptations, with extensive explanations given by the two monastics about how to apply each to our daily lives. The first eight exercises are also briefly recapped, along with a description of the Three Doors of Liberation.

Also, where do the 16 exercises come from? How do we gladden the mind? What is true strength? What about authenticity? Why is it important to name the mental formations? What does liberation feel like? And how do we integrate the 16 exercises into a busy life? These and many other questions are answered in this installment of the podcast.Enjoy.

Co-produced by the Plum Village App:https://plumvillage.app/

And Global Optimism:https://globaloptimism.com/ 

With support from the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation:https://thichnhathanhfoundation.org/

List of resources 

Sister True Dedication https://plumvillage.org/people/dharma-teachers/sister-hien-nghiem/ 

Songs: ‘The 16 Exercises of Mindful Breathing’https://plumvillage.org/library/songs/the-16-exercises-of-mindful-breathing 

Thay’s Poetry: ‘Please Call Me by My True Names (Song & Poem)’https://plumvillage.org/articles/please-call-me-by-my-true-names-song-poem 


Sister Jinahttps://plumvillage.org/people/dharma-teachers/sr-dieu-nghiem 

‘51 Mental Formations’https://plumvillage.org/transcriptions/51-mental-formation 

Dharma Talks: ‘The Noble Eightfold Path’ https://plumvillage.org/library/dharma-talks/the-noble-eightfold-path

The Way Out Is In: ‘The Three Doors of Liberation (Episode #18)’ https://plumvillage.org/podcast/the-three-doors-of-liberation-episode-18 

The Art of Living https://plumvillage.org/books/the-art-of-living 

Chinese Buddhist canonhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Buddhist_canon

Dharma Talks: ‘The Five Remembrances’https://plumvillage.org/library/dharma-talks/the-five-remembrances-sr-thuan-nghiem-spring-retreat-2018-05-17

‘The Four Dharma Seals of Plum Village’https://plumvillage.org/articles/the-four-dharma-seals-of-plum-village 

Master Tang Hoihttps://plumvillage.org/books/master-tang-hoiNagarjunahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagarjuna 



“‘What is going on in my mind?’ This phrase is a mental formation. And, especially in our tradition of Buddhism, we love this term ‘formation’; it means that everything is made of everything, is composite. Even our happiness, our sorrow, or our depression is made of lots and lots of different elements. There are many threads to them, and that insight, simply the word ‘formation’, can help us to not be so scared or overwhelmed by our feelings. There’s an inquiry here, an investigation: ‘What is going on in my mind? What has come to be, what has formed in my mind at this moment?’”

“In terms of Buddhist psychology, because our mind has different layers and different depths, we can be carrying a feeling in it without knowing that we’re carrying it. And I would say my loneliness is a feeling. It’s partly in the body, but largely in the mind, because o

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