The word “formation” (samskara in Sanskrit) means something that manifests when many conditions come together.
When we look at a flower, we can recognize many of the elements that have come together to make the flower manifest in that form. We know that without the rain there can be no water and the flower cannot manifest. And we see that sunshine is also there.
The earth, the compost, the gardner, time, space and many elements came together to help this flower manifest. The flower doesn’t have a separate existence; its a formation.
Using the word “formation” reminds us that there is no separate core of existence in them. There is only a coming together of many, many conditions for something to manifest.
Thich Nhat Hanh