31 century museum: Inner World


Language : ENGLISH : THAI


On September 1st of 2015, I had a chance to meet with Lodi Gyari Rinpoche when he was visiting my studio and the 31st Century Museum of Contemporary Spirit. Though our meeting and conversation was brief but it had really impressed me and profoundly influenced and inspired me. This event had also opened my perspective on Dharma Truth in a way I had never thought before. During the time, I was feeling bored and un-assertive about the value in leading an artist life and the worthiness of art work. I felt that making art work hasn’t got enough value to let me reach Dharma Truth and it’s true meaning of life. I often thought that humans could live approximately 70 years. So according to this estimation, I have roughly about twenty years left. For the time that I have left, I would like to spend it in understanding the value and meaning of living more profoundly with decreasing or ending unnecessary activities by means of solitude and meditation.

I explained my thoughts about this to Rinpoche. He kindly let me understand the true meaning of practice by giving an example from my own work that I told him earlier, which was “Nothing Special” (Tea Bowl). He pointed out that in my working process, it consists of learning from reading (Sutta Maya Panna), analyzing and contemplating the information gained from reading to conclude them into words or short phrases (Cinta Maya Panna), all along to making art work and meditating, this all counts as a working process (Bhavana Maya Panna).


He concluded from my art making process that it could be included as a form of Dhamma practice. Therefore, I don’t think I now need to stop my activities to only practice Dhamma. Then what is the reason that keeps me from feeling content with what I am being?

While I was showing the Rinpoche my art work “No Past, No Present, No Future”, I noticed his facial expression which looked quite surprised at my work. This art piece was a real-life sculpture of me in a meditation pose, naked. I started explaining my original idea in questioning how “every moment of our life is a play except when we are meditating as the truth”. I also told him what happened when I was exhibiting this piece at Palais de Tokyo. After I finished, he asked me that in conclusion about the happening that took place, was it a play or the truth. I replied that it was a play because I was nervous before and after the meditation. He simply said, “When we know it’s a play, then that is the truth”. At that moment, I felt as if the small dust in my eyes had fallen out.

One of our conversations that day was my question for him about some Buddhist questions I had which was the difference of Hinayana (Theravata), Mahayana (Zen) and Vajryana. He replied that all sects in Buddhism have the same goal which is helping others and all livings, only that they are done in different methods. He held an example of a supposed case that people were drowning in a flood, would we get on land first then try to help others who are drowning, or would we stay in the water with them and push them to get on land? So I asked him further of how can we distinguish whether to get on land first or push others first? He said he had never thought about this before.

Thinking back to me, when I was thinking about halting activities to put all my effort in solely Dharma practices, could seem like I was trying to get on land first. Or it could also be just an excuse of greedily Dharma practicing, with thoughts that emphasizes me as the center without truly understanding the meaning of compassion. Maybe this is the reason that made me upset with what I am being. From conversing with Lodi Rinpoche that day, it made me understand the value and purpose of life and Buddhism, which is to stay in the present moment and every action with a mind full of compassion. It is a goal without a goal, timeless, without border lines between the giver (Subjective) and the receiver (Objective). Whether we are helping others on land or in the water, which might look different physically but there is no difference at all spiritually. Because compassion is both the cause and the effect, the goal and the method in itself. And it is compassion that is the timeless present moment.


Kamin Lertchaiprasert
3rd May, 2016

Share Published on Feb 19, 2017 at 9:08 pm.
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