31 century museum: Inner World

From Moment After Moment

Language : ENGLISH : THAI


I’ve had the intention to cycle up Doi Suthep since 2007 which was when I started cycling. The reason I took on cycling was because of the problems I had back then. I didn’t know how to fix them and they were constantly interfering with my meditation which made me very miserable, because meditation was my daily resolution in helping me to work and live happily. I simply couldn’t meditate at all, so a friend advised me to cycle. Starting from not knowing how to cycle, I slowly trained and improved myself to a point that I wanted to try and cycle up Doi Suthep, which is a very challenging idea for someone who has just started cycling. I think that riding a bike is a kind of process to understand life and to be mindful in the present moment. Cycling stops me from thinking of my problems because I have to concentrate on cycling safely.

This experience had helped me overcome my problems back then, so I wanted to make a film to impart about it. I later filmed it several times but never got down to editing because I didn’t know what I was doing then.From 2007 to 2012, I did a project called “Before Birth, After Death” to try and understand what it was. From this point, I’ve realized that if we are to understand the state of before birth and after death, or the past and the future, we must first understand the present. In 2012, I started to work on the project “Present Moment” to understand what the “Present Moment” really is by practicing art through different mediums like drawing, painting, reading, meditating, making tea bowls, making wax sculptures, holding live performances, filming videos, etc. The reason is because the present moment is the link between the past and the future. Nothing happens in the past or the future, everything happens in the present moment. So I started to take an interest in Zen paintings about its compositions and philosophy.


From studying it, I found that  Zen paintings are not paintings, but they are the true experience in which the painter and his subject have been fused into one, it is not a process of explaining the reality. The early stage of my works in this project was expressed by black and white drawings and brush strokes, very much resemble Zen paintings. It is a facsimile drawing of the abstract (such as themes about time, freedom, emptiness, wholeness, transience, which always exist in the present moment), like drawing a picture of a circle that represents timelessness and selflessness. Anyone can draw a circle without any skills or portraying any individual artistic identity. So later I started making realistic paintings which express the abstract reality of the universal truth, includeing topics like self-detachment through the act of asking for and granting forgiveness, which appeared in the realistic portrait of me and Thawan Duchanee. It is not an exact reproduction of that particular event but it is the truth that is beyond the experience of consciousness.


We see things as a whole, without dividing others and ourselves, without duality. When we think, we create a sense of self and with the self comes the conception of time and the memories of the past and thoughts about the future. These two things create what we misunderstand as the present, which, in fact, is not. The present moment that I’m trying to explain is the moment we stop thinking and start to observe our breath, sensations, mind and what happens to our body until we forget the self that is observing all of this and becomes one with everything. This is the state of disillusionment which consist of very small and ever-changing fractions of the present moment. Just as we say the word “present”, fractions of second have passed and the word is already in the past. This is beyond rational understanding of definition and explanation at semantic level.

What I’m trying to say about “the present moment” is that it is the state that is without everything and includes everything at the same time. It is existing and non-existing, the state of selflessness, beyond time, beyond duality. If we happen to experience this state even once, it will change our perception and transcends us beyond our thoughts from conscious experiences that perceive everything as self-centric, because, in fact, everything is actually one.

This kind of experience might have once happened to me two years ago. Though I’m not sure if it’s the same thing. When I was recovering from my back pain by cycling, at first I only tried cycling to nearby places because I thought that my back would not allow me to go further. But without any reason and despite the shape I was in, one day I decided to try cycling further without any specific destination or time limit. I planned that if I got tired, I would rest. If I couldn’t go further, I’d head back or just walk my bike instead. Finally, without any intention or thoughts, only observing my breaths about three hours later, the bike brought me to the top of Doi Suthep without feeling exhausted. Even on my trip back down, I didn’t feel as tired as I used to feel in my other cycling trips that I had previously taken to prove my physical fitness. In that experience, I didn’t think when I will arrive at my destination. I appreciated every moment and everything that happened. Every moment that I was cycling was my destination. I was very pleased with that day. If I can use that same process and think of no pride, no frustration, no sense of self, no expectations of success and only concentrate on what I’m doing mindfully, and corporate these into my daily life and work, life will be something amazing. 

I chose the first of January to film that experience because a new year brings the beginning of a new life each year. I wanted to start my year with that good experience but I fell ill and had to postpone it to the 14th of February which I believe is another day with a good meaning. It is the day that is believed to be the day of love. Love is giving and true giving is to give selflessly. When we are detached, everything is giving. On the day of filming, the photographer needed to attend another appointment at 9 am, so I suggested him to film just as long as he could. If he needed to leave, I could still keep going on my own without further filming. He asked whether I wanted to finish filming and I asked him in return of what a finish really is. In fact, we never know what perfection is. Accepting the limitations of nature and other conditions is part of perfection.

Many factors occurred during filming, like I got too absorbed in filming and tried not to talk to other people. When I saw a butterfly fluttering on the road, I didn’t stop to save it because I was in the process of filming, even though normally I would have stopped to interact with the environment and have been in the moment. Normally, if I come across some glass shards or nails, I will stop to pick them up. But when I was filming, I wasn’t aware that I got too absorbed in it. I only had two goals on my mind. One was the outer goal which was to reach the top of Doi Suthep and finish filming. The other was my inner goal which was to race against time and anticipate my success.

Before I reached the top of Doi Suthep, around the dangerous bend, I was exhausted and wanted to stop or walk instead. But when I saw the camera, I forced myself to reach the top. Later, I had a severe back pain, so I asked myself what exactly was my point? Be it cycling to the top of the mountain, filming, racing against time and expecting successful outcomes, all are the conditions of the game that I created myself.

From-moment-06In real life, everything is a game that we conceptualise and get attached to it, until we forget our true intention. We are born to live temporarily and before eventually expire without being able to take anything with us. If I hadn’t cycled for filming that day, I wouldn’t have seen the state of attachment to the game and the rules that I made up myself. Expectation and attachment make us lose our true freedom because we are not living in the present moment, such is an unconscious state of mind we are not aware of.


“Every moment of our lives is like riding a bicycle up a hill.”




14 February 2015

Share Published on Feb 19, 2017 at 10:48 pm.
Filled under: 31 century museum: Inner World
No Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.