31 century museum: Inner World

Nothing Special

Language : ENGLISH : THAI

no-11We often always seek and hope for special results from all our various actions. When those results are received, it would make us feel elated, happy, joyous and fulfilled, yet if not, it would lead us to feel disappointed and unhappy.

I started making tea bowls every day in my studio since the 2nd of June 2014, which was over a year ago. My  initial thoughts or feelings were that it would help me discover or understand the meaning of something special. Eventually, I found that there was nothing special. For example, I tried to find the definition of having contemplation in the present moment and comparing the difference of concentration while making the bowls and other chores with concentration from meditation (Dhamma practice), from which I often heard many people stated that working and practicing art already are considered meditation without directly meditating. This was one of the main reasons that piqued my curiosity and intrigued me to understand more.


One other reason was that I’d taken interest in the Japanese tea ceremony, especially in its changing period of Senno Rikyu (1522-1591) which changed the ways of choosing tea bowls and details of the ceremony. The selected tea bowls which were common and simple, made by local potters instead of the sophisticated, flamboyant ceramic wares from the Chinese and Korean potters that were in favor at the time. This transformation was to express simplicity and humbleness, also to allow ceremony participants to taste the essence of nature that lies in us all. Yet today, Raku bowls in tea ceremonies are highly priced, they are so special and rare that commoners can not access them easily. This is no different from the Chinese and Korean tea bowls back then. 

My daily process in making tea bowls started each morning with reading “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” by Shunryu Suzuki, then I would sit and meditate. Afterwards, I would knead the clay and form it into a ball. I would dig out the clay from the middle of the ball, forming an empty space. That being said, was more of making an empty space within the clay rather than building up a tea bowl, it was the hollow space inside that transformed the clay into a bowl. This helped me understand that the essence or a worth of the tea bowl is the emptiness, not its beauty of colors and forms or its material value.

12At the beginning, I wanted to create the form of the tea bowl in relation with the content or words from the book that I had been reading daily, a chapter a day, to cultivate words or phrases that impressed me of which I would try to contemplate on for the rest of the day. I then took those words and engraved them into the bowls. The reason I chose this book was because I thought it forwardly explained the truth of nature very well and in simple terms. All its contents aimed straight at the truth of life and nature, which is emptiness and changes that lie in everything all the time, by demonstrating the state of freedom from self-centeredness and self-attachment, fusing as one with nature.

After working for a year, I produced 277 tea bowls. I decided to stop using words to write phrases that explain the truth of nature, because I started to understand that we cannot explain truth through language and words. These truths are in everything of every moment in everyone of us. It is a continuous process of action and in-action. The more we try to explain the truth, the further away we are from the truth. I therefore made bowls without writing words and allowed what is beyond the state of name and form, beyond   consciousness, without the boundaries of time to express itself without any format.


The goal of meditation is to directly experience the truth and nature, which is emptiness. The body or identity which normally is the observer(subjective) will turn into the observed (objective). The result of meditation is mindfulness or wisdom to understand the truth of nature, not materialized results.

But the goal of making tea bowls is working within a normal way of life. The work piece or the tea bowl is the object being observed (objective), meanwhile it also represents our body when we meditate. Thus, in this case, the maker can be both the observer (subjective) and the observed (objective). The result of making tea bowls is the expectation of whether it would be aesthetically beautiful or not, and this is up to each person’s intention and experience.But when we are not attached to the results of aesthetics and materialism,making the bowl will then be the process or the aim at creation, just like meditation.If the goal of making bowls is to reach the truth of the moment, “turning” ourselves into the present moment is essential, not just “being” in the present moment. And if the goal does not aim at beauty or physical aesthetics of the bowl’s appearances, instead it aims at the worth that lies within the maker, then making a tea bowl and meditating will bear no difference.

But in truth, there are no goals both without and within, for truth is naturally one and cannot be separated. There is no beauty and ugly, good or bad, it is not one or two; it is specialness without specialness, and commonness at the same time, in which words cannot describe. It depends on each person’s direct experience. It fuses everything together.


When our hearts are free from goals and expectations of achievements, whether it is working or meditating, the destination or goal will not to be for achieving specialness (enlightenment or the tea bowls aesthetics).The desire to discover specialness would then become the barrier of discovery, so is the desire for beauty that blocks us from seeing the beauty that is already there in its original nature.

When we rest or wait for the clay to be ready for making bowls and doing the details of each process, like waiting for the clay to stiffen up, the time spent in waiting is also one of the processes of making the bowl. In-action is another form of action.

Emptiness (time spent in waiting and the empty space within the bowl, including the un-expectation of specialness), its existence might have never been in our awareness or have ever let us ponder on how it is a part of the bowl making process and the perfection of the bowl. It actually is the most important key. It stays beyond both the observer (subjective) and the observed (objective).At this point, it made me realize the experience from meditation, that if we aim at enlightenment or specialness, that’s when the goal and ourselves are separated, keeping us from reaching that goal. But when we meditate without expecting to be enlightened or something special, then the observer and the observed would be as one and the chance to reach the destination might be higher because the destination has become the present moment. We only need to observe everything that happens in our body and mind according to the present moment’s natural reality, without attaching to sensations and illusory thoughts of like and dislike, but staying equanimous, we then will see the transient (anicca) state of the body and mind that happens all the time until we understand the emptiness that lies within us. It is like the emptiness that appears in the process of making tea bowls.


From my experience in making tea bowls and meditation, including other activities in my daily life,specialness or commonness is something that occurs through natural causes; the good, evil, happiness, sorrow, beauty, ugliness, etc, all these are the special properties of emptiness that exist in everything and everywhere. Normally, we cannot realize its existence because it appears as a common state,nothing special. But when we realize the nothing-specialness of everything including ourselves in every moment, I believe that it enhances the state of freedom from attachment, resulting in the sense of selflffllessness that is free from self-centric thought, while fusing as one with nature. Then, the nothing-specialness is the miracle of life that already exists in all of us naturally.


Lastly, I would like to recall the benevolence of many, especially

S.N. Goenka
Shunryu Suzuki
Senno Rikyu


With respectful mind,
20-25 July 2015







List of 277 tea bowls Total 365 Pieces
from 2 June 2014 – May 2015

2 June 2014
3 June 2014
4 June 2014
5 June 2014
6 June 2014
7 June 2014
8 June 2014
9 June 2014
10 June 2014
11 June 2014
12 June 2014
13 June 2014
14 June 2014
16 June 2014
17 June 2014
18 June 2014
19 June 2014
20 June 2014
21 June 2014
22 June 2014
23 June 2014
24 June 2014
25 June 2014
26 June 2014
27 June 2014
28 June 2014
29 June 2014
2 July 2014
3 July 2014
4 July 2014
5 July 2014
6 July 2014
7 July 2014
8 July 2014
9 July 2014
10 July 2014
11 July 2014
12 July 2014
13 July 2014
14 July 2014
15 July 2014
16 July 2014
17 July 2014
18 July 2014
19 July 2014
20 July 2014
21 July 2014
22 July 2014
23 July 2014
24 July 2014
25 July 2014
26 July 2014
27 July 2014
28 July 2014
29 July 2014
30 July 2014
31 July 2014
1 August 2014
2 August 2014
3 August 2014
4 August 2014
5 August 2014
6 August 2014
7 August 2014
8 August 2014
9 August 2014
10 August 2014
11 August 2014
12 August 2014
13 August 2014
14 August 2014
15 August 2014
16-17 August 2014
18 August 2014
19 August 2014
20 August 2014
21 August 2014
22 August 2014
23 August 2014
24 August 2014
25 August 2014
26 August 2014
27 August 2014
28-30 August 2014
31 August – 1 September 2014
2 September 2014
3 September 2014
4 September 2014
5 September 2014
6 September 2014
7 September 2014
8 September 2014
9-10 September 2014
11 September 2014
12 September 2014
15 September 2014
16 September 2014
17 September 2014
18 September 2014
19 September 2014
20 September 2014
21 September 2014
22 September 2014
23 September 2014
24 September 2014
26 September 2014
27 September 2014
29 September 2014
30 September 2014
1 October 2014
2 October 2014
3 October 2014
4-5 October 2014
6 October 2014
7 October 2014
18 October 2014
19 October 2014
20-21 October 2014
22 October 2014
23 October 2014
24 October 2014
25-27 October 2014
29 October 2014
30 October 2014
31 October 2014
1 November 2014
2-4 November 2014
5-6 November 2014
7-8 November 2014
20-21 November 2014
24-25 November 2014
26-27 November 2014
28 November 2014
29 November – 1 December 2014
2 December 2014
3-4 December 2014
5-6 December 2014
7-8 December 2014
9 December 2014
10 December 2014
11 December 2014
12 December 2014
14 December 2014
15 December 2014
16 December 2014
17 December 2014
18 December 2014
19 December 2014
20-21 December 2014
22 December 2014
23 December 2014
24-27 December 2014
27-28 December 2014
28 December 2014
29 December 2014
30 December 2014
31 December 2014 – 2 January 2015
5 January 2015
6 January 2015
7 January 2015
8-9 January 2015
9-10 January 2015
11-12 January 2015
13 January 2015
14 January 2015
15 January 2015
16 January 2015
17-19 January 2015
20 January 2015
21 January 2015
22 January 2015
23 January 2015
24 January 2015
25 January 2015
26 January 2015
27 January 2015
28 January 2015
29 January 2015
30 January 2015
31 January 2015
1 February 2015
2 February 2015
3 February 2015
4-6 February 2015
7 February 2015
8 February 2015
9 February 2015
10 February 2015
11 February 2015
12 February 2015
13 February 2015
14 February 2015
15 February 2015
16 February 2015
17 February 2015
18 February 2015
19 February 2015
20 February 2015
21 February 2015
22 February 2015
23 February 2015
24 February 2015
25 February 2015
26 February 2015
27 February 2015
28 February 2015
1 March 2015
2 March 2015
3 March 2015
4 March 2015
5-6 March 2015
7 March 2015
8 March 2015
9 March 2015
10 March 2015
11 March 2015
12 March 2015
13 March 2015
14 March 2015
15 March 2015
16 March 2015
17 March 2015
18-19 March 2015
20 March 2015
21 March 2015
22-23 March 2015
24-25 March 2015
1 April 2015
2-3 April 2015
3-4 April 2015
5-6 April 2015
6 April 2015
7 April 2015
8-9 April 2015
10 April 2015
11 April 2015
12-13 April 2015
14 April 2015
15-16 April 2015
17 April 2015
18 April 2015
21 April 2015
22 April 2015
23 April 2015
24-25 April 2015
25-26 April 2015
27 April 2015
28 April 2015
29-30 April 2015
1 May 2015
2-3 May 2015
4 May 2015
5 May 2015
6 May 2015
7 May 2015
8 May 2015
9 May 2015
10 May 2015
11 May 2015
12 May 2015
13 May 2015
14 May 2015
15 May 2015
16 May 2015
17 May 2015
18 May 2015
19 May 2015
20 May 2015
21 May 2015
22 May 2015
25 May 2015
26 May 2015
27 May 2015
28 May 2015
29 May 2015
30 May 2015
31 May 2015
Beginner’s mind
Not two. Not one
Time and space
Outside inside
Form is emptiness, emptiness is form
Respect everything
All is Buddha
Nothing to attain
Take out the excess
No trace of thoughts
No ideal
Concentrate on what is being done
Forget yourself
The real self
Which that already is within us (Broken at the bottom)
Bowl is emptiness (missing)
The goal is present moment
All things are impermanent (missing)
The belief in nothingness
Original Nature
Before the mind
Without limitations
The worth of self
Humble (Broken at the bottom)
Here Now
See as it is
The weed of life is the food of life
All horses are good horse
Bowl is bowl (not written)
Nothing is special
From moment after moment
Not exciting
Doing for doing
Attaining for not attaining (Two bowls)
Giving is un-attachment
Forget everyday
No goal
Study ourselves
Be ourselves
Equanimous every moment
Plus minus is the same
From emptiness to .
Way of Life
Accept change
No body no Mind
A tender Heart
Being. Not being
Being only for an instant (exploded)
No form, no color
The same thing
Know when compared
Experience, not philosophy
Many faces of truths
No past, no present, no future
Normal Mind
Beyond consciousness
Personal worth
Enlightenment and practicing is the same thing
No enlightenment, no self
Dependent Free (KIYO)
No you, no me
No system, rules but life
Big Mind
Think positive (KIYO)
Truth does
Diligence is not enduring
No beginning. No end
Flour turns into bread
Time is a unity
Just do
Should not be attached
From and to
Personal method
You are Buddha
When you are you
All is perfect
You believe therefore I am
Thoughts dominated by ego occurs karma
Every moment changes, so we do not exist permanently
Freedom in body and mind
All thing is the light that appears
The prompt of the mind is wisdom
Existence comes from emptiness
Diversity and unity is the same thing
Endeavor is the goal
There are teachings in every moment
Beyond the conscious experience
The mind of the universe
The invisible connection
Mind to mind (Beginner’s mind to the mind of the beginner)
Mind of the beginner (Beginner’s mind to the mind of the beginner)
The right posture
Observe from a distance
The wave of a big mind is without duality
Mistake is Zen
No question, no answer
When you are really yourself
Within the emptiness
Life and death is the same thing
Here, Now
Find bliss in one’s own sorrow
Both bliss and sorrow will pass
Empty mind
Attached and un-attached is the same thing
Life is art when seeing weed as precious
Beyond consciousness
Everyone has a Buddha heart
Aware of the emptiness in the present moment
Everyone has a hidden diamond. Dig it up
Not attaching is giving
The real self is without self
Sitting for sitting
Enlightenment is already within us
Accepting that all is impermanent.
No emptiness then no nature
Precepts, concentration and wisdom contains in an empty mind
All that is ,depends on one another
When there is peace, we don’t recognize it
Please drink some tea
Today is cold
Put down
Sound of birds singing
Aware in the Buddha
Do is Dharma
We are the society
Truth is beyond words (Nothing is written)
Stop searching
Teaching by not teaching
Doing by not doing. Empty mind
Wait – Present moment
Always forgetting self is Zazen
No complaining
Nothing is special, therefore its special
Concentrate in the present moment
No beginning. No End. No separation line
Silent, Simple
Think don’t feel, Feel don’t think
Everything is us, understand it when zazen
Lost stone
Understanding is action at the same time.
Free from everything. Forget everything in mind.
Precept, concentration and wisdom is the same one.
Happy is unhappy. Unhappy is happy.
Weed is valuable.
Pure attempt.
Everything is Zazen.
Gap between words.
No pride nor impatience.
Eye cannot see itself.
The world which does not appear.
Be concentrate with present moment.
Compassionate mind, no border, no duality.
Body and mind is the one and two.
Inner and outer world is the one world.
There should be some rules then ffiifind truth freedom.
Let it in then let it go.
Be concentrate with breath.
The worst horse might be the best runner.
Everything is value to respect.
See the value in the smallest thing.
Be concentrate with sincerity.
Clay turns to tea bowl.
Peaceful mind, joyfulness, not excited to anything.
Purity…be as it is.
Attachment is the trace of thought.
Gods give us.
There is no best way, you have to fiffiind it yourself.
On process.
I don’t know because I still am.
Before summer end, falls comes.
Stop looking outside yourself.
Be honest with your feeling.
Just listen.
You are unite with universe.
Practice and practice and practice…
Find the perfection in imperfection.
Charcoal does not turn to ash.
Know yourself, understand everything.
Wisdom comes from empty mind.
Ready to turn to form and color.
One thing has many names.
When the wind is calm, flower falls.
Before religion.
It is in everything, everywhere, every moment.
This is illusion.
In your own path.
Looking in mind.
In between somewhere and nowhere
Zen mind.
One thing flows to other thing.
We are living for ourselves.
Depending and free from each other.
Time, present moment to past and future.
Water and tide is one.
Thank you to the weed.
You are here, now.
Bowing helps to get rid of selfness.
See normality in everything.
Sincerity, true nature.
Zen is not exciting.
Be the dark and empty sky.
Experience direct truth.
Truth has many sides.
To achieve real understanding has to practice.
Accept the changes.
It is already has.
The true understanding comes from emptiness.
Wisdom is empty mind.
Before form and color.
Daily life is Zazen.
Word of wisdom is in everything, every moment.
Becoming Buddha.
Helping every living nature.
Peaceful inner mind.
Truly simple.
Always be beginner.
We live for ourselves.
Everything looks beautiful because it has no balance.
A mind that fuses everything.
Weed of mind is the nutrition food for mind.
Continuously mistaking is zen.
Limitation is not limit you. Practicing.
When Zen is not Zen.
You already understood it.
Normal routine in daily life.
The spirit of the un-attaining.
Ashes will not turn back into firewood.
Charity of Paramita.
Practicing without joyfulness.
Goal is to not have a goal.
Studying Buddhism is studying oneself.
The Zazen frog doesn’t think that it is doing something special.
Constancy dissolves the problems.
Communication, just be still and silent.
Already is within us. Don’t need to search.
All is illusion, when emptiness is not understood.
Ego is illusion.
Accept changes.
Focus on the state that is being.
When thirsty, we are glad to get the drink.
Stop the whispers of the stream.
The glasses is the enlightenment.
Believe in nothingness. Enlightenment.
Peace before peace.
Direct experience of emptiness.
The truth that collects the truth.
Beyond the experience of consciousness.
In one’s own way.
Observe the mind. No thinking. No feeling.
Enlightenment and practice is one. 
Share Published on Feb 20, 2017 at 4:25 am.
Filled under: 31 century museum: Inner World
No Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.