Meanings in ink

A piece of meWhen I was showing my new tattoo to my friends, one of them asked me why do I do this to myself? What is the meaning of that particular tattoo? It made me realize that we always seek to find meaning in things, even if they don’t really mean anything at all. For example, I think of my body as a canvass and the tattoos are works of art that I put on my body. Most of the time, it’s really about aesthetics; only rarely is it about deeper meanings.

So anyway, I got a yak sant tattoo of twin tigers, often called yant suea koo (spelling may vary). It’s a tattoo that prays for strength and control for the bearer of the tattoo. All around, it is surrounded by scripture that describes a mantra called kata asking for Buddha to imbibe the bearer with strength and control, particularly in leading others. I thought that even if I am unable to get the magical blessing of the proper Buddhist priests, I can somehow imbibe the message of how I want to be stronger and more in control of my actions, my thoughts, my life.

But really, there are no deeper meanings than that for me. While it would be wonderful if I got a proper blessed yak sant tattoo, I know that it is impossible. What is possible is to enjoy the beauty of a traditional tattoo design and add it to the canvass, that is my body. So this is simply my choice among the myriad of other tattoos that I could choose, I chose this and I’m happy with my selection! It’s just hard when others would ask for an explanation. Truth is, as garrulous as I am, I just have no words to explain it.


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