Page 1 of 1

"Liberation through seeing" tattoo

Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:11 pm
by Marenz
Hi everyone,

So, I realize the vanity of this question, and I realize how it may ultimately seem somewhat antithetical to the ultimate purpose of the path, but...

I have been a little obsessed with tattoos as of late. I have gotten a number of them, all of which have been for my own "benefit." I have, however, been planning to get one more tattoo. Recently, I have been thinking how the tattoos I have received have been selfish and have ultimately had little do with my practice of Buddhism.

Since I already am planning to get another tattoo, I was wondering if I could get your insight on what maym be of some benefit to others. It seems that there are certain mantras that may provide benefit to others by virtue of merely having been seen. Some that come to mind are:
The mantra from the Forceful Waterfall Sutra: Om Hanu Pasha Bhara He Ye Soha
The Lotus Pinnacle of Amogapasha: OM PADMO USHNISHA VIMALE HUM PHAT
And: A Ah Sha Sa Ma Ha
(And I am open to other suggestions)

As I already have a plan to get one more tattoo (and therefore would appreciate the avoidance of responses suggesting the futility of it), I was hoping you all may be able to provide some suggestions as to a tattoo that could potentially be beneficial to others.

Re: "Liberation through seeing" tattoo

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:37 am
by jkarlins
Cool idea. I have no idea which one to go with, or if it's dharmically a good idea, but I like it. Maybe someone more experienced will chime in as to safety, and so forth.

Re: "Liberation through seeing" tattoo

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:20 pm
by The Artis Magistra
There is also lots of superstition regarding doing this in relation to Buddhist statements. To mark oneself in this way with words considered essentially magical, might fill many with dread. "Save me from My Self".

Eschewing all that superstitious seeming fear, I think you should review the most attractive Mantras to you by looking at statements or mantras used by whatever Buddhist things you enjoy, then the one that really pops out to you and appears the most profound of all that you want to have embedded in ink on your flesh would perhaps become available to you.

All your tattoos, as you may know, are actually quite relevant as signs to you and perhaps others, they say many things and you may benefit from discussing them and studying them here as well as those themes that have been marked on you, how can anyone say that is not profound?

Re: "Liberation through seeing" tattoo

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:44 pm
by Vasana
If you really wanted to ensure that people encountered liberation through seeing mantras i'm sure you could find other ways. I think even just having a little part of you being motivated by your own cosmetic/worldy enhancement isn't the best thing to 'mix' with mantra/dharma. Even when done with sincere intent it's easy to unknowingly propagate the whole culture of dharma merchandising and 'spiritual materialism' etc.

For what it's worth, I don't find much issue if someone gets buddhist/mantra ink for personal practice motivation/inspiration/devotion etc

Re: "Liberation through seeing" tattoo

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:56 pm
by Lukeinaz
Have you checked out Tashi's website?

https://store.tashimannox.com/tattoo_ca ... oo-designs

Re: "Liberation through seeing" tattoo

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:45 am
by TharpaChodron
I recently had the opportunity to receive an actual Buddhist tattoo (and my only tattoo, at that). My friend's family are Cambodians and the uncle is one of very few in the US who can do the Sak Yant tattoos. I went through the full ritual and it was quite a serious and beautiful experience. He used the spear type instrument with a sharpened point, dipping it in ink, and together we repeated mantras together while he gave me the Sak Yant, at their home shrine. It was a family affair, and I was the first white person or westerner that he had ever given a tattoo to. It's written in Pali, but Cambodian script.

I would get more, but his head teacher in Cambodia told him to only using the gun from now on. So what I have is very special, I think.

I have pics! :tongue:

Re: "Liberation through seeing" tattoo

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:29 am
by The Artis Magistra
I'd like to know more about it please, what does it say and mean to you? Thank you.

Re: "Liberation through seeing" tattoo

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:12 am
by yosomolo
Hi Marenz,

My Guru has advised me to not put mantras or holy images on your body as tattoos because if you do the karmic repercussions will be high

For example:

1. If you do good deeds while having holy images or mantras tattooed on your body it will be be magnified by 10000 times the karmic amount

2. If you do bad deeds that are against Buddhist teachings such as going against the 5 precepts it will be magnified by 10000 times the karmic amount.

Personally I see the logic behind this because if we would want to mark our body with holy images and holy words we would have to live up to it so not to taint or pervert the teachings that the deity or mantras has taught us to do.

I would suggest just tattooing seed syllables on your body. I have a full body armor tattoo that has the seed syllable HRIH and OM and so far it has been alright for me.

Hope this helps

Re: "Liberation through seeing" tattoo

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:32 pm
by byamspa
Super long time ago, in the mid 90's i met an artist who had had a Lama write a mantra on him that he then inked over himself.

So depending on the Lama and the mantra, its probably Ok.

Re: "Liberation through seeing" tattoo

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:37 pm
by TharpaChodron
The Artis Magistra wrote:I'd like to know more about it please, what does it say and mean to you? Thank you.

It's three lines from top to bottom, in a way it looks like a Cambodian temple design a la Angor Wat. One line is a prayer to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. The next line is a prayer to bless the person with good speech and charm. And the final line is a prayer to protect one from danger and harm, such as from knives or guns.

Jean, the shaman and tattoo artist, said that he felt like I was Cambodian in a past life. I knew if I was to ever get a tattoo it would have to be Buddhist, but I never thought I'd get such an opportunity. I guess you can go to Thailand and there are people doing this type of work all over the place, but my experience seemed special.

Re: "Liberation through seeing" tattoo

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:07 pm
by climb-up
There are two runesoup podcast on magical tattoos in Thai land that might be interesting to listen to.

I don't know if it applies to the Tibetan tradition, but in the Thai tradition (based solely on these two excellent podcasts) a magical tattoo has to made correctly, done with the correct ingredients and by someone who knows how to do it, otherwise its just a pretty tattoo (...hopefully).
There are also some images, spells, etc. that they will not give everyone, and some that they will not give anyone because the karmic repercussions are too strong. I don't know what they are.

In my (unbelievably and extremely limited) experience with things like "Liberation through seeing" I believe that the design needs to be authenticated either by yourself or a very experienced practitioner.

Based on the above, my guess would be that for it to be effective you would want to find an experienced practitioner who is also a tattoo artist.
If you were to find an experienced enough practitioner, they would also know if it's appropriate.

Re: "Liberation through seeing" tattoo

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:49 pm
by The Artis Magistra
Thank you so much for the further explanation, I really appreciate it! I think it is undeniably special and unique considering all the unusual circumstances involved.

Re: "Liberation through seeing" tattoo

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:12 am
by yosomolo
HI The Artis Magistra,

I believe I can further the explanation of what user Climb Up has explained

Sak yant tattoos are essentially prayers/mantras that are specifically for tattooing on the body. These tattoos are usually given out by those who have been trained in this art and require special prayers to be chanted and blow on to the tattoos to give it its power/blessing.

I myself have two on my back and I live in South East Asia myself.

These tattoos contain special ingredients such as snake blood/venom or other ingredients that is believed to help further bless the tattoo. However there are restrictions to these tattoos because if the tattoos contains ingredients such as the snake blood/venom, the person who has received the tattoo will not be permitted to consume snake products (such as snake bile which is a delicacy in SEA) for the rest of their life as long as they have the tattoo on their body.

There are many designs and variations of the Sak Yant tattoos and even Angelina Jolie has one on her side.

Each design contains a different prayer/blessing/power to help the person who has receive the tattoo

Hope that helps.

Re: "Liberation through seeing" tattoo

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:09 pm
by Lobsang Chojor
yosomolo wrote:These tattoos contain special ingredients such as snake blood/venom or other ingredients that is believed to help further bless the tattoo. However there are restrictions to these tattoos because if the tattoos contains ingredients such as the snake blood/venom, the person who has received the tattoo will not be permitted to consume snake products (such as snake bile which is a delicacy in SEA) for the rest of their life as long as they have the tattoo on their body.
Thank you for a detailed description.

Is this restriction on snake products for health reasons or to keep the blessing?

Re: "Liberation through seeing" tattoo

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:48 pm
by Karinos
If you are about to tattoo image of Buddha or any Bodhisattva etc. on visible part of your body please remember you may not be able to visit some of Buddhist countries or pilgrimage sights as for some it is considered blasphemy
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-27107857

also from Thailand:
Image

Re: "Liberation through seeing" tattoo

Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:17 am
by The Artis Magistra
yosomolo wrote:HI The Artis Magistra,

I believe I can further the explanation of what user Climb Up has explained

Sak yant tattoos are essentially prayers/mantras that are specifically for tattooing on the body. These tattoos are usually given out by those who have been trained in this art and require special prayers to be chanted and blow on to the tattoos to give it its power/blessing.

I myself have two on my back and I live in South East Asia myself.

These tattoos contain special ingredients such as snake blood/venom or other ingredients that is believed to help further bless the tattoo. However there are restrictions to these tattoos because if the tattoos contains ingredients such as the snake blood/venom, the person who has received the tattoo will not be permitted to consume snake products (such as snake bile which is a delicacy in SEA) for the rest of their life as long as they have the tattoo on their body.

There are many designs and variations of the Sak Yant tattoos and even Angelina Jolie has one on her side.

Each design contains a different prayer/blessing/power to help the person who has receive the tattoo

Hope that helps.
Wonderful! What are yours about or what do they say? What special ingredients do they contain and what vows were required by you? Have you experienced any confirmation in your opinion of their powers? What are some stories about that?

Re: "Liberation through seeing" tattoo

Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:55 pm
by climb-up
yosomolo wrote:HI The Artis Magistra,

I believe I can further the explanation of what user Climb Up has explained

Sak yant tattoos are essentially prayers/mantras that are specifically for tattooing on the body. These tattoos are usually given out by those who have been trained in this art and require special prayers to be chanted and blow on to the tattoos to give it its power/blessing.

I myself have two on my back and I live in South East Asia myself.

These tattoos contain special ingredients such as snake blood/venom or other ingredients that is believed to help further bless the tattoo. However there are restrictions to these tattoos because if the tattoos contains ingredients such as the snake blood/venom, the person who has received the tattoo will not be permitted to consume snake products (such as snake bile which is a delicacy in SEA) for the rest of their life as long as they have the tattoo on their body.

There are many designs and variations of the Sak Yant tattoos and even Angelina Jolie has one on her side.

Each design contains a different prayer/blessing/power to help the person who has receive the tattoo

Hope that helps.
Nice, thanks for the extra information and personal experience.
I didn't know about the restrictions, that is very interesting.

I anyone is interested there is a book by the guest on the podcast I linked to below. For various reasons the book is only going to available through July 23rd, but it contains interviews and amazing looking pictures and (importantly) was very well received by Ajhans who were featured in the book.
I don't have the funds for it right now, but if I'd pick it up:
https://www.facebook.com/The-Thai-Occul ... 548771417/

Re: "Liberation through seeing" tattoo

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:54 am
by yosomolo
Hi Lobsang Chojor,

These restrictions are put to keep the blessings because snakes are believed to be related to the nagas

To Artis Magistra,

Mine are both the five lines tattoos (same as Angelina Jolie). Containing snake venom and blood I believe. The only restriction I have is to not consume anything snake related.
I came from a bad time in my life before having the tattoo and from what I can see after having the tattoo, my life has been going smoother =)

Hope that helps

Re: "Liberation through seeing" tattoo

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:04 pm
by Lobsang Chojor
Hi Yosomolo,

Thank you for your reply, that was what I suspected. The tattoos seem cool :smile: