Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Bowl of Stupid - admitting one's mistakes to overcome clinging to Atta

I learnt a great lesson in Humility and about the fact that we so easily fall into the trap of Atta (the concept opf a permanent malleable self), and think that things are ours - this can cause us to make mistakes and even offend people by becoming too posessive over what we consider to be "ours", as well as causing lack of humility and an overzealous self defensiveness..
I made a completely Unenlightened "Faux pas" on somebody elses blog about using material from one of my other websites which cased the owner to react in a very offensive and hateful manner, not only did i cause him to lose his composure , i also succeeded in making us both look like a pair of idiots. Luckily i remembered my Dhamma teachings and managed to overcome my natural sense of feeling offended by his words and managed to not fall into the trap of defending myself with a return attack. Although he was offensive to me he was right about many points he made. I decided that the best way to reverse my Karma and also to purify my consciousness of the impurity of anger and self cherishing, was to admit my mistakes and recognize the feelings of others.
Below is the post he made on his blog and the subsequent barrage of comments between the both of us.

To summarize; It is possible for us to alchemize our feelings if we can overcome the feeling to always protect ourselves and be defensive when we feel either accused or that we have been caught out making a mistake. The sooner we admit things to ourselves, the sooner we can transform the negative into positive.

A Bowl of Stupid » Tattoo You — The Sacred Art of Sak Yant, Part Whatever …: "Tattoo You — The Sacred Art of Sak Yant, Part Whatever …

Published by A Bowl Of Stupid at 6:46 pm under History, Educational Material, Video, Thailand, bangkok, tattoo

(Yours truly — sporting the latest)

สักยันต์ - Sak Yant; Sak - meaning 'to tap' or, 'to tattoo', and Yant, meaning 'Yantra'. Originally derived from the Sanskrit word 'YANTRA'.

Through some sort of Google 'search engine magic', this site — and, in particular, the posts HERE, HERE and HERE — has become some sort of pseudo-authority on the sacred Bhuddist art of 'Sak Yant' tattooing.

The bad news is that, as I stated in the comment section of one post:

Just to set the record straight, I pretty much know jack-shit about EVERYTHING.

My admitted stupidity notwithstanding, people STILL continue to be directed here by the search-engine gods in their quest for knowledge about Sak Yant. My apologies, everyone.

The good news, however, is that I too know know how to use Google to find ACTUAL authorities on the subject of Sak Yant tattoos and have posted links in my above-referenced posts to ACTUAL sak yant authories. Moreover, one of my best friends in Bangkok actually did a video piece for the Bangkok Post (see below) about Arjan Noo, one of the best know Say Yant artists in the — having given Angelina Jolie her well-publicized sak yant tattoos.

The other good news is that there has also been some faily interesting information posted by visitors in the commentary of my posts, including this latest comment by ujalakali:

I have a sak yant tattoo and I am a woman. I made a kind of pilgrimage to bkk to get it done. actually, i would have gone to anyone, but ended up at arjan noo’s to get it done in the belief that women cannot be touched by monks–which arjan noo is not.

later a westerner with plentiful sak yant told me that some bkk temples will put sak yant on women.

here is my experience:
I only have one and was not allowed to choose it. this is important! i think you often dont really get to choose. you tell them what is going on with you (i was on my way to afghanistan so i recieved the protection yant) and they give you the one that is best. also, i felt that they strongly encouraged putting the yants in the classic places. AJ’s is in the normal place for a protection tattoo. they put mine in a slightly different place. they were very clear that they were not going to do anything on my lower back, even though i didn’t ask for such a thing. this was a clear rule.

one final thing–this is for real. everything changed for me after recieving the tattoo. come correct.

This is all I really know, that which is my experience–i dont know about the other yants and dont know what the experience is for men.

i have a question if anyone knows– are there rules explicit for women? as far as i can see the rules are mostly for men, so i just try to stay on the right path as i see it. but if there are ladies rules, i would love to know them! thanks!

As I mentioned in those comments:

… it’s my understanding that the ‘rules’ on Sak Yant (in general) is that you cannot have an actual image of the holy Buddha anywhere on your body, and that the yants themselves are not to be placed anywhere beneath the waistline (which, for obvious reasons, is considered unclean — that’s also the reason monks are not allowed to touch women, as they are alleged to be unclean … sorry girls, I’m just the messenger.

That being said, I can also advise all of you fellow tattoo enthusiasts (read: freaks) that obviously Arjan Noo himself does sak yants for women (although when I went for one, he charges foreigners — 'falangs' — about US$2,000.00 per, and presumably more if you're a celebrity).

Further, there was also a Malaysian woman behind me to get inked at Wat Bang Phra when I got my first sak yant. I assume she eventually got one there, although I didn't stick around to confirm it, and it's my understanding that women there are only allowed to get 'invisible tattoos' made with vegetable oil instead of ink.

Again, what the hell do I know, right?

So for those of you still interested in more info, you can go to the appropriately named — it has just about everything you may want to know on the subject.

And who can (or want to learn to) read Thai, here's a link to Arjan Noo's website — actually, there are a bunch of links there written in English also.

Last, but not least, there's this: the VERY BEST news story you'll ever see about the subject — where my buddy, Desho Bernard of the Bangkok Post (a.k.a. Guru Bangkok), went to do a story on Arjan Noo and got tattooed instead:

That is all … freaks.

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6 Responses to “Tattoo You — The Sacred Art of Sak Yant, Part Whatever …”

# spenscr littlewoodon 01 Dec 2008 at 10:45 pm

considering the snippets you took from my website and the repeated claims of knowing authorities on sak yant, you could have been good enough to give me a link to instead of only to yourself
you are using copyright text that is of my handwriting and should post on your own merits and write your own stuff instead of copying and pasting snippets from the forums on sak yant.
Either remove my text or give me a linkback
apart from that most of the info you have given is a crock of bull and untrue in many ways.
Why cant you blog about something you know about instead of stealing peoples words and pasting them here without even crediting them for it??
regards Spencer
# A Bowl Of Stupidon 02 Dec 2008 at 7:32 am

Hey douchebag!!

Did you even read the post?

Do you even KNOW the domestic and international laws concerning the use of purportedly copywrited material on public domains (i.e., the internet)?

Did you even SEE that I said I don’t know jack-shit about sak-yant?

And most importantly, did you even see that I ALREADY POSTED A FUCKING LINK TO YOUR SHITTY SITE?!?

Learn how to fucking read ‘Spencer’. Then maybe you can come back and rant.

In the meantime, lighten the fuck up — it’s just a freaking website … douchebag.
# Rosson 15 Jan 2009 at 6:42 am

hey man just wondering what ur ink means the one under the temple its pretty cool
# B. Cidon 08 Feb 2009 at 9:43 pm

I just visited Thailand and went to Wat Bang Phra Temple for my tattoo. I am a 35 year old women and looked into it before receiving my tattoo. I did not get the invisible tattoo.

Also, the monk that does the tattoo cannot touch the skin of a woman and therefore he wears a glove while he conducts the art work of the tattoo. He also had an assistant that is able to touch the back. If he has no assistant then he cannot do tattoo on a woman. I was lucky that there was an assistant there and he was able to do the first in a series of four tattoos which is the “Temple”.

You are correct, we are not allowed to choose what and where we want the tattoo. Monk chooses for you. When he is done he does a prayer and then you finish. I only paid 200 Baht for it which is equivalent to about $6-$7 american dollars. I gave an additional 100 Baht as a contribution. They take the money as an offering with cigarettes, flowers and incense which is sold at the temple for 200 Baht. So really i spent 500 baht for the whole experience and I am very happy with it, which is about $20 us dollars for a tattoo.

So don’t be fooled. You must go to Wat Bang Phra Temple which is wear Angelina and Jon Bon Jovi got their tattoos.

It is meant for men but women can get them. It is suppose to protect you from harm and give you look in love with the opposite sex.
# spenceron 14 Mar 2009 at 8:18 am

Yes you are right about that one should lighten up
I apologize publicly
Smetimes we humans get too easily wound up and i am no exception, i obviusly jumped the gun and i am man enough to admit it.
But also you should lighten up as if it is after all only a website then you shouldnt be calling me a douchebag if you are taking things as lightly as you would like me to.
I am however not offended as i know you are only suffering a natural angry reaction to my first comment, which is quite understandable. Dochebag is howver a rather inpolite term for which im sure you have just made yourself look just as tupid as did by jumping the gun and not looking properly before i open my big stupid mouth. I feel rather embarrassed for my slip up. I wonder if you do for your extremely angry reaction and offensive/aggressive reaction.
# spenceron 14 Mar 2009 at 8:22 am

forgot to add that i wish to thank you for reminding me of what was always my principle since the beginnig and somehting that i seem to have forgotten;
Namely, my desire to promote free information for all on the internet and non-posessive sharing, that applies also to fotos. Thanks for waking me up to this fact i must have got the selfishness or jealousy mind poison in my brain somehow. How stupid of me , i have now decided to not interest myself whether my material is taken and used somewhere else on the www.
I wonder how you will react when you see somone make a blog with a large portion of your content and publish? I hope you practise what you preach - i will definitely practise what you preached to me.."

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