In all my craziness lately I started to notice my mind naturally drifting to a specific experience from my travels to Thailand this summer. I began contemplating why, and I wanted to share it with you.
While in Chang Mai this summer, I receive a Sak Yant. Sak Yants (also known as a Yantra, or Sak Yan) are tattoos that are designed using geometric shapes, animals, and deitys to give the bearer benefits. I knew I wanted the traditional experience of receiving a Sak Yant while in Thailand so, I researched a variety of options and settled on an experience booked through Where The Sidewalk Ends. Although a little pricey this seemed to me to be an authentic experience and provided me with an English translator. I was definitely not disappointed.
Sak Yant tattoos have been around for centuries. Many believe that the tattoos can provide strength, confidence, discipline, and protection to those who wear them. Historically, Sak Yant tattoos were often found on warriors because of the powerful "magic" that they held. Think of the "magic" from the mind of a warrior going into battle. The Sak Yant fully armed the warrior by mentally preparing them for battle. The mind thinks that it has something the other side does not, therefore the "magic" works. The mind is a powerful tool and MINDSET determines outcomes.
I was more than a little nervous. I had NO idea what to expect, but I felt as if I was committing to an experience that was emotionally deep and very spiritual. When the Ajarn Rung was ready, we began to visit. (Yes... I was talking to a Buddhist monk!) What struck me first was how carefree and fun he was to talk with. I mentioned this to my translator and he laughed. He told me that the Ajarn had spent his entire life in a Buddhist monastery, he had few worries to plague him. I also learned that the Ajarn was sought out by many people for blessings, and to lead certain ceremonies in the community. He was very respected.
I shared with him my hopes, fears, dreams, and the things that I thought held me back in life. It seemed so natural, like talking to a good friend. When we were done visiting the Ajarn showed me the Sak Yant he had created specifically for me. It was very emotional and really special because it was uniquely mine. The tattoo was created to remind me that true happiness can only be found within and that with discipline, hard work, a little luck and protection anything I set my mind to, can be accomplished.
Then the Sak Yant ceremony began. I made my offering and prayed for all the blessings within the Sak Yant to work and come true. I sat calmly in front of the Ajarn as he proceeded, in the traditional way, to apply the Sak Yant onto my body. After the Sak Yant was complete the Ajarn said a prayer over the symbols and the ceremony ended. I could feel the power of our time together and I will carry the message with me forever. This is definitely one of my favorite tattoos.
The whole ceremony was unforgettable and held a powerful personal messages for me. With the hard task of keeping our lives balanced we often feel stressed and anxious. The quiet magic of my SaK Yant seemed to be at work this month as It gently reminded me of all the good things in my life and that ONLY I have the power to create my best life - through patience, planning, and discipline I will find happiness.