Sean and I always discussed getting tattoos in the countries we visited but never knew what to get (or mustered up the courage to go through with it)…until now.
Sak Yant (also called Sak Yan, or Yantra) is a form of tattooing that originated from ancient Thai peoples. Sak means to ‘jab’ and Yant or Yantra means ‘Blessed Tattoo’. The inscriptions are made up of ancient geometric designs mixed with Buddhist prayers and are believed to bring its bearer magic powers of luck, strength, healing, and protection against evil.
Sak Yants are customarily administered by a Thai Monk, but because Monks are not allowed to touch women, we had our tattoos done by an Ajarn, or master whom has studied the art of Sak Yant and is believed to be able to ink and bless the tattoos.
We were more excited about the spiritual experience than the tattoo itself. With each jab of the steel needle, we focused on being present in the pain, concentrating on the powers we desired our sacred blessing to bring. It took about 45minutes to an hour to finish each tattoo. Once completed, Ajarn Amnat recited a chant (or kata) and softly blew on our designs to activate the magic within the Sak Yant.
This is, by far, the best memento I’ve obtained throughout all of our travels around the world. May its magic bring us strength, protection, and virtue as we continue on our journey.