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Tattooed by a Monk: My Sak Yant Tattoo

The smoky fragrance of incense, opening up to a complete stranger about my passions, fears, and desires, and being able to share it all with Sarah will leave as indelible a mark on my memory as it has on my skin. 

Last week, Sarah and I ventured out of Chiang Mai into a smaller community where I received a Sak Yant through a practice that has been performed in this area for over 2,000 years.

A Sak Yant is a traditional, hand-etched Thai tattoo given by an Ajarn (monk who is a master tattoo artist in this case) and blessed to provide protection and good fortune, enhance or suppress desired characteristics of the bearer, and influence people and events the bearer may come into contact with. In the past, they were mostly given to warriors to protect them from physical harm during battle but over time they’ve spread to incorporate other virtues. Continue Reading