- Posted by Carl Hallowell
- On July 15, 2015
The old way is tired. The new way is fresh. The old attitude is jaded, the new, exuberant. Clinging to old ways, old habits prohibits renewal. Renewal is natural, renewal is springtime, renewal is vital. Renewal is not stopping the mind. Not stopping the mind allows it to be everywhere at once. This is the teaching of Fudo Myoo. This is why he is said to be the immovable one.
Let us allow ourselves to shed the skins of old. Allow ourselves to break with those things which do not work for us anymore. Change is the keystone our lives pivot on. Let us then be agile with change. Let us veer from maintaining a preference toward what we already know; let us abandon preference for freedom! Let us become new again every day. Imbibing our lives with this dynamicism, will we not live more fully?
This is Zen, this is not tattooing. This is Buddhism, this is not irezumi. Is it not? Being able to let go of the pain from moment to moment is essential in the act of overcoming the pain of sitting for a tattoo. Being free from the constraints of the last drawing, you can produce a better drawing today. Being open to new processes, you can help control your shop more effectively. Being stuck in the past ways of doing things is like being caught in an elbow spider web. It’s sticky, it hurts, and there is no way out.
How can traditional tattooing revolt against the past? Is not the past what we seek to imitate? The old masters, the old masterpieces? But we must discover the truths buried within it to know it. And to practice it, we must know it intimately. To know something, you must experience it in the moment. You cannot have a relationship with the past which is dead and gone. You can be physically in touch with the moment. You can taste, touch, smell and hear it. You can know it. You can experience it. This is called “Breaking through to Tradition.”