Monthly Archives: January 2013

peace corp volunteer

traditional tattoo

Japanese client gets a custom traditional tattoo, done in morbid tattoo parlor in cash and carry mall Makati Manila, Philippines.

tribal tattoo

daddy’s girl

diver client gets a custom turtle tattoo design with UV glow in the dark invisible lining, done in morbid tattoo parlor in cash and carry mall Makati Manila, Philippines.

R.E.D.

american retired military get inked in morbid tattoo parlor in cash and carry mall Makati Manila, Philippines.

octopus tattoo

 If you’re looking for a tattoo that covers a lot of symbolic territory, then the squid or octopus may well be the motif you’re looking for. Naturally intelligent, creative and flexible, the octopus also acquires its mystique from the watery environment in which it lives. Add to that the octopus’ chameleon-like ability to change its color, or disappear in a cloud of black ink when frightened or attacked and you have an enigmaticphantom of magic, wonder and transformation. The mysteries of the untamed sea contribute to the sense of wonder and mystery that surrounds this eight-tentacled creature.

As a denizen of the deep, it takes on much of the symbolism of water itself – the psyche, emotion, fluidity, and intuition. To that, add strategy, secrecy, and the power of reason, all attributes that were in action when the giant squid first rose from the deeps to hit the Cinema scope screen in the film “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” (1954).

It’s true, the squid and octopus are voracious predators, occasionally turning on themselves. For reasons no one has figured out, they will devour themselves, starting with their tentacles and ending with their death. There are hundreds and hundreds of different species of squid and octopus (289 discovered so far), inhabiting every ocean and sea that covers our blue planet. They range in size from a few inches to enormous denizens of the deep. The giant squid reaches lengths of over 40 feet (60 feet has been reported) and their only predator is the great Sperm Whale of Moby Dick fame. The North Pacific Giant Octopus can weigh up to 150 pounds with arms that span nearly 20 feet. Like the great Kraken of Pirate’s of the Caribbean fame, these eight-armed wonders can fuel the imagination, and not a few nightmares!

Octopi don’t have a spine, which makes them ‘invertebrates’, and which also accounts for their agility, grace and flexibility. Without much of a solid structure, they’re free to ‘go with the flow’. No wonder that they are escape artists extraordinaire. An Octopus as a totem guide would be a reminder to loosen up, to give up old and calcified habits, to try something new for a change.

The octopus’ ability to disengage a limb when under attack earns it the right to stand as a symbol of ‘jettisoning excess baggage’ from our lives. It reminds us that our life’s journey moves forward more expeditiously when we continue with only what we truly need. Of course, the octopus can grow back that limb, making it a symbol of regeneration.

As a master of camouflage, its symbolism grows more mysterious. The octopus can literally disappear before our eyes. And if that tactic doesn’t work to evade predators, it ejects a dense black cloud of ink behind which it makes its escape. Octopus as illusionist – it’s all part of the mystery surrounding this bottom-dwelling creature of the sea.

Various observations of the octopus by people over the years have attached even more qualities to this animal’s very busy aura — will, focus, magic, illusion, defense, mystery, expansion, complexity, adaptability, insatiability, and unpredictability.

Because the oceans are influenced by lunar cycles, by its waxing and waning and its constant motion and lightless depths, the octopus is considered to be a feminine energy.

‘Water demon’, this is how mythologists interpreted early images of the octopus found on Greek pottery. In many cases, the octopus was depicted with severed tentacles, as if it was the loser in battle. Around the world, cultures have chosen to represent the sea’s mood and mind with images of an angry monster, serpent, or octopus. In many creation myths, it was the jealous octopus, symbol of ‘the waters’, that tried to prevent the advent of life on terra firma. For the Babylonians, the god Marduk was dispatched to subdue the god of salt waters, Tiamat. The Greeks have their story of Apollo overcoming Python. The Egyptians speak of their sun god, Horus, killing the serpent Aphopis. Krishna destroyed Anatha. The sea monster was the ‘enemy of life’, at least on earth.

‘Tentacles’ have a negative connotation because of their ability to reach, grab, and ensnare. Humans aren’t practiced in defence against eight predatory arms, making the octopus a true monster. The allegory of tentacles has been applied to various organizations or corporations that overreach acceptable limits. In the 1901 novel, “The Octopus”, farmers battled overzealous railroad barons. Fascists in WW2 were represented as an octopus reaching out to control the whole of Europe. More recently, a National Rifle Association publication depicted New York’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg, as an octopus for his campaign against guns. “Tentacles!” shouted the headline. The NRA was then accused of anti-Semitism, due to Hitler having employed the same symbol to represent what Nazis perceived as Jewish conspiracy and control.

As a design, the octopus is a tattoo artist’s and tattoo enthusiast’s dream. The creature’s very features giving it immense flexibility in the way it can be utilized as a design. Tentacles can be wrapped around arms and legs, draped over shoulders and wrapped around waists and backs. And because of their chameleon-like ability to change color to match their surroundings, octopi come in a veritable rainbow of colors. They are ideal designs to incorporate into large maritime scenes and they can symbolize a wide range of characteristics and virtues. A tattoo design doesn’t get much more ‘flexible’ than that.  octopus tattoo design done in morbid tattoo parlor in cash and carry mall Makati Manila, Philippines.

 

Siddhartha Guatama

 Siddhartha Guatama was born a prince, but one of the sages present at his birth predicted greatness that would surpass any regal power. He was sure that Siddhartha would attain ‘supreme knowledge’, that is, become a Buddha.

Married at sixteen, the young prince resided in the royal court of his father until he was in his late twenties, when his wife bore him a son. Up until this time,Siddhartha had lived a protected existence within palace walls, but he began to take notice of the general population and their lowly state of poverty, sickness, and ultimately, death. He saw the truth behind human existence – and was shocked – at how little control people had over their fates.

Siddhartha left the palace, left his family behind, and became a wandering ascetic and disciple of various Hindu teachers. He even attracted a few disciples himself. But after years of searching and self-denial, he became disillusioned by the path he was on, and gave up the ascetic life. Consequently, his disciples gave up on him, yet Siddartha kept meditating. The year was 528 BC, and the place was under the Bodhi tree in northern India, when Siddhartha experienced his ‘awakening’. He woke up to the nature of reality and realized that there is an answer to endless suffering. Gathering his former disciples around him, the new Buddha instructed them in the foundation of what would become Buddhism.

He would call these basics, THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS.

1. All Life is Suffering. To live means to suffer. Suffering is a natural part of life and all of us suffer. The cause of this is impermanence. Being born, we must die, and between these two events we experience a never-ending stream of physical and emotional pleasures and pains, of which none can be sustained forever, nor kept forever at bay. Because everything is impermanent, loss is guaranteed, with suffering sure to follow.

2. All Suffering is Caused by Attachments. The origin of suffering is attachment. Attachments are our cravings and expectations, of people and things. Not only do we clamour after transient things, but we are ignorant of how and why the mind is so attached to all these things, thing that must and will surely pass. Attachment begins with desire – desire for physical objects and pleasures, for ideas and virtually anything we can perceive of, including the phantom to which we cling most desperately, the illusion of ‘self’. Upon close examination, we find that the ‘self’ has no substance at all.

3. Suffering Can Be Ended. The cessation of suffering is attainable. The cure is dispassion and equanimity in the face of all fear and desire. Easier said than done-but it can be done – that’s the third noble truth. Happiness and contentment are attainable. The state of nirvana brings freedom from suffering in all its forms. But nirvana is a state unfathomable to those who have not attained it.

4. Enlightenment Comes From Following the Eightfold Path. The path to the cessation of suffering is the ‘middle way’. Neither excessively hedonistic nor overly ascetic, walking a fine line leads to a gradual purification that brings an end to craving, ignorance, delusions, and ultimately to the end of the cycles of rebirth. The path to enlightenment or, Nirvana.

How to achieve freedom from suffering, how to attain this state of nirvana? The Buddha himself described a practical path that devotees can practice in order to rid themselves of attachment and delusion. Along with the Four Noble Truths, THE NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH constitutes the essence of Buddhism.

Right View, or Right Understanding. This means to understand reality as it is, which includes accepting the Four Noble Truths. It means to come to terms with the fact of impermanence of all things, and to understand the law of karma. This isn’t just an intellectual exercise, but comes through developing the larger mind Since our view of the world shapes our thoughts, which influence our actions, cultivating ‘right view’ is an all-important tenet of Buddhism.

Right intention. This refers not to any kind of cognitive ‘thinking’ but to our attitudes and mental energies that affect our actions. This is where ‘commitment’ comes into play. Do we have the intention to pause and consider the downside of desire? Do we intend to leave a trail of goodwill wherever we go? Do we aim to live a life of harmlessness to others and to develop compassion? We should be committed to ethical and mental self-improvement. We should be committed to overcome our own sufferings and prevent those of our actions that cause suffering in others.

Right Speech. Ethical conduct begins with right speech, conscious speech. Unconscious talk cannot help but involve lying, deceit, slander, and personal offense – and at its least offensive, just idle chatter. In other words, speak from the heart and only when necessary.

Right Action. The next ethical principle is an admonition not to harm other sentient beings, neither physically, materially, nor sexually. Act compassionately, respect the property of others, and be sexually benign.

1. Do not speak dishonestly.
2. Do not take what isn’t meant for you or given to you.
3. Do not kill other living things or ask that they be killed for you.
4. Do not engage in sexual activity that might harm you or others.
5. Do not become intoxicated to the point where you can’t control your speech or actions.

Right Livelihood. We should make our way in the world legally and peacefully. Our wealth should accrue without dealing in weapons or living beings. Buddha listed these things explicitly, and included meat and intoxicants as goods to avoid trading in. In general, abstain from occupations that would violate the principles of right action. Make your living in a manner that does not cause you to compromise your moral or ethical beliefs. Compromises are part of life, but if what you do for a living compromises your integrity, perhaps it is time to make a change.

Right Effort, or True Effort. This refers to mental energy or attitude or intention. We’ve all got this energy, which all too often serves desire, envy and aggression, rather than more wholesome states of mind, like kindness and benevolence. It’s all about becoming conscious of mediating between wholesome and unwholesome activities. Right Effort reminds us that we should bring the best of ourselves to everything that we undertake to do.

Right Mindfulness. This is the ability to see things as they are, to perceive phenomena without allowing the mind to package and project them beyond recognition. Buddha suggested ‘contemplation’ as the way to perceive reality without boxing each impression immediately into a preconceived form. Call it ‘formless awareness’. Right mindfulness is the perfected faculty of cognition.

What we think and do is central to Buddha’s teachings and the path of the practicing Buddhist. Right Mindfulness is at the core of Buddhism. Meditation is ‘mindfulness” training, allowing the Buddhist to be present in the now, to BE. Buddha considered right mindfulness to be the key to achieving a state of happiness.

Right Concentration, or Right Contemplation. We can all concentrate to some degree, but to gather and focus all our mental faculties onto wholesome thoughts and actions – this is concentration in the service of the Eightfold Path. Meditation is the practice that brings one-pointedness of mind. After a while, this increased ability to concentrate can pervade our whole lives.

Right Contemplation is the ability to think deeply and see the world both on the surface and as it really is. This requires the Buddhist to be both focused and thinking deeply. Right Contemplation allows us to stay connected to the world and the people that surround us, but at the same time be able to see our place and life in the grand scheme of the universe. Right Contemplation is about both “getting life” and getting “the big picture”.

The Buddha set out these principles as a practical guide with the goal of freeing us from attachments and desires, which ultimately leads to our perceiving reality as it is. But the Noble Eight fold Path is not a program to be undertaken sequentially, rather each concept supports all the others. Buddha tattoo design, done in morbid tattoo parlor in cash and carry mall Makati Manila, Philippines.

scorpion tattoo

lotus tattoo

rosarium