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Pugilist

Cool stuff you've learned/gotten into/etc. thanks to getting tattooed

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Hahaha it's true! I honestly think substantial muscle definition/low body fat takes away from the look of a tattoo.

G]

If that's the case, then I am a fine looking specimen! Happy days!

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I think getting tattooed gave me a really intense appreciation for craft, and dedication and hard work. It was a tattooer that convinced me that I could still learn to draw at 25, and that obsession with craft eventually drew me to printmaking and has kept me there. Now I'm thinking of training to become a master printmaker.

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I think getting tattooed gave me a really intense appreciation for craft, and dedication and hard work. It was a tattooer that convinced me that I could still learn to draw at 25, and that obsession with craft eventually drew me to printmaking and has kept me there. Now I'm thinking of training to become a master printmaker.

I have loved watching you explore this path from afar!!! Tattooing has certainly been a big inspiration for both the dude and I to work on our own art stuff. Being around creative people a lot will do that to you!

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I think getting tattooed gave me a really intense appreciation for craft, and dedication and hard work. It was a tattooer that convinced me that I could still learn to draw at 25, and that obsession with craft eventually drew me to printmaking and has kept me there. Now I'm thinking of training to become a master printmaker.

I cosign this. Getting tattooed led me down the path to go to art school, mostly b/c I was so encouraged by my friend (who is my tattoo hero) to draw. And well, yeah, here we are.

It's never too late to do something you want to do.

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It was a tattooer that convinced me that I could still learn to draw at 25

I never, ever would have guessed this. I sorta figured a lot of the artists on here had been doing this forever because the work looks so accomplished to me. If you don't mind my asking, how did you go about learning?

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I never, ever would have guessed this. I sorta figured a lot of the artists on here had been doing this forever because the work looks so accomplished to me. If you don't mind my asking, how did you go about learning?

I took an intro drawing class at the college where I teach, and HATED drawing still lives, but it got me drawing fifteen hours a week. I picked up a bunch of drawing books too, which were of varying helpfulness, but it's really all just practice and having the patience to work through things that don't look good quickly. I don't think I'll ever have the best technical drawing skills ever, but I started a little less than two years ago and made some solid progress. I think starting late has definitely been motivating, and I know I didn't have the dedication or direction to work like I'm working now when I was in my early twenties.

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Tattoos also led me to Buddhism in a roundabout way.

I had wanted to try meditation but didn't know how and couldn't find the motivation. Until one night @TrixieFaux & I went to a Jondix art show at this place in L.A.: Against The Stream Buddhist Meditation Society. I came back for their Wednesday night class and have been going ever since. It's pretty inspiring to sit in front of this at class – Aeons-Tulpa | A Solo Exhibition by Jondix – and I'll be bummed if and when they take it down.

Now I meditate (almost) daily, went on my first silent retreat, and stopped using drugs & alcohol a little over a year ago. I definitely feel like I fit in there. There’s a very punk rock ethos to what they do there which does not feel hippie-dippy or bullshitty or creepy/cultie in any way. Noah Levine, who started the center, is tattooed head-to-toe by @Scott Sylvia, Eddy Deutsche, Freddy Corbin and some other heavy-hitters. He’s starting to become one of the most influential next-generation Buddhist teachers in America.

I like that my koi and dragon tattoos have deeper meaning in the Buddhist tradition though that’s not why I picked those images in the first place. I mostly just liked the look of Japanese style tattoos and the stories behind them, but now they feel as much a part of me as my practice does.

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Thanks, @Pugilist & @Mark Bee!

I think the number one misconception about meditation – or at least one that I had – is that it's supposed to be pleasant. Like you're all blissed out or you "clear your mind." In fact, it kind of sucks a lot of the time. Your foot falls asleep, your brain is going a million miles an hour when you don't want it to, but that's all part of the practice.

I don't necessarily think of myself as a "spiritual" person. For me, meditation is a kind of bio-hacking that makes me feel happier, calmer, etc. And it's shown almost immediate results which is why I keep doing it. But a year plus in of daily practice and it's still really hard to stay focused. My mind still wanders but maybe I'm a little more aware of it now.

When you're getting tattooed is a great time to meditate – to kind of lean into the pain instead of trying to block it out. I'm trying to coin a new phrase for us: tattooddists. Maybe tatuddhists. Tattoodists?

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@DJDeepFried Its an interesting practice, and you are right. It is not easy. I took to it pretty quickly and went to a daily lunch time meditation. I made it a part of my daily routine, and it made a significant improvement in my quality of life. I like your description of it as a "kind of bio-hacking." That's just about exactly how I would describe it.

I'm glad to hear its made such a positive difference in your life!

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I've met extremely talented artists who have taught me that you can be brilliant in more than one way and opened my eyes to a whole different world I'm now a part of. One of them in particular, who I was going to partner with, did my chest and showed me a lot of things I didn't know about this world. I don't know if I will ever fulfill that idea of being in the industry professionally, but I sure learned a lot and appreciate the art and the hard work behind it more than ever.

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@SeeSea we went to a Shambhala centre. From reading up about the various places offering meditation courses/lessons, Shambhala seemed to be one of the less controversial ones around--for example, the New Kadampa Tradition seems really cultish. The Shambhala approach is deeply rooted in Buddhist meditation but is more secular in approach and they don't seem interested in pushing any doctrines. Their meditation class just teaches you how to meditate, how to sit and in what posture, and so on. Conveniently, the centre is also literally around the corner from where we live.

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What I do is a form of Vipassana or insight meditation. My understanding is that it's very similar to Zen/Zazen meditation, and that one is not better than the other. As opposed to, say, Transcendental Meditation which involves mantras or chanting. Not to slander anyone, but I have heard some bad things about TM – mostly that they want your money, and that it can be very expensive. The place I go, for instance, is by donation only, and no one is turned away for lack of funds. I also prefer the more secular approach. There's certainly nothing wrong with Shambhala. It's one of the biggest if not THE biggest Buddhist organization in North America and probably one of the most mainstream.

Otherwise, there's really no wrong way to do it, and the instructions are very simple. Set up a timer, sit on a chair or a mat, focus on your breath – that's pretty much it. There are of course some more advanced techniques to help with posture, focus, etc. I do find it very helpful to sit with a class once a week, which makes my daily practice easier. Plus I like being part of a community and listening to Dharma talks. I also recommend listening to Jack Kornfield's Intro to Meditation podcasts, which I think you can find for free on Dharmaseed.com. (They have an app too.) He's my teacher's teacher, and he breaks it down in a very straightforward and entertaining way.

If you tell me where you live, I can maybe also suggest a place.

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@Graeme - thanks for the info. That's what I'm looking for - substance without the kool-aid.

@DJDeepFried - I'm in Central New Jersey and work in Maryland. I just looked at that website and will definitely wander around in there. Thanks for the great description. I've heard sketchy things about TM too and I'd randomly looked online, but it's really good to have some recommendations from folks like you to set me in the right direction.

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