Ordinary tattoos are only for decoration and the focus is on the beauty of the lines and the overall aesthetic appeal. Most of them are created by tattoo machines where the spiritual cultivation of the tattooist is never essential. In short, machine-created tattoos do no possess the power to grant protection or blessings at all.
The art of Sak Yant is a very profound school of art with an ancient heritage. Only if the Master doing the tattooing can align his mind, body and mouth as one, will the tattoos have any of the desired effect. In this case, the ‘mind’ refers to one one’s will and thoughts. The ‘body’ refers to one’s hand and skill, while the ‘mouth’ is a good reflection of the true feelings housed in one’s heart.
The Master’s ‘mind’ must be aware of the needs of his devotee – what he is seeking to get or protect. In addition, the Master must solely concentrate on what the devotee wants throughout the tattooing process. In fact, he must be able to concentrate on the outcome sought from a particular tattoo.
The Masters ‘body’ needs to be well-trained and experiences. He must be precise and accurate in his tattooing skills. Deft hands and well honed techniques, acquired through years of experience will enable him to create the beautiful but fearsome Buddhist tattoos. He must be able to personalize the different tattoos foe the each individual, and be able to implement what he’s designed by hand –pricking the tattoo with nothing sort of perfection.
The Master’s ‘mouth’ must reflect what his heart is feeling, and the Master’s heart must be as one with the sutra he’s chanting. His heart must be purged of his own matters so that a spiritual channel can be created between the Master and the devotee. All this are important aspects that must be achieved before the devotee’s wishes can be granted.
Thus being ‘as one’ means knowing what the seeker of the tattoo wants, concentrating only on that want and having the skills to prick out the complicated tattoos with no mistakes. This is a special features that is exclusive to Sak Yany and marks the main difference between Sak Yant and contemporary tattoos.