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Posts Tagged ‘tattoos’

Suffering With Meaning

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

A friend went to get inked today. He left a message saying he hoped that he would not suffer too much in the process. It made me think again about the idea of suffering. I believe we not only benefit from a certain amount and type of suffering, but I believe we  – knowingly and unknowingly – seek it out. Why?

Unlike all other beings and despite our comfort-seeking nature, humans have a craving for suffering with meaning. And, I think the allure of getting a tattoo is linked to the bit of physical suffering that we endure in the process.

You can apply this theory to things like extreme sports, or other uniquely human experiences like piercings, sweat lodge, fasting, and other pursuits.

In yoga asana, we twist and turn our bodies to explore our edges — or productive limits – that live somewhere between discomfort and pain. Our physical and mental edges blend together, it results in a genuine spiritual experience, freeing us from distraction.

Without the ability to reach that internal place of suffering, we can’t express our full creative potential. The task is to find a way to contact the dark but then bring it into the light. Suffering can have meaning.


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