Many years of meditation have given me the time to develop a relationship with the Divine in silence and solitude. This ever-deepening relationship has conditioned me to bring contemplative practices into my work as a tattoo artist. To be a contemplative tattoo artist is to serve others who seek to adorn their bodies with art.
Allowing silence and solitude to infuse my tattooing, I often find myself in a contemplative state during my work. The active prayer is my primary practice in the midst of an ordinary day. My active prayer clears my mind and allows the Divine presence to permeate the tattooing process. The grace of the Divine Indwelling creates space for me to serve with an open heart and a quieter mind. This is the space where I enter my inner mandala.
The mandala is a special representation in my work. It is well known in multiple wisdom traditions, as it contains an overwhelming sense of moving towards a center point, a beautiful symbol of our spiritual journey inward. Over the years, more and more people – without ever understanding the concept behind them – are attracted to these designs for their beautiful imagery.
I look at the mandala as both entering the sacred center within and simultaneously radiating Divine sacredness outward. I love mandala skin art as it opens a contemplative conversation between the client and me. Sharing about the inward and outward expression of the spiritual journey through the ornamental design and how it may relate to our lives creates a sense of comfort, a deeper understanding of the spiritual dimension of life and art.
Most of my clients know of my deep relationship with contemplative meditation through my social media channels, and many inquire about meditation practices while they sit for their tattoo. It is a blessing to be able to give the gift of tattooing compassionately, to be of service in a deeper way for the person who is asking me to permanently mark his or her body. The art of tattooing is one of healing, growth, and compassion, just as living a contemplative life develops healing, growth, and compassion.
Tattooing allows me to share the fruits of the contemplative life with those who may have never known anything about spiritual development or the contemplative lifestyle. It’s a beautiful path with many responsibilities emotionally, spiritually, and artistically. The art of contemplative tattooing is a beautiful journey into the ever-developing relationship with the Divine and with the divinity living in others.
Corey Krupowicz is a contemplative, tattooer, husband, father & associate of the Order of Holy Cross in N.Y. Visit his website at https://windhorsesacredarts.com/. He also facilitates an online Centering Prayer group every Monday at 6pm Eastern (New York) time on the Zoom-enabled Meditation Chapel. Starting Saturday, August 31, the group will move to to Saturdays at 11am Eastern (New York) time. All are welcome to join in; register on the Chapel here.