Those who know me well (and also some who don’t) know that I have an assortment of tattoos. Say what you will, but to me they’re all special and meaningful. Last weekend I added a small, delicate arrow to the collection.
After studying various esoteric religions and symbols for the past five years, these days I've been focused on Tibetan Buddhism and Buddhist art. In The Handbook of Tibetan Buddhist Symbols, Robert Beer says,
“Like a magic mirror it lights up with meaning the longer that you gaze into it, and I bow down in gratitude before the Enlightened Mind that conceived all of this divine beauty.”
What a great way to express Tibetan Buddhism’s wonder and meaning.
It may seem a little strange to focus on weapons when choosing a symbol for my new tattoo. But Tibetan Buddhism considers the Bow and Arrow symbols of Wisdom and Method. The bow is naturally held in the left “wisdom” hand, and the arrow in the right “method” hand.
More than anything, my arrow reminds me to keep moving forward—if I ever feel momentarily lost, as long as I’m moving forward I’m always headed in the right direction.