Some of you may have guessed that the name “Wolfe” is a pseudonym and you would be correct. But, ‘Wolfe’ is no longer just a nickname. I am Wolfe.
For the past nine months, I have been gallivanting around the globe with one of my truest and dearest friends. But, for the past two weeks (a drop in the bucket by comparison) I have been trekking on my own to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Budapest. We were supposed to rendezvous in Hungary but, because of a mechanical malfunction on her flight, we will have to wait until Sunday when we arrive in back in Prague. Traveling on my own was like hitting the reset button for my mental health, then trying to blow on the N64 cartridge to get the fucking shit to start up again. I felt glitched, out of sorts, like I ceased to be myself.
What is home? Is it where you can hang your hat? Is it where the heart is? Or is it where you can comfortably take a shit?
Circumstances as a child made me agreeable to a clinical degree. Circumstances that I am not yet ready to publish publicly, but I will, I make a promise to you and to myself. Language is my single greatest inspiration and frustration. I can get lost in the playful syntax of Walt Whitman or Maya Angelou, but I feel another sense of loss when trying to form the words describing emotion and experience because so many of these sensations are best described between words, or are omitted from language completely.
Regardless from the causation of my agreeability, I’d like to discuss its breaking point.
A few days ago I met a former Buddhist monk. He introduced himself as Tom. When we first met there was no handshake upon introduction, no formal greeting like the Cambodian Sampeah (a gesture common in most southeast Asian cultures (although called many different things) where each individual greets the other with palms together to show respect). Nothing like that, all he did was a motion to the seat across from him, and yet it still felt more genuine than the hundred “how are you?” I would hear daily in the states.
Tom has studied meditation for the past forty years, and while I’m no stranger to meditation, the things I learned in the two hours of us sitting together has changed the way I look at the mind and intuition. Everything in this blog post I either learned from Tom or were reinforced by him. In the entirety of the two hours, we spent only twenty minutes of it actually meditating, the rest of the time Tom used to explain to me the benefits of meditation and how to do it correctly.
This post is split into two parts. The first is my own opinion on the matter of cultural appropriation versus appreciation, and the second is my experience with my Yantra tattoo. If you just want to read how painful the tattoo was, feel free to skip ahead to the section marked The Story of My Sak Yant.
Last Wednesday I was having a bad day. A “fuck you, fuck me, I hate everything” kind of day. I was truly in bad shape, and nothing seemed to be helping. I went to a meditation, which usually helps to calm my anxiety, but for some reason on that day, when the room went quiet it just gave ample space for the negativity and scary thoughts to be even louder.
But I needed to figure this out. I had to know that I was going to be okay here in Southeast Asia. I decided that I was going to go on a pilgrimage.