At last! I’ve been wanting a tattoo for a really long time but have been at a loss as to what I want permanently inked on my body. (Maybe I have this whole thing backwards; maybe my desire for a tattoo should have flowed organically from a strong feeling about something or someone first. If so, oh well.)
So here’s the good news…yesterday while reading Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver I came across the Sanskrit word aparagrapha. I was struck by the ability of this one word to communicate so much, both in terms of what I don’t want anymore and what I do want. Aparagrapha means “nongrasping.” It means giving up on the Western notion of always working hard and going after everything we want (or think we want) in a driven, tense way. Instead it means “moving through the world with an open hand, an open heart.” Doesn’t that make your entire body relax just a little?!
Tosha offers this prayer as a way to illuminate the meaning of aparagrapha:
Let what wants to come, come. Let what wants to go, go.
If it is mine, it will stay. If not, whatever is better will replace it.
I can think of only one area of my life where I consistently live this way and that is the writing of this blog. In the beginning, I created a long list of potential topics. Before too long, however, I left that list behind and just went about living. Every few days the need to express myself about something bubbles up. Let what wants to come, come.
The other prayer from Outrageous Openness that speaks to me right now is this one:
Infinite Spirit, send me a sign.
Show me the next best use of my gifts and talents.
Now that I finally know what I want, I have a decision to make in regards to getting a tatto. Do I wait to get the tattoo until I’m working again or do I do it now? The former choice is the financially prudent one but choosing to delay can also be a way of saying that I don’t trust that things are going to work out. Scarcity versus abundance. Holding on tightly (grasping) versus trusting that things will be ok (having an open heart). Can it be that simple?
*To my Jewish readers, my apologies if this post offends you. I know that many Jews believe that getting a tattoo is not in alignment with the teachings of the Torah. But I also know that there is disagreement among scholars about what is exactly prohibited. More importantly, as a progressive Jew, I believe in informed choice; in choosing the beliefs and practices that resonate with me.