I recently became intriqued with the story of Daruma, the monk who sat for nine years facing a wall in mediatation and is known as the father of Zen Buddhism. I became interested in getting a tattoo that had a special meaning for me and my life path. I have recently set a big goal for myself and when I learned of the traditions in Japan involving the Daruma doll, I knew right away that I wanted this for my new future success focal point and reminder to NEVER GIVE UP!!
In short, the Daruma doll is a paper mache doll that is round and is bought on new years in Japan to mark the beginning of a new venture, a goal or to make a wish. When these dolls are purchased they have no eyes and the new owner states his wish or plan and colours in the right eye-(the left one when you are facing the doll) and when the wish comes true or you are successful in achieving your goal, you then colour in the other eye which marks the completion of that particular journey. It is traditional in Japan at the end of the year to take the doll to a festival where a ceremonial burning of the dolls takes place, even if you did not complete or gain your wish.
The Daruma doll represents ” Perseverence and Good fortune” and was exactly what I was looking for in a new tattoo to mark my next journey towards my new goal in life. A simplified meaning of the doll is-” Fall down seven…., Get up eight! ” and strongly suggests that no matter how many obstacles you face, never give up and never take your eyes off of your goal. If you continue onward you will reach your goal. This is the reason the dolls are rounded and will not fall over, they are just like weebles………”Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down”
Posted in: Zen and the Art of creating your life