Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Buddhist Tattoo

I was astonished, yesterday, on checking in on my Sitemeter as I do once in a while, to find a freaky spike in my readership tally on The Buddha Diaries.  It was a record day, almost double my average--welcome, of course, but equally puzzling.  What might have caused this sudden interest?  I had written a pretty good entry for the day, I thought, immodestly.  I was writing about rage and passion and the difference between the two, particularly in regard to political divisions.  As regular readers know, I try to look for the Middle Path in all matters, but in politics that is difficult, if not impossible--especially when the equilibrium is tilted so much further to the extreme on one side than the other.

I suspect, though, that it was not my finely argued plea for political dispassion that attracted many of those readers yesterday.  Sitemeter allows me to trace the most recent searches that bring people to my site and--as I think I mentioned not too long ago--the single entry that has attracted the most attention over the years was the one entitled The Tattooed Buddhist, dating from November 9, 2007, nearly five years ago.  The title appears reliably a number of times when I check out the referrals, which gives me pause to wonder what it is about tattoos and Buddhism that makes them such a draw.

Yesterday, anyway, was no exception.  The majority of searches and referrals seemed to originate with a combination that included the word "tattoo."  But why the sudden spike yesterday?  Is there some weird confluence of Buddhist tattoo enthusiasts out there in the world somewhere?  A convention?  Perhaps inspired by the unusual proximity of the moon?  Who knows?  I certainly don't.

But I would like to think that the spike would lead to a plateau, somewhere above my previous level of readership.  Because this is after all why I write The Buddha Diaries, and make an entry almost every day.  Blogger informs me that this is my 1677th post, and that represents a whole lot of early morning work!  My reasons for doing it are twofold, and complementary: I do it, first, as a way of assuring that my life does not go unexamined; and secondly it's my hope that what I write will serve in some small way to inspire others to live consciously, too.  I see it as an invitation to "get to the heart of the matter."

So it's important to remind myself from time to time that The Buddha Diaries is an act of communication, and that the readership is the necessary complement to the writing of it.  I'm grateful to that anonymous tattooed Buddhist for the traffic he has brought my way, and hope very much that some of those who have found me in this manner will stay with me, or come back for a visit once in a while.

Metta, anyway, to all--the untattooed as well as the tattooed.  May you have a great day.


Paul said...

Peter, I have a plausible explanation for the spike in traffic. I have personal friend who manages a Facebook group called Living Dhamma. It's a small, closed group with just 53 members. I posted to the group a comment about and a link to your Huffington post article about meditation and running.

But that doesn't explain much, right? How about this: My friend is heavily tattooed as are several in the group.

It may be a coincidence or...

PeterAtLarge said...

Thanks for the explanation, Paul--and for reposting the piece. That does seem to shed some light on things!