Most know Thomas Hooper for his intricate tattoo work which draws influences from nature, mathematical and geometric patterns, as well as eastern religious imagery. Others might be familiar with his artwork, which he exhibited in his first solo show this past January at Nepenthes New York entitled “Origins of Solitude.” Over the past year, we’ve had the pleasure of also getting to know Thomas as a husband and father: one who is constantly striving to balance his family, his artistic passions and his craft so that all receive the attention they deserve. He invited us into his art studio in Brooklyn to give us a look at his creative process.
read interview here:
DANG PO GOM JA DAL JOR RIN CHEN DI
First, this precious human birth, so favorable for the practice of the dharma,
THOP KA JIK LA DA RÉ DÖN YÖ JA
Is hard to obtain and easily lost. At this time, I must make this meaningful.
NYI PA NÖ CHÜ THAM CHÉ MI TAK CHING
Second, the world and all its inhabitants are impermanent.
GÖ SU DRO WAY TSHE SOK CHU BUR DRA
In particular, the life of each being is like a water bubble.
NAM CHI CHA MÉ SHI TSHE RO RU GYUR
It is uncertain when I will die and become a corpse.
DE LA CHÖ KYI PHEN CHIR TSON PÉ DRUP As it is only the dharma that can help me at that time, I must practice now with diligence.
SUM PA SHI TSHE RANG WANG MI DU WAR
Third, at death there is no freedom, and karma takes its course.
LE NI DAK GIR JA CHIR DIK PA PANG
As I create my own karma, I should therefore abandon all unwholesome action,
GE WAY JA WÉ TAK TU DA WAR JA
And always devote my time to wholesome action.
ZHÉ SAM NYIN RÉ RANG GYU NYI LA TAK
With this in mind, I must observe my mind-stream each day.
ZHI PA KHOR WAY NÉ DROK DÉ JOR SOK
Fourth, just like a feast before the executioner leads me to my death,
DUK NGAL SUM GYI TAK TU NAR WAY CHIR The homes, friends, pleasures, and possessions of samsara
SÖ SAR THRI PAY SHE MAY GA TÖN TAR
Cause me continual torment by means of the three sufferings.
ZHEN THRI CHÉ NÉ TSÖN PÉ JANG CHUP DRUP I must cut through all attachment and strive to attain enlightenment.
The vajra or dorje is believed to represent firmness of spirit and spiritual power. It is a ritual tool or spiritual implement which is symbolically used by Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism, all of which are traditions of Dharma. Because of its symbolic importance, the vajra spread along with Indian religion and culture to other parts of Asia. It was used as both a weapon and a symbol in Nepal, India, Tibet, Bhutan, Siam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, China, Korea and Japan.