Every temple, studio and samnak has their own hygiene standards – in fact, it can go down to every ajarn having their own practices for cleaning their equipment. Overall, the standards across all work areas is too broad to give a definitive yes or no – just like you couldn’t answer “Are all restaurant kitchen in Europe hygienic?”. The reality is that some are fantastic, while others are haunting. If you attempt to go by yourself, and something feels wrong about the hygiene, it’s probably best to trust you gut instinct.
WSE Travel’s Ink Experience: Though standards do vary we have vetted the ajarns we collaborate with to ensure that cleanliness is of their utmost priority. Clean needles, fresh ink pots, and a safe environment are always on the top of our priority list when interviewing an ajarn to collaborate with. One of the best answers we’ve heard was “if I am giving a yant to protect someone and give them good luck, it wouldn’t make sense to use equipment to make them sick in the process”. This is the type of answer and value we seek when choosing who we will practice with, as not all ajarns hold the same concern or attention to this vital detail.
Please Note: Most temples and samnaks do have either cats or dogs living there, as part of the Buddhist philosophy is to treat all living things with equal respect – if they are hungry, they should be fed – which usually means they like to stick around the hands that feed them. If you do have an allergy, please advise us before hand, and we can try to make sure they are at least not in the room you are in while you are there. If it is a severe allergy, please take the necessary antihistamines prior to your arrival.