Buddha art tattoo offensive?

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denniswilson
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Buddha art tattoo offensive?

Post by denniswilson »

hello, ever since I started my journey into Buddhism I've been fascinated by the art and symbols. One very personal to me is the dharma wheel. I was speaking to a member on dhamma.com about possibly getting the dharma wheel as a tattoo ( a design based on the image below) , he expressed that I should ask on this forum about the idea and check that having the symbol wouldn't be offensive to anyone.
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Losal Samten
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Re: Buddha art tattoo offensive?

Post by Losal Samten »

Just don't go to Burma or Sri Lanka.
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Caodemarte
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Re: Buddha art tattoo offensive?

Post by Caodemarte »

Or Thailand where tattoos are considered the mark of the gangster or the rankly superstitious (or worse, into majic), both reasons to get you kicked out Army or monkhood if you were Thai. If not, you will just look criminal, superstitious, or foolish if you don't run afoul of the blasphemy laws which are usually reserved for more serious incidents. Pretty much the same in the rest of SE Asia
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yan kong
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Re: Buddha art tattoo offensive?

Post by yan kong »

Caodemarte wrote:Or Thailand where tattoos are considered the mark of the gangster or the rankly superstitious (or worse, into majic), both reasons to get you kicked out Army or monkhood if you were Thai. If not, you will just look criminal, superstitious, or foolish if you don't run afoul of the blasphemy laws which are usually reserved for more serious incidents. Pretty much the same in the rest of SE Asia
Thai monks practice tattooing in some regions and many have a significant amounts of tattoos.
"Meditation is a spiritual exercise, not a therapeutic regime... Our intention is to enter Nirvana, not to make life in Samsara more tolerable." Chan Master Hsu Yun
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Ayu
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Re: Buddha art tattoo offensive?

Post by Ayu »

yan kong wrote:
Caodemarte wrote:Or Thailand where tattoos are considered the mark of the gangster or the rankly superstitious (or worse, into majic), both reasons to get you kicked out Army or monkhood if you were Thai. If not, you will just look criminal, superstitious, or foolish if you don't run afoul of the blasphemy laws which are usually reserved for more serious incidents. Pretty much the same in the rest of SE Asia
Thai monks practice tattooing in some regions and many have a significant amounts of tattoos.
This are kind of protection tattoos: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yantra_tattooing

I don't know how they react in Asia to the images of buddhist symbols on the naked skin of a westerner. A Buddha tattoo is considered to be extremely disrespectful.
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:
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tomschwarz
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Re: Buddha art tattoo offensive?

Post by tomschwarz »

my personal advise is that your gross level of body will soon be gone. so anything that you can do in your mind to get comfortable with that is a good idea. of course you should balance this idea with your own heartfelt realization of generosity, discipline, patience, moral strength, meditation and wisdom, on your own terms. this is essential. i believe in you. you are a caring and kind being. you will make a good decision, and the results will be great for you because you have already chosen a considerate path....
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA
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yan kong
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Re: Buddha art tattoo offensive?

Post by yan kong »

Ayu wrote:
yan kong wrote:
Caodemarte wrote:Or Thailand where tattoos are considered the mark of the gangster or the rankly superstitious (or worse, into majic), both reasons to get you kicked out Army or monkhood if you were Thai. If not, you will just look criminal, superstitious, or foolish if you don't run afoul of the blasphemy laws which are usually reserved for more serious incidents. Pretty much the same in the rest of SE Asia
Thai monks practice tattooing in some regions and many have a significant amounts of tattoos.
This are kind of protection tattoos: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yantra_tattooing

I don't know how they react in Asia to the images of buddhist symbols on the naked skin of a westerner. A Buddha tattoo is considered to be extremely disrespectful.
Thank you Ayu, I realize there's a difference.

To the original poster, I think you'll find many different opinions on the subject here or in any Buddhist community you question. I am certainly not qualified to give you an informed answer. That said, I have a small Dharma wheel on my arm and I would advise you not to get any Dharma tattoo below the waist.

I've been involved with two different practice communities, both Chinese, and one seemed to feel that tattoos in general were not appropriate and the ordained certainly shouldn't have them. The second community really didn't seem to have a problem with tattoos, whether they were about the Buddhadharma or not.
"Meditation is a spiritual exercise, not a therapeutic regime... Our intention is to enter Nirvana, not to make life in Samsara more tolerable." Chan Master Hsu Yun
foodcrazee
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Re: Buddha art tattoo offensive?

Post by foodcrazee »

in S.E.Asia, so long as the tattoo is not of Buddha or Bodhisatva is considered OK....except maybe Thailand......Im from Malaysia and laods of protective tattoos is practised here but no one will think of tattoing the image of Buddha as its considered disrespect to Buddha
Caodemarte
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Re: Buddha art tattoo offensive?

Post by Caodemarte »

"Thai monks practice tattooing in some regions and many have a significant amounts of tattoos."

Yes, it is a magical protection practice used by manny, including monks. Thiis is precisely why you can get kicked out of the sangha for having tattoos as they can be viewed as proof you indulge in superstitious or magical practices. Both are forbidden for monks and discouraged for the lay. As a side note, you really don't want the more superstitious in isolated rural areas beliving you are capable of black manic because then you may be seen as an immediate threat. As noted, they are also used by gangsters and looking like you are a career criminal is a bad idea if you want to be a monk or Army officer.
Probably a good idea if you have joined a tattoo using gang as a career criminal. :smile:
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Dema
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Re: Buddha art tattoo offensive?

Post by Dema »

so then what would be considered to be ok? i would love to get something Buddhist on me. I have a tattoo that i want to cover up on my forearm.
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Ayu
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Re: Buddha art tattoo offensive?

Post by Ayu »

Dema wrote:so then what would be considered to be ok? i would love to get something Buddhist on me. I have a tattoo that i want to cover up on my forearm.
If you want to travel to asian buddhist countries and you don't want to cover your skin all the time in public, you should not have a tattoo of the image (face, body) of a buddha, a deity or a protector.
There have been several cases, when persons with an buddha image tattoo were not allowed to enter the country (Thailand, and other).
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:
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ClearblueSky
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Re: Buddha art tattoo offensive?

Post by ClearblueSky »

denniswilson wrote:hello, ever since I started my journey into Buddhism I've been fascinated by the art and symbols. One very personal to me is the dharma wheel. I was speaking to a member on dhamma.com about possibly getting the dharma wheel as a tattoo ( a design based on the image below) , he expressed that I should ask on this forum about the idea and check that having the symbol wouldn't be offensive to anyone.
I personally have 3 tattoos that have Buddhist imagery, though none that are of actual Buddhas or deities. My personal opinion, especially for your particular idea, if you want it, get it. I haven't regretted any of my tattoos, they make me happy and remind me of my ideals, and I don't feel they break any vows. It's definitely true that Asian cultures view tattoos a bit differently, though even that's changing as they become more and more common. Certainly don't get it to impress teachers, some might actually think it's silly/wrong, it all just depends on their culture. If you're a little unsure then get it somewhere easier to hide, (maybe over your heart or something).
foodcrazee
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Re: Buddha art tattoo offensive?

Post by foodcrazee »

I remembered tourist got kicked out of Sri Lanka for having tattoo in the image of Buddha head.......
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Dema
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Re: Buddha art tattoo offensive?

Post by Dema »

foodcrazee wrote:I remembered tourist got kicked out of Sri Lanka for having tattoo in the image of Buddha head.......
you know that does not seems so crazy to me. I dont think i am going to be going on that side of the earth anytime soon. So i guess i should not be all that worried. I was just curious more or less. almost all of my tattoos are Asian inspired. and the ones that are not will be covered over anyway. my Buddhist work will complete my sleeve. I have a huge koi on the upper part of the arm that I am proud of. I will be a while till i get new work but i might post it when i get it done.
Oṃ Tāre Tuttāre Ture Svāhā-Green Tara
Oṃ Tāre Tuttāre Ture Mama Ayuḥ Punya Jñānā Puṣtiṃ Kuru Svāhā-White Tara
Om gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi ye soha
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