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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Buddhism

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  #1  
Old 01-04-2018, 04:53 PM
Jobey Jobey is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 23
 
Why are the Thai people offended by tattoos of the Buddha?

I'm going to briefly describe myself quickly to you and then explain why I want other people's opinions on this matter!

I am a 22 year old male from the UK and I have tattoos. I don't believe I look intimidating and I'm great with people (old people love me, haha) despite the tattoos I have on show, including a small one on my neck and a Dharma wheel on the back of my left hand.

I have the Dharma wheel on my left hand to remind me of the Buddhist eightfold path, of which I try to follow as best I can. It also openly and quickly lets people understand my intentions and beliefs as long as they understand what it means or take the time to ask.

---

Now... my whole right arm is free from tattoos, but I've been thinking for a long time that I would like to dedicate the whole arm to a Buddhist theme. However, I'm not too sure as I'm uncomfortable knowing that it offends the Thai people and wouldn't be treated the same when I visit Thailand.

Here's my argument... the Buddha said that he didn't want people to worship or idolise him as he is just the same as us. The Thai people have statues and decorations of the buddha everywhere which is the first contradiction. It appears to me that they think they have some sort of authority when it comes to Buddhism, what makes the buddha any more associated with them than he does me?

The only reason I can think of is that they they think we have Buddha tattoos that don't have real meaning or that we don't have a proper understanding just because we're from the west. I know that'd bold but I genuinely can't see another reason. Why shouldn't I get a tattoo of the Buddha on my arm? Especially as I have an understanding of Buddhism.

I'd love to hear your opinions :)

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 01-04-2018, 07:00 PM
Golden Eagle Golden Eagle is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 540
 
Why use symbols at all?

Do you just want ATTENTION?

It screams out "LOOK AT ME!!! LOOK AT ME!!! "

That is an Anti-Buddha Nature ~ !

Find the HEART Intelligence WITHIN!

Be the Buddha rather than just one of millions of pretenders ~

It is WITHIN your GRASP!

CLAIM IT !
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  #3  
Old 01-04-2018, 10:10 PM
Jobey Jobey is offline
Newbie ;)
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 23
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden Eagle
Why use symbols at all?

Do you just want ATTENTION?

It screams out "LOOK AT ME!!! LOOK AT ME!!! "

That is an Anti-Buddha Nature ~ !

Find the HEART Intelligence WITHIN!

Be the Buddha rather than just one of millions of pretenders ~

It is WITHIN your GRASP!

CLAIM IT !

Haha! I understand what youre saying completely but you can definitely look at them in different ways. Ill try and counter your post but I do appreciate it.

I like tattoos because they make me feel good. I want, artful, meaningful tattoos for myself, not for attention off other people. Sometimes when Im not having a great day and my mind is all over the place, I can see myself looking down at my arm and appreciating the art. It will remind me of the person I want to become, the person I am becoming. I want the tattoo not because I need to remind myself to worship the Buddha, but to become more like the Buddha.

You could look at it as anti-Buddha behaviour but its actually the opposite. What if someone becomes inspired by looking at it? Its only making the world a tiny bit more positive! I like to think Im not a pretender Hahahaha.

Anyway, why are the Thai people offended by this? Realistically it has nothing to do with them
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2018, 08:05 AM
sky123 sky123 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 5,353
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jobey
Haha! I understand what youre saying completely but you can definitely look at them in different ways. Ill try and counter your post but I do appreciate it.

I like tattoos because they make me feel good. I want, artful, meaningful tattoos for myself, not for attention off other people. Sometimes when Im not having a great day and my mind is all over the place, I can see myself looking down at my arm and appreciating the art. It will remind me of the person I want to become, the person I am becoming. I want the tattoo not because I need to remind myself to worship the Buddha, but to become more like the Buddha.

You could look at it as anti-Buddha behaviour but its actually the opposite. What if someone becomes inspired by looking at it? Its only making the world a tiny bit more positive! I like to think Im not a pretender Hahahaha.

Anyway, why are the Thai people offended by this? Realistically it has nothing to do with them



If you visit a Country you should respect their culture as we expect visitors to respect our home.
Tattoos are seen as decorations in Thailand and Buddha's image shouldn't be used as a decoration. You say it will remind you to become more like the Buddha but didn't he renounce all worldly goods?
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  #5  
Old 02-04-2018, 08:27 AM
Samana Samana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jobey
I want the tattoo not because I need to remind myself to worship the Buddha, but to become more like the Buddha.

Hi Jobey,

Maybe you should think less about "I want" and consider others more?

Practising kindness, mindfulness, and doing meditation regularly, following the five precepts and the Noble Eightfold Path and having an open, peaceful mind will help you on the path to being more like the Buddha.

Disrespecting the customs and laws of Buddhist countries won't.


_/|\_


.
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  #6  
Old 02-04-2018, 10:59 PM
Shaunc Shaunc is offline
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Posts: 636
 
There are some Buddhist tattoos done in Thailand but they are usually done by Buddhist monks. Unfortunately these tattoos don't look very professional and resemble jail tattoos in western culture.
I have tattoos but they're not Buddhist tattoos, they're old school tattoos.
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  #7  
Old 02-04-2018, 11:42 PM
Shaunc Shaunc is offline
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Posts: 636
 
P.S.
Just to add on to my last post. The tattoos done in Thailand by the monks are called sak yant tattoos.
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  #8  
Old 03-04-2018, 03:26 PM
Eelco Eelco is offline
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Hi Jobey,

I'd try and find out if buddhist tatoos are really frowned upon by the thai people.
Maybe it's not as bad as we westerners believe. There's possibly en equal amount of nay sayers as there are those who don't care what you look like.

That said. If you want a right arm covered in buddhist themed ink.
How much time of your remaining years are you going to spend in thailand ?

I think there's more to consider than just the opinion of a nations people.
I.E they are individuals too with wants, and beliefs and opinions.. No such thing as a cultural witch-hunt against those with Buddhist tatoos.
I'd like to think so anyway, but then I will probably spend no time in thailand.

With Love
Eelco
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  #9  
Old 07-04-2018, 11:51 PM
guthrio guthrio is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 2,770
  guthrio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jobey
I'm going to briefly describe myself quickly to you and then explain why I want other people's opinions on this matter!

I am a 22 year old male from the UK and I have tattoos. I don't believe I look intimidating and I'm great with people (old people love me, haha) despite the tattoos I have on show, including a small one on my neck and a Dharma wheel on the back of my left hand.

I have the Dharma wheel on my left hand to remind me of the Buddhist eightfold path, of which I try to follow as best I can. It also openly and quickly lets people understand my intentions and beliefs as long as they understand what it means or take the time to ask.

---

Now... my whole right arm is free from tattoos, but I've been thinking for a long time that I would like to dedicate the whole arm to a Buddhist theme. However, I'm not too sure as I'm uncomfortable knowing that it offends the Thai people and wouldn't be treated the same when I visit Thailand.

Here's my argument... the Buddha said that he didn't want people to worship or idolise him as he is just the same as us. The Thai people have statues and decorations of the buddha everywhere which is the first contradiction. It appears to me that they think they have some sort of authority when it comes to Buddhism, what makes the buddha any more associated with them than he does me?

The only reason I can think of is that they they think we have Buddha tattoos that don't have real meaning or that we don't have a proper understanding just because we're from the west. I know that'd bold but I genuinely can't see another reason. Why shouldn't I get a tattoo of the Buddha on my arm? Especially as I have an understanding of Buddhism.

I'd love to hear your opinions :)

Thanks!


Jobey,

I read this post a few days ago and have been thinking of a way to honor your question.

The only way I can, is to say that....you can no more capture the essence of Buddha than you can capture the essence of yourself in a statue or with a tattoo.

Why?

The answer is as simple as looking in the mirror. Is the image in the mirror...YOU?

....if you answered truly, you would easily understand that neither could a statue or tattoo, or a reflection of Buddha, be Buddha...

The mirrored reflection is not You...

....any more than a tattoo or statue of you could be, for that matter..

That's why an answer is unlikely to be found in a mirrored image of you, or in the tattoos on your arm, or in a Buddha statue, do you see?

Consider that the "offense" of which you speak has less to do with one's nationality, or religion, or covering one's body with tattoos, and is more about people still confusing the image of a statue ...for the Ineffable Essence that has eternally imbued Buddha's embodiment, and our own, with Life, from the beginning.

Accordingly, perhaps you would consider that the answer is more about how that Spiritual understanding is displayed in your Life, whether your body displays tattoos or not.

I hope you do, and I hope this, and the reference, below, honors your question.

Reference: http://www.spiritualforums.com/vb/sh...8&postcount=24
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http://csermelyblog.tehetsegpont.hu/...ir%C3%A1ly.pdf
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8COt1n3jDqA&t=19s

Last edited by guthrio : 08-04-2018 at 04:04 AM.
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  #10  
Old 18-04-2018, 05:09 PM
Universal.Vibe Universal.Vibe is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: 2999 A.D
Posts: 313
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden Eagle
Why use symbols at all?

Do you just want ATTENTION?

It screams out "LOOK AT ME!!! LOOK AT ME!!! "

That is an Anti-Buddha Nature ~ !

Hey man there is beauty in irony, just be you :)
(even if you are an attention ***** there is nothing wrong with that)
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