Tattoos in Buddhism, Acceptable or not???

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Tattoos in Buddhism, Acceptable or not???

Postby Demarous » Sat May 02, 2009 2:29 pm

I am now following the Buddhist path, and have thought about the possibility of becoming a Monk. I have Tattoos from years ago and wonder what the thoughts of tattoos are within Monks as i know that personal adornment is a problem?!!
Does anyone know? What are your opinions? Does it, or should it matter?
Demarous.
:shrug:
"Happy, at rest, may all beings be happy at heart. Whatever beings there may be, weak or strong, without exception, long, large, middling, short, subtle, blatant, seen & unseen, near & far, born & seeking birth: May all beings be happy at heart."
User avatar
Demarous
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 1:44 pm
Location: Midhurst, West Sussex, UK.

Re: Tattoos in Buddhism, Acceptable or not???

Postby Dhammanando » Sat May 02, 2009 2:47 pm

Tattoos are only an impediment to receiving ordination if one was marked with them as a punishment for a crime.
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
User avatar
Dhammanando
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Wat Pa Mieng Khun Pang, Chiang Mai

Re: Tattoos in Buddhism, Acceptable or not???

Postby Demarous » Sat May 02, 2009 3:09 pm

Thats good, wouldn't want something i did in my youth holding me back! Thank you.

:smile:
"Happy, at rest, may all beings be happy at heart. Whatever beings there may be, weak or strong, without exception, long, large, middling, short, subtle, blatant, seen & unseen, near & far, born & seeking birth: May all beings be happy at heart."
User avatar
Demarous
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 1:44 pm
Location: Midhurst, West Sussex, UK.

Re: Tattoos in Buddhism, Acceptable or not???

Postby Mexicali » Sat May 02, 2009 4:57 pm

Now that bhante has answered, I'm going to go off topic a bit....

Just as a personal preference, I'm not a fan of the "dharma" tattoos that seem to be getting more popular with Buddhists my own age. I understand that there's no explicit instruction not to do it in most traditions, but it seems like such an unwise use of resources, unnecessary harm to one's own body, and affected. Then again, I'm just not a fan of "hip" Buddhism in general.

Obviously, I'm not referring to people who already have tattoos, so no offense demarous. If you plan to become a monk, you wouldn't be the first heavily tattooed one. Hope it works out for you if it's the path you choose!
"We do not embrace reason at the expense of emotion. We embrace it at the expense of self-deception."
-- Herbert Muschamp
User avatar
Mexicali
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:12 pm

Re: Tattoos in Buddhism, Acceptable or not???

Postby Jechbi » Sat May 02, 2009 5:13 pm

tattooed%20child.jpg
tattooed%20child.jpg (19.13 KiB) Viewed 13507 times
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
User avatar
Jechbi
 
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am

Re: Tattoos in Buddhism, Acceptable or not???

Postby puthujjana » Sat May 02, 2009 5:52 pm

Mexicali wrote:I understand that there's no explicit instruction not to do it in most traditions, but it seems like such an unwise use of resources, unnecessary harm to one's own body, and affected.

I thought about getting "This too will pass" (just these few words) tattooed on the back of my hand or somewhere else where I will have to see it the whole day...

That would be a good reminder.

with metta
:anjali:
"Once you understand anatta, then the burden of life is gone. You’ll be at peace with the world. When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness and we can truly be happy."
- Ajahn Chah
User avatar
puthujjana
 
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:13 am
Location: Hamburg, Germany

Re: Tattoos in Buddhism, Acceptable or not???

Postby Individual » Sat May 02, 2009 7:11 pm

Dhammanando wrote:Tattoos are only an impediment to receiving ordination if one was marked with them as a punishment for a crime.

What if the tattoos are of a racist or sexist nature? Also, what about the case of extreme tattooes, like large tattooes on a person's face?
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
Individual
 
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Tattoos in Buddhism, Acceptable or not???

Postby Demarous » Sat May 02, 2009 7:26 pm

I would have thought in this case it would probably be wise to get them covered up with a non offensive tattoo, Can't imagine a swastica on the forhead not offending anyone!!! You're right though, if they were offensive, not that my ones are, but if they were, would that become a problem??? :thinking:
"Happy, at rest, may all beings be happy at heart. Whatever beings there may be, weak or strong, without exception, long, large, middling, short, subtle, blatant, seen & unseen, near & far, born & seeking birth: May all beings be happy at heart."
User avatar
Demarous
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 1:44 pm
Location: Midhurst, West Sussex, UK.

Re: Tattoos in Buddhism, Acceptable or not???

Postby Fede » Sat May 02, 2009 8:30 pm

You do know that a swastika is an ancient Buddhist symbol?

http://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/s ... astika.htm
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/
User avatar
Fede
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...

Re: Tattoos in Buddhism, Acceptable or not???

Postby Demarous » Sat May 02, 2009 8:33 pm

I Was not aware of that........so.....i guess it wouldn't be so bad!!!! :smile:
"Happy, at rest, may all beings be happy at heart. Whatever beings there may be, weak or strong, without exception, long, large, middling, short, subtle, blatant, seen & unseen, near & far, born & seeking birth: May all beings be happy at heart."
User avatar
Demarous
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 1:44 pm
Location: Midhurst, West Sussex, UK.

Re: Tattoos in Buddhism, Acceptable or not???

Postby Jechbi » Sat May 02, 2009 9:43 pm

CharlesManson.jpg
CharlesManson.jpg (16.02 KiB) Viewed 13462 times
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
User avatar
Jechbi
 
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am

Re: Tattoos in Buddhism, Acceptable or not???

Postby BlackBird » Sat May 02, 2009 10:48 pm

Some places you go have paintings adorning their walls, similar in nature is it not?

Metta
Jack
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
User avatar
BlackBird
 
Posts: 1815
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:07 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Tattoos in Buddhism, Acceptable or not???

Postby Individual » Sun May 03, 2009 1:16 am

Fede wrote:You do know that a swastika is an ancient Buddhist symbol?

http://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/s ... astika.htm

Yeah, but let's say it's a swastika, with the words "HEIL HITLER" or "SEIG HEIL" underneath it, hmmm?
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
Individual
 
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Tattoos in Buddhism, Acceptable or not???

Postby Dhammanando » Sun May 03, 2009 1:39 am

Individual wrote:What if the tattoos are of a racist or sexist nature? Also, what about the case of extreme tattooes, like large tattooes on a person's face?


These aren't given in the Vinaya as impediments to ordaining, nor are they nowadays treated as such.

I remember when I lived with Ajahn Maha Boowa there was a Thai monk in the community, Phra Sutchai, who had once done some serious done prison time for armed robbery. While in prison he had got one of the other prisoners to tattoo a naked woman on his back. This didn't stop him ordaining, though of course he came in for quite a bit of ribbing about it from the other monks.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
User avatar
Dhammanando
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Wat Pa Mieng Khun Pang, Chiang Mai

Re: Tattoos in Buddhism, Acceptable or not???

Postby Cittasanto » Sun May 03, 2009 8:06 am

I personally have 2 tattoos and am going to get another to complete the arm (my avatar is the next tattoo) people can make mistakes and get gang marks and racist symbols etc then realise there mistakes so they can either have them covered up or removed, but some will keep them as a reminder of past mistakes as a means of remembering lessons learnt.

ps the symbol in the middle of my avatar means where ever you throw me I shall stand and is the three legs of mann (Manx triskelion) which is on my national flag, and coat of arms http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isle_of_Man
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5661
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Tattoos in Buddhism, Acceptable or not???

Postby Fede » Sun May 03, 2009 9:53 am

Individual wrote:
Fede wrote:You do know that a swastika is an ancient Buddhist symbol?

http://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/s ... astika.htm

Yeah, but let's say it's a swastika, with the words "HEIL HITLER" or "SEIG HEIL" underneath it, hmmm?

well then it wouldn't be THE swastika, it would be A swastika.
Let's not be silly now.
You know precisely what I meant. Charles Manson being the obvious example of imbecilic stupidity.....
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/
User avatar
Fede
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...

Re: Tattoos in Buddhism, Acceptable or not???

Postby Individual » Sun May 03, 2009 5:07 pm

Fede wrote:
Individual wrote:
Fede wrote:You do know that a swastika is an ancient Buddhist symbol?

http://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/s ... astika.htm

Yeah, but let's say it's a swastika, with the words "HEIL HITLER" or "SEIG HEIL" underneath it, hmmm?

well then it wouldn't be THE swastika, it would be A swastika.
Let's not be silly now.
You know precisely what I meant. Charles Manson being the obvious example of imbecilic stupidity.....

Charles Manson is actually fairly intelligent. He's simply insane and evil, like Hannibal Lecter.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
Individual
 
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Tattoos in Buddhism, Acceptable or not???

Postby Mexicali » Sun May 03, 2009 6:39 pm

puthujjana wrote:
Mexicali wrote:I understand that there's no explicit instruction not to do it in most traditions, but it seems like such an unwise use of resources, unnecessary harm to one's own body, and affected.

I thought about getting "This too will pass" (just these few words) tattooed on the back of my hand or somewhere else where I will have to see it the whole day...

That would be a good reminder.

with metta
:anjali:


Eh, that's cool, I just kind of feel that.....how to put this? It makes more sense to me to cultivate understanding before getting expensive colored scars as a reminder of anything. I've known people who get, say, a dharma wheel or Chinese characters as a 'reminder'. Unless you're the guy from Memento, being secure in practice should be a good enough reminder. If you're not secure in practice, that seems like a better use of time and resources than tattoos. I really think people only get tattoos for affective and (to a lesser extent) superstitious reasons, and neither seems to me especially useful. When temples are having trouble keeping the doors open due to finances, and most people haven't studied the core texts of Buddhism in any detail, the several hundred dollars a typical complex colored tattoo costs as a "Buddhist" statement seems to me a little misplaced. Also, in America, hand/facial tattoos are the marks of a drop out or criminal.
"We do not embrace reason at the expense of emotion. We embrace it at the expense of self-deception."
-- Herbert Muschamp
User avatar
Mexicali
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:12 pm

Re: Tattoos in Buddhism, Acceptable or not???

Postby Fede » Sun May 03, 2009 6:53 pm

Individual wrote:Charles Manson is actually fairly intelligent. He's simply insane and evil, like Hannibal Lecter.


No, I mean its imbecilic stupidity to put it where it is. :roll:
:D
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/
User avatar
Fede
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...

Re: Tattoos in Buddhism, Acceptable or not???

Postby jcsuperstar » Sun May 03, 2009 7:08 pm

many many things are a waste of resources, tattoos probably being the most insignifigant of all, ranked right under questioning their merit or lack there of.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
User avatar
jcsuperstar
 
Posts: 1915
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:15 am
Location: alaska

Next

Return to Open Dhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: cherrytigerbarb and 8 guests