Tattoos, help or hindrance?

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom
uniformsquare
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:34 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Tattoos, help or hindrance?

Postby uniformsquare » Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:11 am

I was wondering what you all you think about Buddhist tattoos. Do they cause attachment to the body which is not self? Do they serve as a reminder of the only truth path to ultimate freedom? What is your take on Buddhism, tattoos, and Buddhist tattoos?

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 14815
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Tattoos, help or hindrance?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:23 am

Greetings,

I've never really understood tattoos, nor had much interest to them.

As I understand it though, tattoos are often personal things that symbolise something of significance to the wearer.

In the context of Buddhist tattoos, there will obviously be some reaction... it is that reaction which, as you say could be a "help" (if it promotes mindstates of wisdom, lovingkindess, generosity) or a "hindrance" (if it promotes mindstates of delusion, greed or aversion).

Each person's reaction to their own tattoos will be different... if you're contemplating it, think about how you think you'll relate to it.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

User avatar
bodom
Posts: 4661
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Tattoos, help or hindrance?

Postby bodom » Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:09 am

Theres only five hindrances you need to worry about and tattoos arent one of them.

:namaste:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah

User avatar
Demarous
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 1:44 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Midhurst, West Sussex, UK.

Re: Tattoos, help or hindrance?

Postby Demarous » Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:19 pm

I remember we had a discussion on tattoo's a while ago, and as it is not a problem even if the Sangha are allowed tattoos, whatever they be, related or not, they are not a problem.

I can see the help that 'reminder' tattoo's can give, for instance if you are getting angry, a buddha reminder on you arm for instance may aid you to calm yourself and remember the lack of importance of the situation.

I think if its a not so nice tattoo that you dislike, you would be able to lose attachment to it as you progress, if it bothers you at all that is!

Metta,
Demarous.
"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
Guy
Posts: 762
Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 4:05 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: Tattoos, help or hindrance?

Postby Guy » Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:36 pm

Tattoos are neither a help nor a hinderance, they are just tattoos. However, a desire to get a tattoo would be the 1st hinderance (sensual desire) and an aversion to people who have tattoos (including yourself if you already have one) would be the 2nd hinderance (ill-will).
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
Posts: 16358
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: Land of the sleeping gods
Contact:

Re: Tattoos, help or hindrance?

Postby Ben » Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:44 pm

I suggest you practice dana as that will benefit your practice more than getting a tattoo.
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia
e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com

User avatar
acinteyyo
Posts: 1055
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:48 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Neuburg/Donau, Germany

Re: Tattoos, help or hindrance?

Postby acinteyyo » Sat Jul 04, 2009 2:45 pm

Hello,
Tattoos might be helpful. I have been thinking about a tattoo for some time. A dhammawheel. It represents the 4 noble truths (including the 8-fold path which is shown through the 8 spokes.) The Dhamma and Samsara. The pain by "tattoing the tattoo reminds on dukkha. The tattoo will change by and by which reminds on anicca. The tattoo doesn't exist by itself. It depends on tatto artist, the one who be tattoed or rather the body which be tattoed, ink and so on which reminds on anatta.
As a matter of course these things can be seen in nature all the time but for someone it could be a helpful thing if one understands and sees the tattoo with wisdom.
I'm of the same opinion as bodom_bad_boy and Guy
bodom_bad_boy wrote:Theres only five hindrances you need to worry about and tattoos arent one of them.
:namaste:

Guy wrote:Tattoos are neither a help nor a hinderance, they are just tattoos. However, a desire to get a tattoo would be the 1st hinderance (sensual desire) and an aversion to people who have tattoos (including yourself if you already have one) would be the 2nd hinderance (ill-will).


greetings, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

:anjali:


Return to “Theravāda for the modern world”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests