Religions shaped nearly every culture on this planet, guiding us with wisdom and tradition. Religion defines social and cultural norms, along with beliefs and practices of groups of people. Sometimes, it even causes tension and strife on a global level. On a positive note, though, religion makes for some sweet ink tattoos. Buddhist tattoos come in many detailed designs, sizes, and colors, and each one has great meaning.
Why Get a Buddhist Tattoo?
Buddhism stems back to India in roughly 5th century, B.C.E. Buddhism credits the Buddha, or ‘awakened one,’ with founding the practice. In other words, he founded the concepts of samsara and karma. Practiced in East Asian countries, plenty of Americans adopt Buddhism into their personal beliefs. Many people who don’t claim Buddhism as their faith still choose tattoos inspired by Buddhism. Along with that, Buddhist tattoos remain popular with high class people, as well. Malin Akerman and Angelina Jolie are among many famous people with lovely Buddhist tattoos.
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Popular Buddhist Tattoo Symbols
Anyways, there are several symbols people choose for Buddhist tattoos. First, one of the most popular symbols is that of the Buddha himself. This figure is often seen seated on the ground, with his hands in his lap or praying. Since he represents the peak of piety, many people select an image of the Buddha’s face with closed and calm eyes. As a result, this nod to Buddha makes for a strong and powerful ink statement. Accordingly, many people devote full back pieces or sleeves to their Buddha tattoos.
Lotus Flower Buddhist Tattoos
The lotus flower is an important Buddhist symbol that means rebirth, awakening, and new life. In addition, the ability of this bright bloom to grow from muddy ponds gives it a hopeful, brave, and strong meaning. Lotuses are pretty flowers and make beautiful tattoos—whether colored brightly, or simply done in black and gray ink. Some believe that different colors of the lotus flower hold different meaning important to Buddhism. Often, Buddhist tattoos integrate a figure of a Buddha resting on or near a lotus blossom.
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Buddhist Quote Tattoos
Normally, Buddhists use either Sanskrit or Pali to write and study Buddhist thought. As a result, symbols from both show up often in Buddhist tattoos. On the other hand, a simple symbol can hold a deeply complex and spiritual meaning, such as the enso, which looks like a circular paintbrush stroke and means life’s journey. A complete circle indicates that the wearer completed a part of their personal journey, while an open circle means a journey in progress.
Other, less often seen, Buddhist symbols include the Bodhi tree, which is said to mean the journey of life through many layers of self. In addition, Buddhist mandalas make amazing, detailed, and lovely tattoos, created with sacred geometry.
Finally, Buddhist tattoos mean something deep to their wearer. That said, strike up a conversation with a person inked with a Buddhist tattoo, next time you see one. As a result, you’ll learn something new and amazing!