There is a controversy surrounding Buddhist Tattoos, although you may not know it. We've brought together this awesome collection of pieces to show that many people display their devotion to a philosophy, religion, or icon in many different ways...and although a persons way may not particularly sit well with you, it's important to remember that Buddha taught to accept the practices of others with compassion. So, keeping that in mind, these Buddhist tattoos show that although traditionally the face of Buddha was not meant to grace the skin of someones arm, the sharing of ideas and transformation of personal philosophies has certainly created some incredible art.
The reason why tattoos of Buddha's portrait can be seen as offensive is because Buddha should be treated with the highest respect. Images or statues of him are reserved only for the most sacred places. A few months ago we spoke with Yoni Zilber, a marvelous tattoo artist that specializes in Tibetan tattoos about Buddhist tattoos. He explained that not only are tattoos a form of attachment, something that Buddhists work hard to overcome, but they are also decorative. Buddhism is extremely sacred, and means much more than a cool tattoo to many people...it is not meant to be a mere decoration. That being said, the fact that so many people these days are interested and inspired in the Buddhist way is exciting! We need more compassion and peace in this world!
So next time you stop into a shop wanting a Buddhist tattoo keep in mind that if you want a portrait of Buddha to put it in a respectful place high on the body...you wouldn't want to sit on his face every time you go to the bathroom, ya know? There are also an insane amount of symbols, animals, and other iconography within Buddhism. Check out Sak Yant tattoos, Tibetan Buddhist symbolism...Buddhism has been around for thousands of years and the art that has been produced by Buddhist faith is unending and awe-inspiring!