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Dharma Wheel Tattoos Portland ME

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Hallowed Ground Bodyart Studio
(207) 774-0008
610 Congress St Ste B
Portland, ME
 
Trust Public Land
(207) 772-7424
377 Fore St 3
Portland, ME
 
Pins && Needles Tattoo && Body
(207) 774-8282
259 Saint John St
Portland, ME
 
Sanctuary Tattoo
(207) 828-8866
31 Forest Ave
Portland, ME
 
Til Death Tattoo
(207) 518-9197
365 Fore St
Portland, ME
 
Hallowed Ground Bodyart Studio
(207) 774-0008
610 Congress St Ste B
Portland, ME
 
Made-Rite Tattoo
(207) 822-9914
24 Exchange St #213
Portland, ME
 
Sanctuary Tattoo
(207) 828-8866
20-36 Danforth Street, Suite 213
Portland, ME
Hours
TUE-SAT;11-7

Bombshell Tattoo
(207) 775-4411
574 Congress St Ste 2
Portland, ME
 
Trust Public Land
(207) 772-7424
377 Fore St Ste 3
Portland, ME
 

Dharma Wheel Tattoos

Dharma WheelDharma Wheel Tattoos - The Dharma Wheel is the most recognized symbol around the world as representing Buddhism. As such, it is a powerful tattoo design, potent with symbolism.

The Buddha's teachings are known as the 'dharma'. Early Buddhists visualized their master's teachings as a wheel that would roll through a person's life inspiring radical spiritual change. The Wheel would also roll from one end of the known world to the other, spreading the dharma teaching as it went. And in truth, it did, starting in India and moving into Central Asia, then South East Asia, and Japan - and it hasn't stopped yet.

The Dharma Wheel is also described as 'turning', by which is meant an 'advancing' from simpler to more complex phases of the teachings. The first turning is synonymous with Buddha's initial gathering with disciples after his enlightenment. Here, Buddha laid down the 'Four Noble Truths' (see below). The second turning is referred to as the 'Perfection of Wisdom', which inspired the Mahayana school of Buddhism. The third turning forms the basis of Tantric Buddhism.

In Tibetan Buddhism, the Dharma Wheel is one of their Eight Auspicious Symbols. It's also known as the 'wheel of law' or the 'wheel of transformation', among other 'wheels'. It also represents the 'cycle of samsara' (suffering through endless lives), which can only be escaped, they say, by the particular prescriptions of Buddhism.

If we deconstruct the Dharma Wheel into its main parts, we have the hub, the spokes, and the rim. The hub symbolizes the moral discipline necessary to calm the mind - the spokes represent the wisdom needed to combat ignorance - and the rim suggests the concentration or mindfulness that holds the whole psychic assembly or structure together. Putting the wheel back together again, we recognize first and foremost its circular shape, which signifies the perfection of the dharma itself.

The hub contains a swirl reminiscent of the Chinese yin-yang symbol. This gankyil or 'wheel of joy' is interpreted in many ways, one of them being a victory over the 'three poisons' that occupy the centre of the Tibetan mandala known as the 'Wheel of Life'.

The Dharma Wheel's eight spokes represent the Buddha's 'Noble Eightfold Path', and the spokes are thought of as weapons to 'cut through' the ignorance that causes suffering. Each spoke carries further significance - for correct thought, speech, actions, livelihood, understanding, effort, mindfulness, and concentration.

As with any circular graphic, this is going to make a strong tattoo. But be aware that while Buddhism is widely known, it is not yet universally well known. If you live in the West, be prepared to have your Dharma Wheel misconstrued as a nautical symbol, especially if you place it on your forearm. It bears an uncanny resemblance to a ship's wheel.

In the first centuries of Buddhism - starting about 2500 years ago - the wheel symbolized not only the dharma but the Budd...

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