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Why I chose to tattoo the OM symbol on my forearm?

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Symbol.”

Symbols, undoubtedly, are able to stir emotions and relay a message. The power of a symbol is as intricate as the grammatical rules of any given language. When one thinks about the numerous images one comes across on a daily basis, the subconscious reactions to those symbols are likely uncountable. This morning I came across a meme of the Confederate Flag and the Nazi Swastika and it’s significance on a certain population of people. 

  The raw emotions that come along with these two flags is unfair to those who have to experience it on the receiving end. Symbols, on the other hand, can have positive effects.

The symbol that I connect with strongly is the symbol for “Om” or “Aum”. As Huffington Post states:

For starters, it’s all about sacred threes. Most faiths have trinities in their roots and Hinduism, where om was born, is no different. Even though it’s usually pronounced seamlessly so it rhymes with “home,” om is made up of three syllables: A, U, and M, or, phonetically, “aaah,” “oooh,” and “mmm.” Experts say these syllables can represent a slew of trios, including: the heavens, earth, and the underworld; the Hindu gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva (aka creator god, sustainer god, and destroyer god); and the waking, dreaming, and dreamless states — “to represent all of consciousness,” says Yoganand.

I personally chose to tattoo this symbol, because the numerology of 3’s is significant to me. Moreover, the aesthetic value of a tattoo is quite important and this being personally hand designed by me, met my expectations. I was able to commit to a lifetime remnant.

The symbology of life that Om represents- a beginning, preservation and destruction – was simple in its nature, with the right amount of complexity and obscurity. The fact that it also looks a bit like the number 30 and that I wanted to encapsulate my 30 years of life, with three solid stripes, was another factor considered. Each stripe on my arm represents a location I’ve lived for a number of years and has a special place in my heart. Los Angeles, my birthplace, New York, the city of my early 20’s and Barcelona, where I spent my late 20s. As yoga reentered my life actively again at 30, I chose to include the symbol for Om in an “invisible circle” that isn’t quite encapsulating the symbol, but is holding it quite solidly between those solid lines which really don’t come to a full closure.

Our lives too don’t make full circles. We are on a constant journey, with a close that comes only with death. Even then, with some spiritual laws, our body takes another form and we become part of the cosmic energy. But that discussion, I will leave for another post.


4 thoughts on “Why I chose to tattoo the OM symbol on my forearm?

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