ॐ (pronounced Om or Aum) is one symbol that has many meanings to many different people. For me, I didn't truly associate it with anything except for meditation (due to popular media, of course) until I took yoga over the course of last summer. It can be found in many prayers of Eastern religions and is considered to be a sacred symbol. However, as there are with many symbols from other cultures, there seems to be a bit of disconnect from the true meaning of the symbol and what most of our western culture sees it as. For example, as I was wandering through Tibet Nepal (a store in downtown Davis that sells a lot of eastern influenced art, jewelry, sculptures, texts, and so on) a group of very loud people entered the door with dairy queen blizzards in hand. Now, I make an effort to not eves drop too much, but it was a bit difficult to ignore them in such a small shop. Their conversation consisted mostly of repeatedly asking what the "three piece symbol" meant (referring to the ॐ) and commenting on how "badass" a big back tattoo of it would be. They then continued to comment on various other statues throughout the store including one larger one of Ganesh, saying that "that elephant thing would also look badass as a tattoo." Needless to say, they seemed a bit out of place.
Oh well, sometimes all you can do is smile and laugh a bit about the situation.