Mantras are like little prayers. The lotus mantra is one of the most popular mantras in Tibet; it is known as the prayer of compassion. It is often said that the essence of all the teachings of the Buddha are contained in this one mantra. There are so many layers of meaning in Sanskrit, as each syllable carries its own vibration, and the syllables together form new vibrations that evoke various additional meanings. Loosely translated, Om Mani Padme Hum means: “I bow to the jewel within the lotus.”
Lisa Gayko Schaewe, Lotus #108 from 108 Lotuses: An Art Practice, Courtesy and © Lisa Gayko Schaewe.
This beautiful mantra can be chanted, spoken, or thought on its own, or with a mala to aid your practice and concentration. Repeating this mantra is believed to purify the mind and body and bring joy and peace to you, and those around you:
OM: The Dalai Lama says: “In chanting OM, you can transform your impure body, speech and mind into the pure body, speech and mind of a Buddha.” OM represents the oneness, the universal.
MANI: Mani means jewel, and it symbolizes compassion, love, and the altruistic goal of achieving enlightenment. Remembering this helps us to practice pure ethics, acceptance, and patience.
PADME: Padme means lotus, and it symbolizes wisdom. The lotus flower grows out of the mud, but is not soiled by the mud. It reminds us that we can live in this imperfect world and not be affected by it. This helps us to practice perseverance and concentration, remembering our goals, and our true nature.
HUM: Hum helps us to practice wisdom and make good choices. It means inseparability and it symbolizes purity. It reminds us that we can achieve the perfection we seek by combining wisdom and activity.
Lisa Gayko Schaewe, Dust: Revisited Exhibition Invite, Dust: Revisited -a series of paintings inspired by photographer David Maisel’s Library of Dust, is now on view at Naropa University Lincoln Gallery, Boulder, Colorado.
Lisa Gayko Schaewe’s view and process as an artist are deeply informed by her years as a Zen student and her training with John Daido Loori, Roshi (1931-2009) at Zen Mountain Monastery. She engages in creative process as a form of meditation practice. For her, art making is a way to appreciate the potential held within the open space of not knowing and to directly experience the sacred, interconnected ground of being.
Lisa exhibits her work throughout the country, and is a licensed professional counselor and art psychotherapist, maintaining a private practice in Boulder, CO. She is adjunct faculty at Naropa University and facilitates Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction groups and workshops combining contemplative practice and creative process. Visit Lotus Opening Studio & Lotus Opening Therapy.