Chanting the Wisdom Traditions/Buddhism: Om Mani Padme Hum

At the Art as Meditation class of Chanting Wisdom in July, my husband David and I will be sharing the powerful mantra, Om Mani Padme Hum from the Buddhist tradition. If you join us, you’ll learn the meaning and pronunciation of the words and participate in chanting the mantra in class.  I’ll give you a little glimpse of the work we will do in class here.

The Om Mani Padme Hum mantra (sometimes called the Mani mantra) is at the heart of many Buddhist traditions. It’s believed that every one of the Buddha’s teachings resides within this potent mantra.  That it contains the truth of the nature of suffering and how to remove its root cause.

According to the Dalai Lama, Om Mani Padme Hum has the power to “transform your impure body, speech, and mind to the pure body, speech, and mind of a Buddha.”

In the Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche says, “The Mantra Om Mani Päme Hum is easy to say yet quite powerful, because it contains the essence of the entire teaching. When you say the first syllable Om it is blessed to help you achieve perfection in the practice of generosity, Ma helps perfect the practice of pure ethics, and Ni helps achieve perfection in the practice of tolerance and patience.  , the fourth syllable, helps to achieve perfection of perseverance, Me helps achieve perfection in the practice of concentration, and the final sixth syllable Hum helps achieve perfection in the practice of wisdom.  So in this way recitation of the mantra helps achieve perfection in the six practices from generosity to wisdom… What could then be more meaningful than to say the mantra and accomplish the six perfections?” 


​Within the Buddhist tradition, sacred words, such as the ones in this mantra, are often repeated over and over until they acquire a certain emptiness. This doesn’t mean emptiness as nothing, but emptiness as inner awareness, free of attachment of the ego.

By repeating this mantra to reach this level of enlightened awareness it’s believed that you can be freed from suffering and invoke your loving and compassionate nature.


​While it’s a good idea to recite this mantra over and over again, according to the Dalai Lama, one must also meditate upon the meaning of each syllable. So, right intention and understanding of the mantra are needed as a foundation in chanting this mantra effectively.


​This powerful mantra is often summed up as, “The jewel is in the lotus,” or “Praise to the jewel in the lotus.”
As the radiant lotus flower pushes through the muck and mire of the waters reaching toward the light, it opens its blossom of beauty, untouched and unsoiled. Connected, yet hovering just above the mud below.

In using this mantra regularly in a spiritual practice, with right intention, it helps to dissolve the mud and muck in your life and uncover the jewel of your compassionate and wise self.
Interested in deepening your work with Om Mani Padme Hum? Join my class on Chanting Wisdom at the FICS in July.  Find out more here.