The national mantra of Tibet with illuminated floral boarder.

The first syllable, OM is the universal sound. Mani means jewel. Padmé, or pema, means lotus. So the mantra means. “The jewel is in the lotus.” Then there’s Hung, but that’s not there for the meaning; it’s there for the completeness of the vibrational tone. Hung is the consort of Om. It is the seed syllable of the five wisdoms. But the meaning is that the jewel is in the lotus, or wisdom and compassion are within us all, like pure seeds blossoming and unfolding within our own tender hearts.

The wheel is one of the most important Buddhist symbols, as it represents the teachings of the Buddha. The Buddha was the one who turned the wheel of the dharma (meaning one’s righteous duty, or any virtuous path) and thus the wheel symbol is the Dharmachakra, or “wheel of law.”

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