Om, Mani, Padma, Hum is one of the most ancient mantras (thinking tools) known. It's purpose is to assist the mind in perceiving the process of life and the underlying control networks of becoming.
With iteration of the mantra, combined with deep thought about the multitude of meanings associated with each sound, a pattern begins to form in the pixels of our mind becoming more interesting, colorful and resolved with each iteration.
The pattern created by this mantra has an immediate, obvious, and powerful meaning. It is what we are, why we are, how we are, and knowing we are. In that order.
The "words" are not words as we normally think of them but rather basic human sounds linked to key relationships within the nested network of communications creating our being. They are the sounds of our becomming - from moment to moment and from the beginning of life on earth to now.
As with all mantras, each "word" in the phrase is a focal point for a complex, holistic concept.
Think the word, flood your mind at the same time with the concept, complete with all the shades and colors of emotion and knowledge you can bring to focus within this sound.
As you learn more about each concept, you add to the texture, the relief, the depth and duration of the experience. It is like saying the name of a loved one and letting yourself be instantly aware of all that you know about your loved one, complete and whole and full of life. The greater your knowledge and your love, the more profound the impact of the name.
Om, Mani, Padma, Hum is a complex mantra. A spiral progression of concepts. The basic progression of existence, the mantra applies to every living being, to thoughts, to language, even to suns and galaxies.
The more you know about each word, the deeper the impact of your thinking or saying the word.
The more you know about the relationship between the words, the more universal and powerful the mantra becomes.
The more you integrate the 4 focal points into one whole sonic phrase, the more vivid and clear the vision of the thread of awareness in chaos.
You can mess it up, too. Easily. Just saying the words is meaningless. Despite what some people think, saying Om or chanting it or singing it has no "power" at all.
It is true, however, that the sound itself amplifies the Mantric power of the word. It has an actual physiological effect on the human nervous system. But it only becomes a mantra if the tool is used. A hammer is just a hunk of metal attached to a bit of dead tree unless someone picks it up and uses it to hammer something. And the way someone uses a hammer depends on their knowledge and training and intentions.
A hammer can also have meaning without being used, providing the people involved know what it is, where it is, and what it can do. The power behind the mantra is the same power behind the hammer.
So what are the concepts associated with this ancient and powerful mantra? There is an excellent book about this, "Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism" listed in the references. A good analysis, if a bit heavy on the ancient analogies.
Here are the general concepts to focus on when saying or thinking the mantra.
Universality of being. Focus on your own being. Close your eyes and feel the reality of your own being. From this center, become aware of the flow of information, elements, energy in towards you, entering you, forming your being. The image of coming together. Love.
Changing. The intercommunication of Mind with the flow of information, elements, and energy, changing their relationships to create your being. Focus on the process of choice, of selection, the purposeful blending of the flow of information, elements, energy. Feel the being selecting, choosing, becoming aware. The image of fulfillment, success. Joy.
Directionality. The unfolding of mind as it realizes new relationships on different levels, selects pathways, moves from the center outward, unfolds out into all the layers of relationships, extending change beyond the focus of your being into larger relationships and layers of becoming. The image of unfolding, releasing, flowing out of the being. Peace.
Integration and realization. Observing the effects of the the first three phases on different levels of relationships and from these observations creating seeds of choice, understandings, that transcend cycles, manifest time, reproduction, learning, and evolution. The image of watching, reflecting, evaluating. Harmony.
Learn about Om Mani Padma Hum in action in American Samoa including instructions on how to do the Om Mani Padma Hum exercise yourself.
Words and Mind in New Caledonia; an integrated view of Om Mani Padma Hum with the evolution and control of language. Another example of doing the exercise, linked with related exercises.
The mantra In relation to destiny
Onwards to using the mantra in your own exercises!