365 Days of Earrings

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


My son gave me this pair of earrings for Christmas this year. We had wandered independently through a street market in D.C., and from among the thousands of earrings on display, he chose these. "They are different from any you have," he said when I opened my gift. "I think they are lanterns."

Christmas day, I set about finding out what they said. I looked up alphabets from around the world until I found one that contained these symbols.

"I think it's Tibetan," I announced after some searching.
Fortunately I was looking for the most famous phrase in the Tibetan language, the phrase on every prayer wheel, Om mani padme hum.
"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. Pä, 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. The path of these six perfections is the path walked by all the Buddhas of the three times. What could then be more meaningful than to say the mantra and accomplish the six perfections?"
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones[8]

For me, Wednesday is yoga day. Today I wore my prayer wheels. Om Mani Padme Hum. Six syllables. Six perfections which require a lifetime of devotion.

A lantern to guide my path, given to me by my son. Hum.

1 comment:

J-ROK said...

Exactly what I needed to start my morning (that and the latte I splurged on). I'm a strong believer in the power of Om and am glad to have the sentence to reflect upon today!