Mantra



Om Mani Padme Hum…

Om Mani Padme Hum…

Om Mani Padme Hum…

The melodic, strange sounds drifted towards me as I gazed down at the valley. A tiny little monastery perched on an outcrop near the tree.

My tree.

But that story wasn’t for today.

Otherwise, we’d never finish this one.

Because the stories I have are endless. They all sit inside me, like a jewel in a lotus, encouraging me to let them out, let them go. The more I cherish them, the heavier they became.

To travel light is freeing. But I haven’t yet learnt how to.

As I stood on my hotel balcony though, which overlooked the glistening river and massive mountains, listening to the sounds emanating from the temple, I came close.

Om Mani Padme Hum…

Om Mani Padme Hum…

Om Mani Padme Hum…

I didn’t know what I was listening to. I hadn’t even heard of the word ‘mantra’ before. But I was about to.

I walked out of my hotel and picked my way down to the valley, towards the monastery. I couldn’t have stopped myself even if I tried.

I didn’t know it yet but I had been summoned by the Divine.

I stopped nervously by the entrance, peering in, wondering if I would be allowed inside.

A sound behind me made me turn. A man in maroon robes was walking up the steps. As I watched, he neatly deposited his footwear on a rack next to the door, gathered up his robe in one hand and walked briskly towards me.

Bespectacled, tall, fit, balding white hair.

“You coming?” He glanced at me and walked inside, beckoning me to follow.

I stared at him, stunned. Who was he? Why was he talking to me like we’d known each other for years?

“Marie.” He looked back. “We don’t have all day.”



Om Mani Padme Hum…

Om Mani Padme Hum…

Om Mani Padme Hum…

What is a mantra?

A set of sounds in the Sanskrit language that are designed to purify us at our deepest levels.

But the mantra meaning didn’t really matter because my journey of purification had already begun.

I wandered in behind him, dazed, disoriented and entirely unsure of what was happening.

The monk seated himself in front of an altar alongside a dozen others who were chanting.

Om Mani Padme Hum…

Om Mani Padme Hum…

Om Mani Padme Hum…

Praise to the Jewel in the Lotus.

The monk looked back, gesturing impatiently for me to join him. I hesitantly walked over, folding myself down gingerly next to him. He eyed me, amused and almost exasperatedly.

“We’ve waited for you, Marie,” he said softly. “Welcome.”

Bells clanged and the fervent chanting increased in pitch.

Om Mani Padme Hum…

Om Mani Padme Hum…

Om Mani Padme Hum…

I had been claimed.

To be continued another day.

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Jai Hari

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