Lotus Song

Om-mani birds
hold back the night
Om mani padme hum

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Old nun bee Padme-hum
she waggles to the lotus song
Om mani padme hum

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Om Metteyya
Om Maitreya
Om mani padme hum

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There is a Buddhist mantra, a kind of meditative and spiritually meaningful chant: This quintessential utterance, Om mani padme hum, is considered to encapsulate all of the wisdom of Buddhism. Om is a sacred sound expressing holiness. Mani means jewel, Padme is the lotus flower, and Hum represents the spirit of enlightenment. There are many shades of interpretation and significance but this is the simplicity of it.

In this poem the first two words “Om mani” are used for the name of a sacred bird. The last two words of the mantra, “Padme hum” are taken to name a bee.

And waggle, a curious word to use here, is the actual technical term used in describing the dance of the bee upon returning to the hive to communicate the path to the source of pollen: Spiritually, the road to enlightenment.

Metteyya and Maitreya have the same meaning, essentially “friend” in two languages (Metteyya in Pali, the ancient language spoken by Lord Buddha, and Maitreya in Sanskrit). They refer to the prophesy that an enlightened being will come to complete the work begun by Lord Buddha.

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