which means sacred home of contentment and a collective effort to create a cozy space where we can practice the Art and Science of Yoga. At A Jewel in the Lotus, we pride ourselves on having created an environment that does just that. Our practitioners always rave about the feeling of contentment they receive when coming to our studio. We have worked extremely hard to create a Santosha Shala, where all feel welcome.
While Climbing through the Himalayas of Nepal in 2000, I reached the height of 17,000 foot. I was suddenly struck with a feeling of uneasiness and had a severe seizure. During this time - I had "a near death experience". For most they would say it was a “life and death experience,” however it was an experience of “Death and Life for me.” Om Mani Padme Hum which is a chant heard in many yoga circles and means, “hail to the jewel in the lotus.” I heard this during my experience and it was given to me by the Himalayas.
When I eventually returned to America after 6 weeks in Nepal, this experience helped me to embarked on my first Yoga Teacher Training.
Purity must be achieved by an indivisible unity of method and wisdom, symbolized by the final syllable HUM, which indicates indivisibility. According to the sutra system, this indivisibility of method and wisdom refers to wisdom affected by method and method affected by wisdom.
Each syllable has a genuine purifying effect: OM purifies the veils of body, MA purifies the veils of speech, NI purifies the veils of mind, PAD purifies the veils of conflicting emotions, ME purifies the veils of latent conditioning, HUM purifies the veil that covers knowledge.
Thus the six syllables, Om mani padme hum, mean that in dependence on the practice of a path which is an indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech, and mind into the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha.
My personal experience and understanding of this Mantra is why I chose to name my Yoga Studio “A Jewel in the Lotus.”
Buddha once sat in front of a lake of mud and muck with a huge smile on his face. One of his disciples asked why he smiled so brightly. He pointed to the Lotus flower and explained that even though this flower is surrounded by mud and muck, it is still unharmed by its surroundings. No matter what, it is unstained and blooms into a beautiful flower all the time.
There is a Japanese saying “kajo waraku,” “To have the heart of a flower. This Lotus does exactly that. It shows its beauty no matter what life has to throw at it. Through my experience, and experiences shared with me by my teachers, students and fellow Yogi's, through Practice we peel away layers of "mud and muck" to see who we truly are... this is what we teach at “A Jewel in the Lotus.”
Om mani padme hum is spoken within our studio and is the universal mantra of love and compassion. Its meaning is "Hail, the Jewel in the Lotus". When this mantra is recited, it is in fact continually repeating the name of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of all compassion and love.
This mantra is invested by the grace and power of the mind of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, who himself gathers the grace and compassion of all the buddhas and bodhisattvas. In this view, the mantra is endowed with the capacity to purify our mind from the veils that obscure it. The mantra opens the mind to love and compassion, and leads it towards awakening.
This mantra is indicated by the next four syllables. MANI, meaning jewel, symbolizes the factors of method - the altruistic intention to become enlightenment, compassion, and love. Just as a jewel is capable of removing poverty, so the altruistic mind of enlightenment is capable of removing the poverty, or difficulties, of cyclic existence, and bring solitary peace.
The two syllables, PADME, meaning lotus, symbolize wisdom. Just as a lotus grows forth from mud but is not sullied by the faults of mud, so wisdom is capable of putting you in a situation of non-contradiction, whereas there would be contradiction if you did not have wisdom.
A Jewel In The Lotus Yoga Studio