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Wellicious Fan Maren Brand travelled to Asia with her heart’s desire to learn more about Yoga, meditation and physical work and she deeply delved into the fascinating world of Yoga. She got this tattoo with the Mantra Om Mani Padme Hum 10 years ago and today she is sharing her personal relationship with this mantra with us. Maren teaches in her own studio in Bielefeld, Germany – which she has named Lotusflower, as a dedication for her special relationship with this mantra. Enjoy reading her beautiful story!


“What is written on your neck? “

10 years ago when I got my tattoo in the Indian town of Dharamsala, home to the exiled Dalai Lama Dharamsala, I didn’t think about this question (mostly asked in summer, in clubs or at concerts etc.)

All of a sudden it was clear to me to get this mantra as a memory of my first big and long journey through Asia in the beautiful Himalaya. And I don’t regret it. From time to time the context in which I have to explain my tattoo is unsuitable. So, when I am not in the mood to explain the full meaning of my tattoo, all I say is that it is a mantra and means “flower” or “empathy”. Full stop. This is the simplest way to describe it, because this mantra is a symbol of all the important mantras of the Tibetan Buddhism: It is a mantra of empathy and refers to Bodhisattva Avaloketishvara. It is said, that it contains the total Buddhism guideline and means “Be aware that the jewel is in the lotus.”
The mantra comprises the following components: OM is the primitive sound, MANI means jewel, PADME means lotus (which stands for pureness in Buddhism) and HUM is an affirmation referring to the mantra.

On my 8-month trip, in which I practised Yoga intensively, practised meditation in a convent and learned the art of Thai-Massage, the mantra followed me everywhere: the first time I have heard it was during a Yoga class in the jungle of Thailand. And it touched my heart and profoundly affected me right away. I enquired into the meaning of it, and read all about the mantra and carried it in my thoughts all the time.

Some months afterwards, during my massage classes in Ashram we chanted it every day. On a magic place like the Ganges, where the river is clean and the sand looks like gold in the sun I was able to understand the full meaning of the mantra. On my last station in Dharamsala the mantra was everywhere: you can see it on the prayer wheels, the “Mani-stones” and flags, and hear it in every street. My decision was made: I want to get tattooed. The mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” will be on my neck and the lotus flower will be on my ankle.
For me the lotus flower became an important symbol as well. It reminds me of the time of my Vipassana meditation retreat in Wat Rampoeng. A convent in the north of Thailand, where I meditated 21 days and learned a lot about myself, my life and the world. During the retreat we were wearing white clothes and in the end meditated up to 14 hours a day. Pure clarity.
On my journey I felt protected because of the mantra. It opened my eyes and heart and definitely changed me. I didn’t want to lose this quality – even back in Germany.
The lotus flower grows out of the mud and baizes its trail to the top, to the sunlight. In Yoga we face to our inner light and try to make it shine as well.
And in the end this is the reason why I named my Yoga studio after the mantra. During my Yoga classes and workshops I want to bring every single student to their deepest being. So they can discover their own light and share it with the whole world.


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