Artist: Tashi Mannox
This is the mantra of compassion in Tibetan: Om mani padme hum...
It is translated, "Oh hail, the jewel in the lotus."
Remember that the lotus is the symbol of enlightenment and of spiritual practice. The lotus is a beautiful, pure blossom that floats on top of the water. But it has a stalk that goes down to roots that are in the mud and slime. This is to symbolize the totality of the human being. We are not to divide ourselves or reject the part we don't like, that we think is unworthy. Rather, we are to see that the troublesome parts of ourselves - the mud and the slime, if you like - are actually the soil of our spiritual practice. Nothing is wasted.
And the most important part of the lotus - the jewel, as it were - is compassion. Compassion for ourselves, compassion for others.