Neglected Basics for New Buddhists?

Recently, I stumbled upon a fascinating piece in Andrew’s book, Preparing to Die, that left me wondering why such a pivotal practice isn’t more commonly emphasized for those embarking on the Buddhist path. The book delves into the preparation for sudden, unexpected death, highlighting an intriguing approach that seems fundamental yet is not widely discussed.

The essence lies in the mantra “OM MANI PADME HUM”, often associated with Chenrezig, the bodhisattva of compassion. The book suggests that in the face of imminent death, such as in an accident, one should shift their awareness to the crown of their head and recite this powerful mantra. This act, likened to an emergency spiritual transition (phowa), is said to close off the paths to the six realms of samsara and open the gateway to purer realms.

The book emphasizes the importance of integrating this mantra into our daily lives. It suggests that we build a habit of reciting the mantra during life’s ‘small deaths’ – those moments of fear, loss, or shock, like receiving distressing news or facing a personal crisis or IMO, even just walking around. Turning this into a habitual response, the mantra becomes deeply ingrained in our consciousness.

The main idea is that if this habit is well-established, it will naturally arise during the Bardo, the intermediate state after death and before rebirth.

As the Dalai Lama points out, these aren’t just words to be recited mindlessly. Engaging deeply with the meaning of the mantra is crucial (a new practicing student would easily take this to heart). This seems particularly significant for beginners on the Buddhist path. Focusing entirely on understanding and internalizing this mantra, and establishing it as a habitual response, seems vital. Not only does it prepare us for sudden or natural death, but it also guides us to the potential of rebirth in a pure land. There, it is said, one can accelerate their journey towards enlightenment, which is not just a personal achievement but a boon to every sentient being in the cosmos.

Such a practice, considering its dramatic implications, seems like it should be a cornerstone of Buddhist teaching, especially for those just starting their journey.



I am not sure that I get the question you are asking yourself: are you asking why reciting this mantra is not a main practice?


Fundamental, heard all the time if one is listening. I’m thinking of the Kora around Bodha in Kathmandu amongst other places that one can hear open chanting. BTW, it is my understanding that Tibetan Buddhists circumambulate clockwise, Bon, counterclockwise.


I’ve read, listened and watched a lot on youtube about entry level stuff from Buddhist teachers and Andrew’s book is the first time I’ve ever heard claims of a mantra being employed similar to reality checks as a way to escape Samsara in one life and death cycle.

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This is one of the fundamental tenets of Pure Land Buddhism, as I understand it.


I’m thrilled to share some unexpected news: a video I posted on my small YouTube channel has surprisingly gone a tiny bit viral! In just three days, it’s has 1,152 views, 15 likes, and led to 7 new subscribers.

This Video (Click Here)

I had this post in the description (“Neglected Basics for New Buddhists?”) and for anyone that found their way here via the YouTube channel I’d like to add the link below because I had an extraordinary series of synchronicities that unfolded after I learned and applied the mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” the way Andrew has recommended in his book. I also took it a step further by reciting it every time a baby was born where I work (they play a nursery rhyme).

You can find more about the synchronicities below:

Night Club - Mantras That Move You.

The timing of these events has been nothing short of remarkable. As I discovered the video’s success, I was met with another series of synchronicities. While listening to another video in search of a specific quote it said “There shall be no sluggish waiting and imagining things, action is my name.” In that moment I saw I had gained 7 subscribers which led me to discover the likes and views. While I was trying to figure out how that happen the radio at work in the background was repeating “if you just believe” over and over from this song Josh Groben - Believe (it starts at the part that was playing).

Edit: just had another synchronicity, while I was walking around at work I passed a TV that had Jeopardy playing and the question that was fully displayed on the TV was:

“Deep in my heart I do believe”

I’m overjoyed and filled with gratitude. My deepest hope is that this video inspires others and perhaps even guides someone to the pure lands.

The past two days I have been working on AI art of pure lands by only using “Om Mani Padme Hum pure lands” as the input and here are my favorite ones so far:


Also posted under another topic:


It is said all of Buddha’s teachings are held within this single mantra :slightly_smiling_face:. Must be a good one :smiling_face:.



Thanks for sharing your exciting experience and congratulations on your success with the Om Mani Padme Hum Mantra video. Actually dare i say i prefer your clear pronunciation at the end & its without background music.

Lucky number 7

Its so beautiful when a series of synchronicities like you describe happened to you yesterday at the hospital you work in.

Yesterday was a special birthday of my sister. She was thinking about 2 people who had died that were very special in her life Grand Mother & Grandson. Then their song thats always reminded my sister of them played on the radio.

Fetching the video link i saw the top comment

Thats a beautiful :dizzy: and very inspirational. When your heart is true and you put something you wish for into the Universe i nod doubt will come true.

Lovin the AI artwork of The Pure Lands.

And when i read this quote you posted:

This reminds me of The Great Way