"It is very good to recite the mantra Om mani Padme hum,
but while you are doing it,
you should be thinking about its meaning,
for the meaning of the six syllables is great and vast."- His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama
People say that you shouldn't look for Buddhahood outside of yourself because it's all within you.
All Buddhas are examples of beings who were once like us and subsequently became enlightened as a result of following the road; Buddhism does not imply that there is anyone who is perfect from the start. Body, speech, and mind purification are achieved by gradually leaving unclean states and transforming them to pure.
So what does OM MANI PADME HUMM mean?
"The mantra Om Mani Pädme Hum is easy to say yet quite powerful because it contains the essence of the entire teaching. When you say the first syllable Om it is blessed to help you achieve perfection in the practice of generosity, Ma helps perfect the practice of pure ethics, and Ni helps achieve perfection in the practice of tolerance and patience. Pä, the fourth syllable, helps to achieve perfection of perseverance, Me helps achieve perfection in the practice of concentration, and the final sixth syllable Hum helps achieve perfection in the practice of wisdom.
"So in this way recitation of the mantra helps achieve perfection in the six practices from generosity to wisdom. The path of these six perfections is the path walked by all the Buddhas of the three times. What could then be more meaningful than to say the mantra and accomplish the six perfections?"
It is very good to recite the mantra Om mani padme hum, but while you are doing it, you should be thinking on its meaning, for the meaning of the six syllables is great and vast …. The first, OM … symbolizes the practitioner’s impure body, speech, and mind; it also symbolizes the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha…. The path is indicated by the next four syllables. MANI, meaning jewel, symbolizes the … altruistic intention to become enlightened, compassionate and loving…. The two syllables, PADME, meaning lotus, symbolize wisdom…. Purity must be achieved by an indivisible unity of method and wisdom, symbolized by the final syllable HUM, which indicates indivisibility….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.
It is said that you should not seek Buddhahood outside of yourself; the substances for the achievement of Buddhahood are within.
— His Holiness the Dalai Lama
As Maitreya says in his Sublime Continuum of the Great Vehicle (Uttaratantra), all beings naturally have the Buddha nature in their own continuum. We have within us the seed of purity, the essence of a One Gone Thus (Tathagatagarbha), that is to be transformed and fully developed into Buddhahood.- www.shambhala.com