Today's posting is my answer that I emailed to Kim earlier this afternoon. If you have any questions, post them on the blog in the comments section or email me.
Om Nama Shivaya is a classic mantra and one that I play in my yoga studio. There are many different CD's available containing variations of the accompanying tune, and they are also listed on the blogsite in the music section.
Om Nama Shivaya is one of the most powerful and sacred mantras and repetition of it is said to purify the practitioner. The phrasing and energy of the sounds are designed to create a transformation in your consciousness and enable you to attain a higher state of awareness.
The six syllables of the full chant refer to the first six chakras that run from the root of the spine to the ajna chakra (3rd eye.)
While there is no direct translation it can mean "I bow to God" and repetition should be done with full awareness of its meaning, rather than simply repeating it for repetition's sake.
Om refers to the universal Energy, or sound of God
Nama, as two syllables, na ma, can mean "I bow before you."
The trinity of syllables of Shi va ya refers to Shiva, or God and asks that all God's energies be directed to you to bless you and lead you to the highest state of peace and meditation, which we refer to as Bliss.
Shiva is also the image of God which is said to bring to a close the trinity cycle of Creation, Destruction, and Rebirth.
Some people think of the mantra and God as the destroyer of our illusion (maya) and ignorance that stands in the way of perfect union and enlightenment.
When I say this mantra I see it as a means of cleansing (removing illusions), praising God and receiving blessings, and a means of entering and attaining the state of Bliss.
The two words, namah and shivaya, are also referred to as the panchakshara (five letter) chant. Pancha means five.
Tradition has it that when you chant these five sacred sounds while meditating on Lord Shiva (God) you will be blessed by visions of Shiva (God) - the Lord of the yogis.
As with all mantras, as a minimum it should be invoked morning and evening 108 times. You can repeat it mentally or out loud, fast or slow. But as mentioned above, the mantra should be repeated with respect and awareness of what you are saying as though you are actually bowing before God.
Mantras act like a shield to block unwanted thoughts and energy, however the vibrational sounds of mantras are powerful and protect you by their energy too.
As you continue to repeat this mantra, I hope that you will feel the vibrational energy as though you are being merged as one into God's loving embrace.
God is Peace