Yesterday, I wrote a bit about seva, or selfless service.

When participating in seva, it is a great practice to use mantra japa while you’re working–repeat your mantra silently or outloud as you complete your activities.

The mantra I use all throughout the day–while practicing seva or any other time of the day–is known as a siddha mantra. OM Namah Shivaya is used all over the world by individuals on a journey of spiritual maturity or the siddha state–the state of perfection.

This mantra is very powerful, as it is known not only to be a potent spiritual mantra, but also a mantra that vibrates the chakras. The individual sanskrit syllables Na Ma Shi Va Ya are connected to the elements: earth, water, fire, air & ether. This connection permeates into our chakras, and allows the meditator to gradually open up the chakras. So this mantra can be used to reach spiritual enlightenment, and perfect the physical & energetic body as well.

When you use the mantra during meditation, you should focus on the mantra itself and try to perceive the place where it arises; try to see where it is vibrating, and listen to it. Repeat the mantra as if it were your own name, making no distinction between the syllables of the mantra, the object of the mantra, and your own Self. In this way your mind will automatically turn inside and become focused on the Self. – Swami Muktananda

Swami Muktananda refers to the mantra OM Namah Shivaya as “the great redeeming mantra.” It means “I bow down with respect to my inner Self.” It is an ancient mantra that has been repeated by many sages, and is the mantra that Muktananda used to attain his own enlightenment.

Today, practice working with the mantra by repeating it in your mind as you link it to the breath. Repeat it once as you inhale, and again as you exhale. Try to incorporate this practice of mantra japa throughout your entire day. You will find a calmness washing over your mind very soon!

OM Namah Shivaya