We often hear and speak of yoga, bhakti and dhyana as ways of experiencing spirituality. One topic often ignored is that of japa - or nam smaran in which one chants a mantra (often one of the names of God) repeatedly. Usually it is chanted 108 times - though there is no compulsion.
Common mantras which are chanted include:
1. OM Namah Shivaya
2. OM Ganeshaya Namah
3. OM Namo Narayane
4. OM Shanti … Shanti … Shanti ..
I have started practicing this, and I think it is quite worthwhile.. A rather calming experience. It can be done anywhere, by anyone. One way of counting to 108 is using your fingers.
I think theoretically one may use any mantra that resonates with their belief. For me, it is Om Namah Shivaya. Though I believe to have a successful experience, one must do japa regularly and really feel the mantra flowing through their consciousness.