Correct way to japa mala mantra ( Techniques of meditation )

What is Japa?

JAPA, OR RECITATION, IS THE SPIRITUAL PRACTICEof devotedly repeating a mantra, generally a specified number of times, such as 108, often while counting on a strand of beads,called a japa mala, while conscientiously concentrating on the meaning of the mantra. The repetition should be dutifully slow. This brings punya, merit, to the devotee. It should not be thought lessly mechanical or the hurried, so-called rapid-fire or machine-gun japa, which demonstrate ignorance of the tantras. Such casual, nonchalant negligence and disregard for contemplative traditions brings papa, demerit, to the devotee, creating internal strife, community opposition and turmoil for all concerned.

Lord Krishna says in the Bhagvat Gita
Of all the Vedas I am the Sama Veda!
Of all the Yagnas I am the Japa yagna!!

Thus highlighting the importance of japam.

Japa is a form of devotional worship, invocation, supplication, praise, adoration, meditation and direct, experiential communion. Unless we are actually in a state of samadhi (total absorption), which is rare for most people, japa provides a means to disengage from our racing thoughts and our memories of the past -- mostly the bad ones. The repetition of positive, uplifting, spiritual mantras over and over again lifts consciousness and causes the muladhara chakra to spin clockwise. We feel uplifted. Life does not look so bad, and neither does the past.A sense of forgiveness comes and the future looms bright. The past is forgiven and forgotten.Japam can be done by everyone. However for yagnas certain conditions are mentioned.

There are three ways by which one can do Japam-
1. Ucchahi - loud recitation - less effective
2. Upamshu - soft recitation - more effective
3. Manasikam - within the mind - most effective.

OM is the basic vibration of the cosmic universe. Hence all mantras begin with "OM".

Benefits of Japam
1. Physical - to energize the system (to tone up the system)
2. Mental - to remove depression/obstacles/mental blocks.
3. Spiritual - Attaining Siddhi,self-development/specific areas of growth(strengthening the inner-personality by projecting positive powers inwards; over-coming/eliminating negative traits).