What are some of the things one should have in mind (kavanah) when saying Ana B'Khoach?
While saying this paragraph [Ana Bechoach], one should look at - or envisage - the Sheimos (Divine Names) formed by the acronyms of its words, but one should not pronounce them.
The meaning (translation, if you think in a language other than Hebrew) of the words.
- The 42 words represent the 42 letters of the Ve'Ahavta (paragraph from Shema Deuteronomy 6:5-9).
- The 42 words can be divided up into seven lines of six words each, and each letter from the six words can be combined into the end of each of the six to make a seventh "word" for each line making the title 49, and these 49 represent each day of Sefirat ha-Omer, as well as the 49 words that are in Psalm 67.
During Sefiras HaOmer Ana Bekoach is used to connect to each day.
There are 7 words on each line of Ana Bekoach including the acronym that is one of the names of Hashem. Each one matches up with one of the 7 lower sefiros Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferes, Netzach, Hod, Yesod, Malchus.
During Sefiras HaOmer at least amongst Chassidim and Sephardim, a person connects each Sefirah to one of the words
Example Ana is Chesed S'B'Chesed and so on.
The Arizal says that these letters correspond to the Shem Mem Bet (see Sidur Kawanat HaLev for the Peshat of the words). Of course, one should always concentrate on the Peshat of the words and then the Sod (Ben Ish Hai in Sefer Tikun Tefila).