Is it same as the name 'Rama' which we use in daily life?
From the Upanishad itself, 2nd Adhyaya:
वन्हिर्नारायणो नाझड्यो जाठरः केवलोऽपि च ॥ ६॥
द्व्यक्षरो मन्त्रराजोऽयं सर्वाभीष्टप्रदस्ततः ।
Vanhi (र) coupled with Narayana (आ) and the Jathara (म) alone make up the two letter mantra (राम) which is the king of mantras that fullfils all the desires within one's heart.
1. Does that mean we are indirectly chanting the mantra by saying the name 'Rama' ?
Note : The Upanishad goes into the details of its "Purashcarana" and contains no information about indirect chanting.
In principle, yes! whenever we say "Rama" we are indirectly chanting the mantra. When someone says "Rama", he does it with some intention. The actual question is, What really links the uttered "Rama" to the same "Rama" which is a mantra?
"Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Jan 6"
"Is it necessary to meditate on the form while practising nama? As a matter of fact, the two are inseparable. Nama existed before the form, and it outlasts the form. Nama, indeed, pervades the form. Nama transcends the limits of time and space; consequently, it is the truth, the ultimate reality. So, to chant nama repeatedly, unceasingly, is the main thing. If the form is concurrently visualized, well and good. But even otherwise, the form does figure in the meditation on nama, though remotely, subtly. Suppose a man is repeating ‘Rama, Rama’ in his meditation, while as often happens, his mind is distracted by some other thoughts. If unexpectedly we ask him whose nama he is chanting, he will say, “That of Rama;” if pressed further, “which Rama — your servant named Rama?”, he will retort, “of course, Rama the son of Dasharatha!” This proves that while chanting nama there is a definite though subconscious awareness of the form. Therefore,go ahead with the chanting of nama, whether or not the form is also visualized simultaneously...When we think of a person whom we already know, the form comes to the mind first, and then his name; when we are not acquainted with a person, it is his name that comes to the mind first, and the form follows. Being unacquainted with God as yet, we are unfamiliar with His form; but surely we can chant His nama. ....
Note: During the Japa, the Sadhaka needs to perform the appropriate Naysam and needs to know the Seer, Chandas, Devta etc.
2. Doesn't it require an initiation from a guru ?
This is a quite popular question on hinduism stack exchange, and maybe the greatest question mark for many people. The strict answer is, Every mantra requires a intiation.
A opinion based answer would be: its more appropriate to start chanting the mantra instead of waiting for a guru to arrive. Nothing can attain a completion without a guru, however the intaition must not be the reason to avoid chanting the mantra. At least one can take Nama.