I acknowledge this picture from the Net.

It may be a visual trick or a puzzle, but sort of conveys what Shiva says in dharana 10.

Mindfulness on the Void

Or a wall or person

Leads to fulfillment

In the last verse, Shiva talked about the void. For most people, the void and meditating on the void is not easy. It takes practice. Self styled ‘Gurus’ confuse us more with their sunya or void meditations, which are useless. The only void meditation, as Shiva says, is moving into the heart energy of inner consciousness. Even there we witness.

In this verse, Shiva moves back a bit and reviews kindly the mind state of you and I, ordinary mortals, who have  along way to go to realizing the void. He says: ok, if you cannot figure out the void, be mindful. Focus on whatever you like an object or a person, or any form, anything that attracts you and stay with it.

That’s all there is to it.

This is a story about Ramakrishna Parmahamsa. An elderly ill-tempered woman seeks Ramakrishna’s help to meditate. Ramakrishna tells her to meditate on Kali, who he loves as his mother. This woman comes back after some days saying that she just cannot visualize Kali and meditate upon her. She does not have the same passion for Kali as Ramakrishna does.

Ramakrishna asks the woman: is there anyone who truly love? She says: yes, my little nephew. Ramakrishna says: ok, meditate on hm. Visualize his form and stay with that form.

A few days later the woman comes back happy. I can meditate upon my nephew she says. I can stay with his lovely form. Ramakrishna asks her: what you feel for him, extend to others. Think about Mother Kali the same way and others as well.

Very soon, this woman becomes the kindest soul around. 

Mindfulness is not about the object one focuses on. it is about the person who is focusing. The passion, the committment, the intensity with which the meditator stays with the form that he or she chooses.

Scientifically. it is very well established today that focus on anything leads to brain pathways enlarging to relate to that object. neuroplasticity is all about mindfulness. If our mindfulness is positive, brain pathways reflect that. It is about anger, depression and fear, it reflects that too.

So, choose with care what you wish to focus on.

This is why the Vedic culture developed millions of divine forms. Each person could then choose his or her own personalized divinity, one that related to one’s mind map. More one focused on the good qualities of this divine form, more one modelled it. Pure NLP, one would say.

This is the reason why people who are religious and have deep faith in a divine being of whatever religion they follow, find it easy to focus on that divine being. If, for whatever reason, one belongs to a faith that rejects the form, one can focus on a sound, a word or even a feeling.  Mindfulness can result from any of these.

In vipassana, one of the most powerful mindfulness processes known, one focuses on the breath and then parts of one’s body. This process takes one to the deepest levels of one’s consciousness.

So, choose a material form or formless essence of such a form, and focus on it. Stay with it. This mindfulness too will take you to inner consciousness.