I acknowledge this picture from the internet.
Meditate on the emptiness of root, back and heart
Be free of mind movements and
Reach Shiva who lies beyond
In this 22nd dharana of Vigyana Bhairava Tantra, Shiva says to focus on the non-existence of the Root, back and heart. This technique to reach the mindless state of Shiva, takes us one step beyond the last technique that focused on the root and back alone. In the last verse, Shiva taught us to view the emptiness of the root and the back. Here, he adds the heart to the root and back.
Why does Shiva add the heart to this technique?
The Ascent by Bihar School of Yoga terms focusing on the root as daharakasha dharana and the back as sushumna darshan. Both relate to tantric practices of chakra meditation. The root chakra, muladhara, governs our survival needs. In animals, according to tantric belief, muladhara lies high on the energy hierarchy. In humans, it lies at the bottom. Those familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy model will see a parallel here with the bottom of the Maslow pyramid.
Chakras not only govern our energy states, but also our emotional states. Each chakra relates to a primary human emotion. The muladhara relates to greed and lust, which in turn correspond to survival needs. Any negatives we attribute to greed and lust arise from our conditioning. In absolute terms, these emotions guarantee the survival of the human species.
Meditating on the muladhara, the perineum or bottom of the spine space, opens up the absolute space of our desires. In the beginning, all thoughts that arise may relate to sexual and possessive fantasies. They too shall pass. With continuing meditation of the muladhara, we can comprehend the impermanence of desires, greed and lust. We move towards a void where these stop. Shiva talks about this void.
By contemplating on the back, the sushumna nadi, the central energy highway, we allow the energy of the voided root energy center to travel upwards. I compare the emptiness in both these cases to the emptiness of akasa, space. Space signified emptiness at one time, before astro and quantum physicists established its energy filled nature. Shiva’s void represents energy, not its absence.
Shiva now takes us up towards the heart. The heart in all cultures signifies love, compassion and relationship. At the heart center, we start moving out. We reach out to the universe. In the void of the heart, we realize we relate to others. I turns into WE.
Do not focus on these esoteric techniques as rituals. Relate to them with emotions, at least initially. When you contemplate on the root center, allow desires to overwhelm you. Look at each desire in turn, experience and move on. Normally, we suppress these desires. Many who we see as yogis live as time bombs of emotions. Stay with the emotions, look at them and experience them. They lose their power over you. Then, move on, free.
Take each of these spaces one by one, experience them and then integrate them.
I have no pretensions of a yogi. But, i have listened to Shiva with no prior conditioning. I found that meditating on these chakras, the root and the heart, as well as the sushumna pathway, helped to release me of many bondages.
I believe Shiva talks about that as the void.