I acknowledge this picture from the Net.
Focus on the mantra
In the lotus of the heart
Shiva’s 26th dharana in Vigyana Bhairava Tantra remains one of my favorites. Not because i have been successful in achieving what the dharana implies, but the process of trying gives me such peace and insights. I only wonder what’ll happen when i find him!
This dharana addresses the heart energy center, the anahata chakra. Lotus represents the anahata chakra, like all other chakras. Anahata chakra has twelve red petals. Shiva says to focus on the mantra, or the sound , while seated in the middle of this lotus. Tantric tradition gives yam as the anahata mantra. I am not sure Shiva too means this.
Let me offer a different insight.
AUM to me, appears as the anahata mantra. The pranava mantra AUM represents the highest level of consciousness. It’s the sound of creation. In the mind body energy system, anahata represents the center of consciousness at the deep sleep state, called causal body state or karena sareera. Mandukya Upanishad refers to this state as prajna or true awareness.
In this state of anahata centered awareness, reached through yoga nidra practice, one reaches the state where thoughts arise in seed form. Mere awareness of thoughts at this state eliminates them. Constant awareness , repeated awareness, what Shiva calls samput in this verse, leads to the witnessing state of samadhi.
In this dharana, Shiva points to three sensory loci. One, that of the visual, by bringing up the 12 petalled red lotus of anahata. The second, that of the auditory, by bringing up the sound of AUM. The third, that of the mind stuff, in repeatedly looking at thoughts and eliminating them. One does not have to do all three. Any one technique, practiced with commitment and sincerity, having reached the heart center awareness, will work.
The sound has an interesting dimension. In vocalising AUM, the first syllable A is loud, focused on the third eye center, ajna, signifying awareness in the awake state of the gross body. The second syllable U needs to be whispered with a focus on the throat energy center, visuddhi chakra, signifying awareness in the dream state of the subtle body. The silent expression of the third syllable M needs to be focused on the heart energy center, anahata, signifying the deep sleep state awareness of the causal body.
Repetition of the pranava or anahata mantra AUM, initially loudly, then whispering, and then silently leads to a state where the mantra sounds itself with no effort from us. Anahata then awakens. Shiva appears.
From what i know, Tibetan Buddhism practices variations of this dharana. Great yogis lived in this state. In this state of deep witnessing awareness, they exuded love and compassion, the energy of the heart center. At this point the human turns divine.