I acknowledge this graphic from the Net.
In this 101 Dharana and 127 verse of Vigyana Bhairava tantra, Shiva says
Explore all that cannot be known, felt, understood and visualized
Meditate on Bhairava, the Void and
Realize Shiva state
What we can feel, know, understand, sense and visualize are what we can reach with the mind body. When the mind body
itself is perishable, how can we reach that which is permanent through mind body activities? Shiva prompts us to go
beyond the mind body.
Some teachers tell you that in meditation you reach the sunya or void state. Technically this is not possible. According to
Patanjali, the father of Yoga, meditation or dhyana is the focus of one thought, and the stage before that dharana, focus on
one sense. As long as our focus is on a sense or thought we cannot be in the void. Ask those who tell us to practice the
sunya meditation, which by their definition, is one without thought, how do they then remember that they were in that state,
let alone teach others?
The void occurs when we leave the mind body attachment. It is the state beyond meditation, dhyana, called as samadhi, in yoga.
We are in the void when we disengage from our thoughts. Thoughts cannot be stopped as long we are alive and breathing.
Every breath, every exhalation, brings along with it the desire to inhale and live on. Till the mind body completely perishes, thoughts
do not stop. However, we can detach ourselves from our thoughts. We can detach ourselves from desires and results of actions.
This is what Krishna advises us to do in the Gita. Detachment from people and ideas, nissangatvam and detachment from desires,
nirmohatvam, Shankara says in Bhaja Govindam leads to stillness of mind, nischalitatvam, and finally total fulfillment, jeevan mukti.
This ultimate state is what the Mandukya Upanishad calls The Fourth State of Awareness.
Can we experience this void, the state of complete detachment, where nothing is known, understood, felt and visualized?
Can we stay in that state? At my level of understanding and experience, the answer to the first question is yes, and to the second,
no, I haven’t been able to.
Through practices such as vipassana and yoga nidra I have experienced and glimpsed the state of void, of detachment from
mind body awareness. Such glimpses sustain me from being buffeted by expectations and lack of expected outcomes. Successes
do not seem so important, and failures not so relevant. As a human in the mind body state I revert to discriminating between good
and bad, right and wrong, success and failure. I am sure though that someone like Ramana Maharishi did live in that Shiva State all
the time. Ramana radiated detachment and the energy of that detachment. Even a few minutes in his samadhi can bring about a glimpse
of the ultimate yoga state of samadhi, which is also the Turiya or Fourth State of Awareness, the Shiva State.
The void is a leap of faith. It is the glimpse of death while living. What prevents us from experiencing this state is the fear of the unknown.
Once experienced, the void remove from us the fear of death, as well as the desire to live on and on. One reaches true acceptance of being
open to whatever that may happen. If you are ready and willing to explore the unknown without fear, then you can experience the void, and Shiva.