By Saurabh Bhattacharya
Do you want to check out your akashic records? Or take 17 breaths and propel yourself to the fourth dimension? Merkaba meditation will do all that and more
What would you call a two-minute meditation that promises you peace of mind, universal love, inter-dimensional travel, a breathtaking tour of all the seven levels of consciousness, immortality, and—with continued practice—even Ascended Mastership? A lot of bull? New Age gone haywire? Sensational? Or simply… merkaba!
Little is known about this out-and-out New Age meditation technique. Lesser still is comprehensible. In fact, the overall picture suspiciously resembles the plot of a Hollywood science fantasy, with liberal doses of turgid religion thrown in for good measure.
The story starts with a person called Drunvalo Melchizedek who, according to the American publication Leading Edge, ‘walked’ into his adult physical body in 1972 and who ‘retains full memory through different lifetimes and varying dimensions of consciousness’. Drunvalo is ‘an accomplished scientist, physicist, inventor, healer and teacher’ and his main purpose in coming to this world is to ‘help Earth’s people make a smooth transition through the coming Shift of the Ages’. The ideal tool for this transition is the merkaba-a 17-breath meditation technique that has been channeled through Drunvalo by Melchizedek, ‘the lord of this universe’.
Unlike most meditations that require years of training under experts, merkaba is in keeping with the New Age tenor of accessible spirituality. All it needs is a lot of imagination. As Sukhbir Singh, a merkaba teacher in Delhi, India, says: ‘Learning merkaba takes only half-an-hour, but mastering it can take ages.’
So what’s so tough about 17 simple breaths? Apparently the merkaba itself, which is supposed to be a massive geometrical figure all around you, comprising two tetrahedrons interlocked within a sphere of pranic energy that is connected to a pranic tube running right through you. That’s not all. On the 16th exhalation, a disc, 55 ft in diameter, flips open from your middle. According to Drunvalo, the sphere of energy that is centered around the two sets of tetrahedrons forms, with the disc, ‘a shape that looks like a flying saucer around the body. This energy matrix is called the merkaba‘. By the 17th breath, this mammoth complexity is rotating around you close to the speed of light—the upper, male, tetrahedron moving counter-clockwise and the lower, female, moving clockwise. And, at the end of the ever-elusive and undefined 18thbreath, you take off for any dimension / galaxy / constellation/ past life / planet you like!
Sounds quite a mindful, doesn’t it? But despite, or perhaps because of, the complex visualization involved, the merkaba has become an integral part of New Age in the West.
Its most important manifestation is in the Ascension Movement. Briefly, this movement believes that the world we live in is the first plane of existence in this universe, and every human being is destined to evolve higher towards the astral, Buddha, atmic and divine planes. This evolution, however, can also be volitional and controlled by visualizing the merkaba.
According to followers of the Ascension Movement, merkaba means the ‘vehicle of ascension’ and through it, inter-dimensional travel is possible. The movement also believes that when the final dimension shift comes on earth, only those who have practiced the merkabacan safely shift to a four-dimensional plane of existence—a belief suspiciously similar to the Biblical prophecy of Doomsday.
However, as Delhi-based merkaba teacher Aparna Jha points out, a strong streak of the bizarre and the paranoid often makes the ideas of the Ascension Movement a bit difficult to digest. Says Aparna: ‘Many believers of the Ascension Movement strongly feel that there is a secret government keeping a tab on their merkabapractice, ready to destroy any chance of connecting to higher intelligence beyond this universe! I just can’t make myself believe that you can teleport your physical body to other galaxies or worlds through the merkaba.’
However unbelievable they may be, the number of believers in the merkaba’s fantastic uses shows no signs of decreasing. Many, such as American merkaba practitioner Jon Locke, have even documented their bizarre experiences with the merkaba on the Internet.
Describing one such experience, where he apparently succeeded in projecting himself onto the moon after a brief brush with the secret government, Locke exclaims: ‘How will our friends (from other worlds) ever get to us? This is the mess we are in. We are what everybody is fighting over. What our friends want us to do is build our merkabas and fly out of here. It is like getting messages in to the hostages. You don’t have to be helpless. You can take a hand in your own salvation. That is what the message of the merkaba is all about.’
Historically, the term merkaba has strong kabalistic connections. ‘The earliest form of mystical Kabala literature is found in the tradition of the merkaba mystics (circa 100 B.C.-A.D. 1000),’ notes the Encyclopaedia of Mystical and Paranormal Phenomena. ‘Merkaba means ‘God’s Throne-Chariot’ and refers to the chariot of Ezekiel’s vision. The goal of the merkabamystic was to enter the throne world, after passing through seven heavenly mansions.’
Today’s merkaba, however, has roots as foggy as they are eclectic.
According to Drunvalo, the term merkaba is ancient Egyptian and comprises three syllables: m(e)r (place of ascending), ka(spirit) and ba (soul). Alton Kamadon, another merkaba practitioner who travels all over the world teaching the Melchizedek Method, his form of merkaba, explains the same three syllables as counter-clockwise rotation of light (mer), spirit (ka) and body (ba). The book Beyond Ascension suggests that a first-time merkaba aspirant can ‘ask Archangel Metatron and the Lord Maitreya to help with this particular ascension technique’. In fact, true to New Age expansiveness, you can ask any ascended being—from Christ to Krishna, from Ramtha to Ram, from Djwal Khul to Melchizedek—to help create your personal merkaba.
Considering its growing popularity in the West, this eclecticism seems to have gone down well with most. In India, however, merkaba still has to pass the litmus test.
Despite being fast and comparatively hassle-free, this technique has not received much attention. After learning it from visiting reiki master William Hauw a couple of years ago, Aparna has taught the merkaba to only a few people. Singh frowns on this lack of interest, reading in it a general desire of taking things easy. ‘Merkaba demands persistent concentration,’ he says, ‘something that few are willing to do. Little do they realize what they are missing out on. I have been practicing the merkaba for the past two years and have mastered all the five elements of nature through it.’
Aparna is more circumspect while talking about the merkaba’s benefits, but even she agrees: ‘Your consciousness does spiral to other planes or dimensions. In fact, you can return from each higher dimension with more knowledge, more insight.’
Aparna herself does not admit to traveling to other dimensions through the merkaba, but she does use it as a ‘lift-off’ for other meditations. She also feels that the merkaba has made her more compassionate.
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Inhale. Become aware of the male tetrahedron (the apex facing up to the sun, the point facing front for male and back for females) filled with white light surrounding your body. Touch your thumb to the index finger. Do not allow the rest of your fingers to touch each other or any other object. Keep palms facing up. Breathe rhythmically.
Exhale. Become aware of the female tetrahedron (apex pointing to the earth, point facing the back for males and the front for females), also filled with white light. Keep the same mudra. Exhale slowly. Relax chest and abdomen and hold your breath. When you feel the pressure to breathe again, be aware of the flat equilateral triangle plane at the top of the female tetrahedron. In a flash, send that plane down through the tetrahedron, pushing out all negative energy. While visualizing this, slightly cross your eyes but keep them closed. Roll your eyeballs to the top of their sockets. Look down at the same time that you send the triangular plane downward.
The next five breaths are a repeat of the first breath with the following mudra changes:
BREATH 2: Thumb and second finger together
BREATH 3: Thumb and third finger
BREATH 4: Thumb and little finger
BREATH 5: Thumb and first finger
BREATH 6: Thumb and second finger
For the next seven breaths, touch thumb with first and second fingers, palms up. Visualize the pranic tube that runs from the apex of the male tetrahedron above your head to the apex of the female tetrahedron below your feet. The diameter of your tube will be the size of the hole formed by your thumb and forefinger.
The instant you inhale, see the prana’s brilliant light move down the tube from the top and up from the bottom at the same time. Direct the two beams to meet within your body at navel level, inside the tube. Here, they form a sphere of white light or prana. As you continue to inhale, this sphere begins to concentrate and grow. By the time you exhale, it will be eight or nine inches in diameter.
BREATH 8, 9, & 10
The prana sphere continues to concentrate energy and grow in size. It will reach the size of a basketball at the end of the eighth breathand will brighten further when you finish the ninth breath. On the tenth inhalation, the sphere ignites into a blinding ball of white light. When you now exhale through your lips and with pressure, the sphere bursts out and encloses your body.
BREATH 11, 12 & 13
Feel the prana flowing from the two poles, meeting at the navel, and expanding out to the large sphere. Breath 14 Move the prana sphere from the navel to the sternum, the fourth dimensional chakra. Simultaneously, the entire large sphere moves up to the new meeting point within the tube. Breathing from this new point within the tube will change your awareness to fourth dimensional consciousness. Place the left palm on top of the right palm (for males) or the right palm on top of the left (for females).
Say to yourself: ‘Equal speed.’ Exhale in the manner of the tenth breath and visualize the two whole star tetrahedrons spin in opposite directions at equal speed. You have started the motor of the merkaba.
While inhaling, say to yourself: ‘Thirty-four, twenty-one.’ The two sets of tetrahedrons will start spinning at a ratio of 34:21. As you feel the speed increasing, let out all your breath with force. The tetrahedrons are now spinning at two-third the speed of light. As they approach this speed, a disc, about 55 feet in diameter, forms around the body at the level of the base of the spine. The sphere of energy centered around the tetrahedrons forms, with the disc, a shape that looks like a flying saucer. This energy matrix is your merkaba.
As you breathe in, say to yourself: ‘Nine-tenths the speed of light,’ increasing the speed of the merkaba accordingly. This will stabilize the rotating field of energy. As you feel the speed, exhale forcefully. You are now in your stable and third-dimensionally tuned merkaba.