Collage: VICE / Images: fizkes / Getty (left) and
Predrag Popovski / Getty
Predrag Popovski / Getty
I’ve never really been that big on meditation. If you ask me to shut my eyes and focus on the way each breath escapes my body, it will most likely leave me feeling like I can’t breathe at all. No matter how many Headspace sessions I put myself through, I just can’t seem to keep my mind focused and relaxed. Multiple failed attempts led me to conclude that maybe meditation just wasn’t my thing. That is, until I found one that promised to make me rich and successful.
“Quantum Jumping,” apart from a concept you probably studied in physics, has emerged as an online subculture that claims you can find a more fulfilling existence by “shifting timelines.” With the topic “quantumjumping” gaining more than 90 million views on TikTok, the trend involves Gen Z creators using a “portal” to access an alternate dimension through visualisations and manifestations. Based on the belief that at any given point, we exist in multiple dimensions, this technique emphasises vivid visualisations of these different dimensions to help us hack into an ideal version of our own. The idea is that by visualising our most powerful and productive versions, we unlock a better understanding of what it takes to find success. And a shit load of money. Kinda like a mix of The Secret – the idea that you can “attract” what you want out of life – and the Marvel Multiverse.When I heard about this meditation method on a mystical YouTube binge-watching session, I knew I had to find out more. So, I reached out to Teja Priyadarshini, a hypnotherapist and past life regressionist, who offers a module called “Quantum Jumping To Blissful Success,” and had previously hypnotised me into a different lifetime to combat my anxiety. “This technique allows us to access information we may already have, but that our conscious mind pushes aside,” Priyadarshini told me. She explained that this technique, when done repeatedly and consistently, comes with the powerful promise of offering wisdom to hack our way into becoming our most creative and productive selves, often through advice we usually tend to ignore.
“Our mind often gives us these intuitive hits, but sometimes we brush them aside because we feel they are not important,” she said. “This technique revalidates what your intuition tells you, by allowing your subconscious mind to confirm that the information is valid.” According to Priyadarshini, the more times you’ve “jumped” or delved into this technique, the more your visualisations could manifest reality. Basically, this kind of meditation is a way more hectic version of the manifestations trend doing the rounds on TikTok and Reels. Whether the positive results of Quantum Jumping are thanks to a placebo effect, a reasonably convoluted example of confirmation bias, a manifestation of poor mental health, or simply a fun philosophical thought experiment, I was ready to get rich and successful in the new year.
At the start of December, I was feeling my most unproductive amid the festive slump, with the approaching holiday season making even the simplest tasks seem tedious. So, I figured there was no better time to try out the meditation that promised to help me find focus, among other things. I plugged in the audio recording that would take me through this guided meditation, and set off on what I hoped would be an intergalactic journey (Spoiler alert: it wasn’t). The meditation started off fairly straightforward. Enchanting tunes of a reverberating sound bowl paired with Priyadarshini’s composed voice tried to lull me into a calm, meditative state.
I lay down on my back as Priyadarshini’s voice instructed me to breathe in and out before asking me to visualise three numbers with every breath I took. She then asked me to imagine myself walking down a hallway, insisting at every step that “every day in every way, I am getting better and better,” a mantra that was supposed to act like an affirmation. As I visualised myself walking down a cold, abandoned corridor, I was told to look for a door that opened up an alternate universe at the end of it. Here, I was assured, I would meet an alternative version of myself, one who had their shit together and would impart their knowledge and wisdom to help me, in this timeline, bloom into my best version. But before we could jump into that, I was instructed to acknowledge “Kua,” a light being from an alternate dimension who would join me on my journey to becoming my best self. That’s when things got a little… weird. Priyadarshini told me that to truly believe whatever I visualised would manifest into reality, I needed to visualise myself Googling Kua. I guess she knew that that’s the first thing my cynical self would do. Then, she asked me to touch the tip of my tongue to the roof of my mouth, a tactic she said would help me “program” myself into believing that my thoughts would translate into reality.
I didn’t understand a lot of it, but I did what I thought best. Because that’s life. I was then finally told I would be bumping into my best version. I waited with excitement to see what that would look like. Instead, I was greeted by an old friend: darkness. My mind was blank and abuzz with corny motivational quotes instead of life-altering advice. Bummer, I thought, I’ll just have to try again.
The second time I mustered up the motivation to try this meditation technique was soon after Christmas, when, despite my positive affirmations, I found no money in my stocking. The New Year was approaching and I was hoping that this time, the better version of myself would show up and show me the way forward. I dived right into it and pressed play on the audio recording, this time with a calm confidence I didn’t have before. A snug, trance-like state soon started taking over my body. Maybe I was just tired from all the holiday debauchery, but this time around I felt far more relaxed and aligned with my thoughts. So when Priyadarshini’s voice once again asked me to visualise my best version, I promptly imagined an older, calmer image of myself. My hair was swept up in a messy bun, I donned a crisp beige blazer, and I was seated at a marble desk with my laptop. I didn’t quite know what my apparently alternate version did for a living, but I felt (or maybe hoped) I had a commanding presence and quiet power.
But when it came to gathering game-changing information, all I could register was generic shit: Pursue your passion, don’t chase money, work hard. I wasn’t too impressed with the advice I was apparently giving myself, and brushed it aside quickly. Was this the best my alternate self could do? So disappointing.But a few days later, as my year-end performance review rolled around, I found myself pleasantly surprised at the results. I mean, I did work fairly hard and had accumulated a fair few wins over 2021, but it just seemed like I was looking at my own success and self-worth in a new light altogether. Was this me or the manifestations at play? I wasn’t too sure, but after a few months of spiralling anxiety that left me questioning my life choices, I just felt like I was finally coming to terms with my own sense of self. I was aware that factors like visiting friends, getting some downtime in the last week of the year, and having a travel plan around the corner could’ve helped alleviate my pandemic anxiety, but I figured the meditation wasn’t too bad a trade-off for what looked like hope and happiness.Now, all I had to do was wait for the money.
As the New Year kicked off with a new fear of escalating Omicron cases, my isolation-induced boredom made all my 2022 resolutions crumble in the face of unhealthy coping mechanisms. So, I decided to try Quantum Jumping again, hoping to start the new year earning back some of the cash I blew up in the December party season. I found it even easier to slip into the meditative state this time, imagining that I was traversing through an alternate universe on a quest to befriend my best version. This time, my hair was greying, I wore white cat-eye glasses and gave instructions to what looked like a film production crew. As I faced my imaginary alternate version and asked her what I had to do to find success, the only thought that whizzed into my head was to keep doing my assigned tasks, no matter how lazy or unmotivated I felt. Basically, I realised, when the motivation ran dry, that I had to fake it ‘til I could make it, which, given the way the world is currently, doesn’t seem like such bad advice from me to me. I didn’t expect to earn more than these low-key mediocre nuggets of wisdom from my alternate self. I was almost ready to give up on my hopes for riches when I checked my bank account and found that someone had mysteriously sent me 4,000 Indian rupees ($53). I was shook, and asked all my friends who owed me money if they had deposited this amount. They said no, but it also gave me the perfect window to ask them to pay me back, which, in turn, earned me more money. I guess I’ll never really know if it was the meditation that made me some extra cash or just my karmic wallet balancing itself. Still, coming out of my last attempt, I had mixed feelings about this meditation. Yes, it helped me focus my mind and put me in a more relaxed state, but maybe because I had too many expectations going in, I just didn’t find it as life-changing as I hoped I would. Then, another thought occurred to me: Maybe that was the key to success. Maybe I had to manage my expectations and focus on finding projects that inspire me, instead of trying to meditate my way to lots of money. Follow Shamani on Instagram and Twitter.