Dena Merriam is a long-time meditation practitioner in the lineage of Kriya Yoga. She came in contact with her guru Paramhansa Yogananda at the age of 20, long after he had left his physical form, and devoted many years to practicing his teachings and studying the texts of the ancient Vedic tradition. During her years of meditation, many vivid memories of past births began to emerge, revealing an intricate and subtle patten of cause and effect, the law of karmic unfolding. These memories became the subject of her books. The purpose of sharing these intimate stories was to help people see the long arch of their life, whether they retain memories or not, to help overcome fear and anxiety about death, to understand more fully the workings of cause and effect and to know that each one of us, moment to moment, is creating the blueprint for our future.
Her first book My Journey through Time: A Spiritual Memoir of Life, Death and Rebirth takes Dena on a journey back through seven consecutive lives, revealing the intricate patterns that emerge as one life leads into another, picking up and furthering themes initiated at an earlier time. Her second book The Untold Story of Sita: An Empowering Tale for our Time takes the reader back to a much earlier age, several thousand years b.c.e. to a pre-patriarchal era when humanity had not fully separated itself from the natural world. There are many messages from that time that are particularly relevant today. A third book called When the Bright Moon Rises: Awakening Ancient Memories will be released in the fall of 2020. A fourth book is also in the works: The Seeds of Satya Yuga recounts memories of a life in a far higher age and how events in that life effected subsequent births, carving a path for the soul’s awakening.
Dena’s story is the story of each one of us, of course with much variation. The history of each one of us is filled with patterns and interweavings, that unfolding of so many events, the birth and fulfillment of desires and aspirations, loss and gain, all of which have made us who we are today. While on her own spiritual journey of awakening, Dena has been active in the public sphere. Having founded the non-profit organization The Global Peace Initiative of Women in 2002, she has worked to bring spiritual voices to address global challenges. She has spoken in many forums on the need for a shift in consciousness if we are to address successfully ecological decline, economic and gender imbalance, climate instability, violence and other critical issues. Before writing about her own spiritual experiences, Dena wrote about art and spirituality, publishing a number of books on contemporary artists and for some years editing the magazine Sculpture Review. She received her Master’s Degree from Columbia University, has served on numerous boards and in 2014 received the Niwano Peace Prize for her international work.