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Deva Premal & Miten: Music in the Key of Love

Mantra Singers’ Music Helps War Vets and Fire Fighters

Yoga and meditation are increasingly becoming tools of the Veterans Administration, which is adopting body/mind approaches for soldiers struggling with the heavy toll of serving in battle. One Iraqi War veteran relates that the music of renowned mantra singers Deva Premal & Miten, along with other stress-reducing tools, helped him rebuild from the traumas of war: “I am an Iraqi Freedom Veteran. It was really rough for me to come back and try to create a so-called normal life for myself. Now I practice meditation every day. I am doing so much better today as a result of Deva and Miten’s CDs. Their music has been a miracle in my life. It is soothing, calming, healing, beautiful – a miracle.”

The Integrative Rest Institute (IRI), founded in 2006, teaches meditation and yoga through the Veterans Administration to aid veterans with post-battle stress. The institute’s protocols (called iRest for short) were developed through studies at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on the efficacy of yoga meditation for soldiers experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The iRest programs are now operating at VA facilities in Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, and DC.

Yoga and chant are proving beneficial for those on the domestic front lines too. Hal Martin, a retired fire fighter from Miami/Dade County, shares how meditation and the music of Deva Premal & Miten changed his life. “When I look back on my life as a fire fighter, the practice of meditation had a major impact.” Hal, who reached the rank of Captain, shares, “the more successful officers I have come across are the ones that are calm, cool and collected. Meditation has brought me to that space. On calls, in the back of my mind I’m humming mantras.”

In 2006, while visiting his sister, Hal came across the music of Deva Premal & Miten and was “blown away.” The impact of Deva and Miten’s work resonates deeply with Hal, “At the last Miami concert, everyone was chanting in unison like a well-tuned chorus and it created such a sense of unity – 750 people coming together in Miami – it just brought me to tears.”

While Deva Premal & Miten have received accolades from such luminaries as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Cher, Anthony Robbins, and Eckhart Tolle, the real impact of their music is reflected in the powerful testimonials from people of all walks of life, who are seeking a musical respite from their daily stresses, as well as those looking to learn about meditation.

Deva Premal & Miten, began their journey in love and music twenty-three years ago when they met at an ashram in India in 1990. Their music and love has evolved into worldwide recording sales of over one million units and they consistently fill concerts halls around the globe. On their Fall 2013 “MantraFest Tour” Deva & Miten will be joined by fellow mantra-pioneers, The GuruGanesha Band.

As Miten expresses it, “Mantras are a password into a vaster world, keeping the mind always growing.” This sense of growth is borne out by their new album, A Deeper Light (White Swan Records), which represents a new direction for the chant masters. “We’ve always wanted to do a tantric-mantra dub album,” says Miten, who co-produced the album with old friend and fellow Englishman, Joby Baker and keyboardist Maneesh de Moor. “The tempos we compose in are quite slow, and the one-drop of dub really suits us. All we had to do was stay focused and as the sessions progressed, ask ourselves the daily, basic existential question, "...is it tantric?" The new album stretches gently away from the classical chant format and provides a more accessible path to the “inner” technology of compassion, awareness and love.

Appearing with Deva & Miten both in concert and on recordings is Nepalese bansuri flute maestro, Manose. Born in Kathmandu, Manose has brought the sound of the bansuri to many musical genres and merges the purity of classical Indian music with his remarkable improvisational skills.

Deva Premal, Miten, Manose and keyboardist Maneesh de Moor will be on the MantraFest tour with the GuruGanesha Ban during September through November 2013. Check their website for a concert near you: www.DevaPremalMiten.com .

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