To the outside observer, British native Miten (then known as Andy Desmond) had it all: a wife, a child, and a successful career as a working musician – touring with, opening for, and being featured as a guest musician for bands like Fleetwood Mac, Fairport Convention, Hall and Oates, Randy Newman, and Ry Cooder, at stadiums worldwide. The sex, drugs, and rock & roll lifestyle, however, came with a hollowness and profound distortion that ate at Miten’s soul. At the end of the day, music seemed to be nothing more than a sales commodity, with musicians serving as industry pawns who generated cash for company executives, at the expense of true self-expression and art. After spinning through this world for years, feeling increasingly alienated from himself, his family, and life itself, Miten hit a spiritual crisis and underwent a breakdown, where the only way he knew how to save himself was to get up and walk out, on everything and everyone he knew.
At the time a 29-year-old, Miten had just read No Water No Moon, a book of discourses by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho) on Zen parables. One story in particular was life-altering to Miten: On a full-moon night, Chiyono, a nun, was carrying a bucket of water from the well. Just as she was noticing the moon’s reflection in the water, the bucket broke. At that moment she looked up at the moon and became enlightened – realizing she had spent her whole life focused on the reflection of “the real thing,” instead of on the real thing itself. Miten then understood that while music in general, and his music in particular, had something deep within it, the commercial approach of the music industry was just a reflection of the real thing. It was as if music were the key to something greater – a profound inner peace and sense of connection with the infinite – but he had been busy polishing the key, instead of opening the door with it.
Eager to learn more and embrace a whole-being transformation, Miten promptly left England and found himself in an ashram in India, where he released all worldly possessions, as well as his identity as a musician, and joined Osho’s sangha (spiritual family). Living a simple and humble life while studying with Osho, doing work like chopping vegetables in the kitchen, Miten found the courage, and the perfect environment, to face his inner demons and become who he truly was on the soul level, instead of keeping up the image of the person he always had thought he should be. Feeling a deep sense of inner strength, for the first time ever, Miten eventually revisited his musical roots, but from a different place: one of spirituality and devotion, where he served as a channel for the ashram community, offering up original songs that celebrated Osho’s teachings.
It was in this capacity that Miten, then 40, met German expat Deva Premal, 20, who at the time was a bodywork practitioner at Osho’s ashram – practicing Shiatsu, Craniosacral therapy, and Reflexology. The daughter of two artists who practiced Indian spiritual teachings, Deva had grown up with music and mantras. Prior to meeting Miten, however, she had not embraced either as part of her own path.