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by Siyotanka, which also topped the charts, won a Native American Music Award, and earned a Grammy nomination in the smaller Native American category. It was the beginning of long string of commercial and critical achievements, including four consecutive Grammy nominations, eight ZMR awards for New Age music, a contract with multimedia publisher Sounds True and a collaborative Grammy for a children’s album. Then in 2013, DeMaria was notifi ed that his latest album, The Maiden of Stonehenge, had been disqualifi ed from Grammy consideration because of a technicality regarding its release date. When he got the call, he happened to be at the hospital with his mother, who had died in his arms before being revived. “It’s funny how Spirit works,” he says. There are more important things than

the Grammies, he thought. He was, after all, an artist-healer—and having made or collaborated on 11 albums, his artist was well fed. “I completely disengaged from that for the next two years while I accompanied my mother on her death process,” he says.

Peace Within And so he was back where he started with The River: bringing healing to the dying. If that concept seems incongruous, he says, it’s only because our culture creates a false sense of

separation between the seen (life and light) and the unseen (death and dark). Quantum physics only reinforced what indigenous cultures have long known: that all these energies are interconnected.

“Healing comes from the same

word as whole,” he explains. “For the soul to heal, sometimes the body must die; in fact, our ultimate healing is to become one with the soul, and the heart is the gateway to the soul. All spiritually-advanced cultures— soul-centric cultures, as opposed to egocentric cultures, which ours is— understood this.” This energetic shift—refl ected in the desire to show gratitude and appreciation to others, to forgive and be forgiven—is required for us to die peacefully, he says. “Once we are healed at the heart’s center, death becomes nothing more than a mother’s warm embrace.” DeMaria’s new book, Peace Within, complements his renewed focus on helping others on their healing journey, whatever their stage in life, integrating his work as a psychologist, yoga instructor, meditation teacher and sound healing artist.

Of course, his journey isn’t over

either. As an artist-healer, DeMaria must perpetually balance the two roles, letting one inform the other without the distractions of fl eeting fame. “When all is said and done,” he

says, “it has nothing to do with awards

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or notoriety. In my music, I am not interested in trying to impress, while at the same time I want to fully show up and not hide—my prayer is to be sincere and authentic and allow the music to come through me and not from me. And if I can be a vehicle for that in the world, I’ve done my job.”

Allison Gorman is a freelance writer and editor based in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Dr. Michael Brant DeMaria’s Online Resources

 Visit to see the 7x7 Meditation Challenge, in which DeMaria guides viewers through a basic healing, relaxing meditation seven minutes a day for seven days.

 Visit the video blog series “Mindful Moment with Michael” at or on YouTube.

 Watch DeMaria’s healing music videos at mbdemaria.

 Sign up for the newsletter at to receive a 10-minute instructional video (with a downloadable PDF) of DeMaria’s “Three Breaths to Destress” exercise/micro-meditation.

A holistic approach to personal and spiritual healing

Casandra Akins, M.S., LMHC

Casandra Akins, M.S., LMHC Licensed Mental Health Counselor

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