Yuval Ron’s new release, “Four Divine States Of Mind”, is much more than music. It is a deeply spiritual work of art, showing the listener what the four sublime states of Buddhism, the Brahma-viharas, are all about. Ron has delivered a milestone meditation album, ideal for both absolute beginners and people well–versed in the four immeasurables. The production’s artistic qualities are exceptional, many thanks to artists such as Deva Premal, Uyanga Bold, Estrella Morente, and Chloe Pourmorady. “Four Divine States Of Mind” is an inspiring and uplifting release in an age where the need for direction and inner peace perhaps is greater than ever.
Yuval Ron is an internationally renowned World Music artist, composer, educator, peace activist, and record producer. He graduated Cum Laude as a Film Scoring Major at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and composed the songs and score for the Oscar-winning film “West Bank Story” in 2007, was the featured artist in the Gala Concert for the Dalai Lama’s initiative Seeds of Compassion in the Seattle Opera Hall in 2008, and has collaborated with the Sufi leader Pir Zia Inayat Khan since 2006. His most recent albums are “Voyage Through the Chakras” (2018) and “A Sweet Sweet Sleep, Vol. 1-3” (2018). Two years in the making, “Four Divine States Of Mind” was composed, arranged, and produced by Yuval Ron and Executive Produced by Dr. Richard Gold.
On July 18, 2020, the album’s release party was held online:
Loving Kindness (Metta)
The first of the divine states of mind is “Loving Kindness (Metta)”, featuring Chloe Pourmorady. Metta means, according to Wikipedia, benevolence, friendliness, amity, goodwill, and active interest in others – and, of course, loving-kindness. The piece has a wonderful build-up. In the beginning, we hear sarodist Alam Khan and percussionist Somnath Roy, before Chloe Pourmorady and the Blair Studio Singers children choir join in with lyrics in Sanskrit and Hebrew. It is impossible not to be moved by the heartwarming melody and the atmosphere all these fine artists create. It makes you believe in the power of loving-kindness, both as a concept and as a starting point for meditation.
Next of the divine states is “Compassion (Karuna)”. The Buddhist meaning of Karuna is the feeling of concern for others who are suffering and therefore makes a person want to do something to help – in other words: compassion. Here the album has an interesting twist: Adam Del Monte’s flamenco guitar and Estrella Morente’s Spanish/Sanskrit lyrics portray compassion in a very colorful way. There are not that many meditative, 11 minutes long meditative flamenco pieces available. “Compassion (Karuna)” is highly original and will appeal to audiences everywhere. It truly is an international recording.
Vicarious Joy (Mudita)
My favorite piece on the album is “Vicarious Joy (Mudita)”, and I’m certain I’m not the only one loving this catchy and playful song. Deva Premal is brilliant, as usual. The choir, percussion, and traditional Indian instruments are all wonderful too. In tune with Mudita teaching, I feel gratitude for the joy the artists feel performing this inspired piece. One word; magnificent!
The album closer is called “Equanimity (Upekkha)”. American Buddhist monk Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote: “Upekkha is freedom from all points of self-reference; it is indifference only to the demands of the ego-self with its craving for pleasure and position, not to the well-being of one’s fellow human beings.” The piece dedicated to Upekkha contains Uyanga Bold’s mantra, Japanese Zen chanting, Dennis Karmazen’s cello, plus countless other elements such as strings, bells, and choir. It is a triumphant ending!
In conclusion: In the current social and political climate, it seems like the sounds of Yuval Ron’s “Four Divine States Of Mind” are coming from an entirely different planet. It is, in every way, a sublime and deeply inspiring album. You don’t have to know Sanskrit or Hebrew to pick up on the meaning, although you only have to google the song title to learn more about each divine state. Ron makes the teachings of the Brahma-viharas easily available and understandable – and makes us see and even feel how they represent the victory of the mind over matter. There is so much to learn here; loving-kindness, compassion, vicarious joy, and equanimity are all starting points for a divine meditation session that starts the second you push play.
For more information and music samples, visit yuvalronmusic.com