Song 1: SUNS ORB
CD: Ananda Ma
Suzanne Sterling is an ecstatic vocalist, innovative teacher and invoker of the sacred. Both as a performing and recording artist, as well as a facilitator of transformational workshops and intensives for many years, Suzanne has received critical acclaim. Her devotional music has been commissioned for film, theatre and DVD. She has enjoyed mainstage billing at festivals such as Wanderlust, Bhaktifest, Burning Man, Boom, Harmony and The World Festival of Sacred Music (hosted by the Dalai Lama).
Suzanne is a Priestess, who for more than 20 years, has developed curriculums, teacher trainings and apprenticeship programs combining ritual and activism for numerous communities nationwide. Her Sing Yourself Awake® workshops and circles offer a unique blend of yoga, music, sacred ceremony and activism to events and studios worldwide. Recently she has been a featured speaker/artist at several Yoga Journal Conferences, Omega Institute, Esalen, The Institute of Noetic Sciences. and Earthdance where she led the worlds largest Spiral Dance for 5000 people. Suzanne is also a co-creator, with Seane Corn and Hala Khouri, of Off the Mat, Into the World®, a project offering nationwide training programs combining yoga and sustainable activism. She loves riding the edge where art and ritual meet and is committed to creating sacred community and empowering others to be their authentic, expressive selves. For more information www.suzannesterling.com
1) What is the inspiration for your music?
Suzanne: I am inspired by any process and act of transformation. I am inspired by the inquiry of what it means to live a deep soulful, and connected with Spirit life in these modern times. I am inspired by the mythical world that beyond our rational understanding. And I am inspired by the way music can unite us beyond any and all barriers of language, class or life experience.
2) How does your yoga and spiritual life shape your music?
Suzanne:My yoga and spiritual practice have been integral to my whole life for many years and my music a reflection of that very personal journey.
3) Tell us how the practice of kirtan/spiritual music can become part of the life of a women doing yoga and the benefits of this practice?
Suzanne:Singing is actually one of the most healing things we can do for ourselves—I call it the feng shui of the body—and combined with asana and pranayama can have a profound impact on our health and well being, not to mention our sense of connection with Divine creative intelligence and our own self expression. I can't tell you how many people tell me that they "can't" sing and yet have a deep soul desire to do so. This is tragic and breaks my heart. So, part of my mission is to help people to find their truth, find their voice and take the risk of expressing themselves and in that expression, know themselves as a whole and creative humans.
4) What do you learn from your music that teaches you about your daily life- please give examples.
Suzanne:I learn that much of life is not a rational linear process and it is possible to invite the mythopoetic realm into our daily, mundane lives. And that connects us with truths that are eternal that in turn give our lives meaning and purpose. For instance, the day's when I get up and just get started on my to do list tend to have a effect on my psyche that is at times constrictive, if however as Rumi says, "I let the beauty I love be what I do", then I find I connect with a deeper flow and things fall into place much more easily. I have to be open to setting intention, improvisation and letting go to thinking I have all the answers.
5) As a woman musician where do you garner your creativity, strength and endurance?
Suzanne:Consistent daily practice is a big key for me especially on the road. By that I mean, I have a daily practice of yoga (asana), running, and meditation. It quite frankly keeps me sane and builds strength that is necessary for the challenges I face as a touring musician.
6) How do you find balance in your life?
Suzanne:As I imagine with most people this is a constant inquiry for me. As my requirements for balance change over time. I try to listen deeply for those changes. Right now, balance includes times of intense interaction and work "out" in the world combined with LOTS of time alone.