Akron resident, musician and spiritual seeker Samuel Salsbury spends long stretches of time in India, most recently studying the sarangi, an Eastern stringed instrument often played with a bow, and finding spiritual guidance along the way.
Salsbury, who’s also known for his violin skills and performing a sacred chant called kirtan at national yoga festivals, among other instruments, gave a performance, led a group meditation and shared some of his lessons from his recent venture to India. One being that even the poorest among us in the United States are still more well off than a majority of Indian residents. “Even though I’m certainly not wealthy by some of their standards, the poorest of us are pretty well off in this room compared to many, many of the people there,” he said.
He spoke of visiting the Indian cities of Varanasi and Rishikesh, and of the sacredness of the sarangi. Varanasi is the holy city of Lord Shiva (or the Holy Ghost for a Western comparison), said Salsbury.
Being the only white guy in the crowd of mainly Indians, Salsbury says he was the target for every kind of ripoff there was. “Instead of 30 rupees they would ask for 300 rupees,” he added. “It was pretty commonplace.”
He also talked about why he started playing this sacred instrument with a distinctly different musical texture than Western instruments like the guitar. Before he started playing the sarangi, Salisbury said he would sleep with earbuds in his ears, listening to sarangi music over and over. This eventually led him to India, where he studied with one of the masters of the instrument.
Along with his noted musical endeavors, Salsbury’s a landscape designer of sustainable sacred spaces (along with his wife Sabrena Schweyer). He said he likes working both as a musician and designer. “I like the sacredness of space and the sacredness of creating space, whether it’s in a garden, in a room or in the heart of another person that I have a chance to touch with a few words or a few notes coming from my violin or sarangi.”
The event took place at Pure Intentions Wheatgrass & School of Energy. (The full presentation is below.)
For more info, visit www.facebook.com/samuelsalsburymusic.