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Susan Klauber, a Canadian-born University of Toronto graduate who resides in the U.S., has lived and traveled around the world, and has always been inspired by the power of foreign cultures to broaden her understanding of life. Sound of the Sacred Beads: A Poet’s Journey into India is based on eight winters in India, and draws on Susan’s many years of meditation, foreign travel, and interest in the spiritual core common to everyone. Her writing has appeared in the Harcourt Canada textbook Elements of English 11, journals (The MacGuffin, The Iowa Source, Contemporary Review, Pirene’s Fountain), anthologies (Eclipsed Moon Coins: Twenty-Six Visionary Poets, The Dryland Fish, This Enduring Gift) and her first book, Face-Off at Center Ice (Blue Light Press, 1996).

Interview with Susan Klauber

What made you decide to travel to India?

My husband sparked a long-forgotten dream I had to go to India. His business had wound down, and we had the chance to travel again for long periods of time. After many years of meditation and interest in spiritual development and enlightenment, India was a natural fit. As I wrote in the introductory pages of the book, “Stories of saints and holy places still circle the globe calling collect to whoever wants to accept.”

What was your favorite part of the time you spent in India?

There were many precious times in India, particularly the experiences focused around revered holy people and sacred places, where India’s powerful spiritual “presence” is so alive. Traveling always prompts inner growth, but India seems to compound that many-fold. One of the favorite periods of our time in India was the rich life we settled into in Bangalore, when we had been in India long enough to have our own apartment. We were able to merge more fully with the underlying fluid flavor of daily Indian life, and combine that sweetness with the divine influences of our meditation and experiences with India’s sacred traditions and saints.

Which deceased author would you most like to take out to dinner?

I’d go way back in time, and choose one of the ancient seers of truth, such as Veda Vyasa or Shankara.

What type of books do you like to read in your spare time?

I lean toward personal accounts of enlightenment or transformation - anything that enriches my appreciation of the human journey. Michael Newton’s Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls were my last couple of books.

Is writing your main profession?

No. I am now in the retirement phase of life. Even in the past, when I worked in a variety of areas, from teaching Transcendental Meditation to headhunting and personal fitness training, I enjoyed writing as a wonderful way of crystallizing my energy on finer levels. It was fun, but it was also rewarding to find these writings touched others’ experiences as well. This deepened my own life.
What was the book that most influenced your life and why?

I do not have one book that I still carry around with me, as I did my “ancient” history book in eighth grade, but I have had a number of “Ah ha’s” prompted by books.

I think that the most influential experience for me came not from a book, but from the simple experience of transcendental awareness that I learned to tap into when I started Transcendental Meditation in 1973. That accelerated my “Ah ha” moments, and gave greater satisfaction to my longtime interest in gaining deeper knowledge about life and myself. With that natural experience of more universal or all-inclusive awareness as a reference point, I then found that the ancient Vedic teachings revitalized by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi made sense to me. One of the books of that ancient wisdom that I have gone back to over the years is Maharishi’s translation and commentary on the Bhagavad Gita. But in a broad sense, every book has some aspect of universality to it, and the more a book speaks to the common core or truth of life, the more influence it has on me.

Also, to be honest with your question, without any pride intended, perhaps today the book influencing me most is my own book on India, as it continues to remind me of the spiritual value in life each time I speak about it. My time in India, and particularly my encounters with one of the Divine enlightened Mothers there, enhanced my appreciation of the ancient wisdom maintained in India’s traditional practices, and evident today in Indians’ open acceptance of everyone in the world as family. The in-practice “living” of this understanding is my work in progress.  

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your writing career?

Procrastination in publishing and promoting my books - it is an ongoing challenge, but I am making headway. I have always preferred to write, but I do love giving reading/slide presentations, so they have been my incentive to move forward. Speaking about India is a lot of fun, and has opened up a rich dialogue on the universal aspect of spirituality that resonates with many people today. This encourages me even more.

What is the best writing advice you've ever been given?

Just write. Don’t edit. Use images instead of telling. Refine and edit later.

Do you believe it is important for authors to have a strong online presence?

I am just coming to that appreciation. The possibilities online are endless.

What do you think of eBooks? Do you support digital publishing?

I think eBooks are a great addition for readers, and digital publishing is opening communication opportunities for writers in a huge way!

eBooks found: 1
Sound of the Sacred Beads: A Poet's Journey into India PDF (Adobe DRM) download by Susan Klauber
Sound of the Sacred Beads: A Poet's Journey into India
Susan Klauber
Sandtrove Press, May 2011
ISBN: 9780984513901
Format: PDF
List Price: $12.95 Our price: $9.99