A bit about Steven Walters.
With a playful simplicity, and a fresh approach to contemporary folk
music, Steven Walters invokes the most tender feeling level of the heart,
moving you deeply --- to joy and laughter one moment, unabashed tears
the next. With deftly woven lyrics and masterful guitar work, his songs
are offerings of humor, spirit and sweetness -- serious music for the
Since age seven, Steven has made a life's work of writing and performing
original music. For twenty years he enjoyed a career on the road as
a professional guitarist and vocalist in blues and country music bands.
In 1993, after being diagnosed with leukemia and told he had 24 hours
to live, Steven began a period of intensive meditation. Miraculously,
he became strong enough to receive a bone marrow transplant and make
a full recovery. Inspired by this second chance, in 1995 Steven began
to truly live his dream, giving up the smoky bars and club circuit to
perform his original music.
Steven performs and speaks at diverse venues including concert halls,
conferences, new thought churches, folk clubs and intimate house concerts
from coast to coast. Events at which he has been invited to share his
gifts include: workshops at the Esalen Institute; benefit concerts for
the Gangaji Foundation (also featured in Gangaji's video, River of Freedom),
Ram Dass, and others; the Inside Edge; and The International New Thought
Alliance Conference. He has two independent releases available on compact
Recent Interview with Steven
You play a lot during satsangs. What is your experience?
S: Satsang is by far my favorite place to play. The silence, the stillness, and the heart of the Sangha seems to pull out the best in me.
What are the effects of your music?
I play many different kinds of songs in Satsang so the feeling is always changing, but the sweetest thing is when I stop playing...and there is no movement or applause...just the stillness that seems to say "let us savor this moment and rest here where no words are necessary."
Tell us -- how did it happen that you came to be a spiritual musician?
I remember being very young (maybe four or five) and just loving everyone and everything. It seemed to take a long time for me to develop any sense of a boundary between myself and the so-called outside world.
I started playing guitar and singing at age seven and made my living with music all of my life. In my early twenties after reading one of Ram Dass's books about Neem Karoli Baba I began having his darshan in dreams. I would wake up with tears in my eyes, my heart aching from the sweetness. These experiences just blew me wide open, and I started having the experience once again that there really is no boundary between myself and everything else.
After returning from a trip to India in 1993 I was diagnosed with Leukemia and was told that I had six months to live. A week later I suddenly developed complications and was told that I had twenty-four hours. I sat up in bed and started meditating, slowing my breath and concentrating on a very still and silent point inside. A week later I left the hospital and a month later received a bone-marrow transplant.
During the transplant I remember making one on those deals with God that sounded something like ..."you get me through this one and I'll really do the music that I came here to do."
While healing from the transplant I met Gangaji at a Satsang in Santa Fe, New Mexico and realized she was describing and being this truth that I had always known. I started following her wherever she went and performed at many of her Satsangs. (She put my song "So Many Blessings"on her River of Freedom Video.) The music just kept pouring out. I experienced a truth that was bigger than all of my concepts about it. And I guess it's just natural to sing about what you love.
What are the most remarkable encounters you have had as a spiritual musician?
I remember being on retreat with my present (and absolutely wonderful) teacher Adyashanti, and about 150 others in Satsang. I had performed a song on the stage and then sat back down on the floor. But the song suddenly started singing itself. I didn't think about it. It just came out. Adya came down off the stage, laid on the floor with his head in my lap while looking up into my eyes as the song and the tears continued to flow. There was the simultaneous experience of singing to myself, to everything, and to nothing, all at the same time.
I enjoy looking out at the Sangha while I'm performing and just taking in the whole scene. It's almost blinding-there's so much light and love. I can see and feel the cumulative attention of spirit shining through everyone's eyes. Any dust, ego, etc., shows up very quickly in this clear light. It's a very hot fire and a wonderful gift.