Erik Berglund, a harp player who has recorded five CD's and
performs internationally, can live anywhere on the planet as long as he
has a telephone, fax
machine, and access to an airport.
chosen very consciously to live at the foot of Mount Shasta.
first time I came here it felt like paradise, and it still does,"
said Erik, who moved to the mountain in 1991.
up half a continent away near Minneapolis, Minnesota. His father taught
at St. Olaf College heading the fine arts department, and his mother
directed the community choir. Erik enjoyed a childhood rich in the arts.
He sang, played piano and violin, and studied drama, art, and
filmmaking. He played violin in his father's orchestra when it toured
Norway, and sang in the St. Olaf Choir when it toured the United States
earning a degree from St. Olaf, Erik dove into New York City where he
acted in off-off-Broadway plays, composed music and performed in a
puppet theater, drew portraits, played street music, taught voice
lessons and mime, and was part of a folk rock band.
he discovered the harp - not the jazz version know better as the
harmonica, but the kind of harp the angels play. He studied under
Mildred Dilling, who also taught Harpo Marx.
would go for a half hour lesson and end up there for hours," Erik
same time, Erik was deeply involved in the city's spiritual community,
and began playing his harp for meditation groups, New Age gatherings,
and at workshops. It was at a conference in Banff, Canada that he met a
musician who was living in Mount Shasta, and later visited him to make a
That's how he stumbled on paradise.
managed his own move to the mountain in 1991. Mount Shasta is home base
while Erik travels the world playing his harp in concerts and conducting
healings, a gift he discovered he had while on a journey in the Andes
Mountains of South America. He has played in Europe, South America, and
Canada, as well as throughout the United States and in "power
points" such as the Great Pyramid and Machu Picchu.
have played in places that are breathtakingly beautiful, and I've played
in many of the world's Power Points," says Erik. "But there is
something special above all the others here in Mount Shasta. That's why
I choose to live here."
more than just the beauty," he said. "It's easier to meditate
here, and draw inspiration, and to regroup from whatever I have been
doing elsewhere in the world. It feeds me. I can sit at a lake with my
harp, see the mountain reflected in the water, and all of these
beautiful melodies come to me. The mountain is just this brilliant
conductor of creativity."
has recorded many projects in Mount Shasta, at Shasta Song Studios. He
has recorded elsewhere - mostly in Germany - but the Mount Shasta venue
is his favorite because he can look out the window and see the mountain
as he plays his harp and sings."
believes that Mount Shasta manifests many good things.
think the mountain is responsible for creating strong unity in the
spiritual community here, where it feels like we all work together
without competition. It's like a loose knit family here, and I haven't
seen that anywhere else."
Shasta opens you up to feel reverence for God's creation, for nature,
for all life, from something as big as the mountain to something as
small as a dragonfly or wildflower. If we applied the same reverence to
all of the people we meet, we'd have a much better world."
place has an energy. I've played inside prisons, and in a prison - even
with your eyes closed - you can feel that energy. I've been in places in
the Yucatan where people's hearts were cut out, and you can feel that
Shasta has a positive energy that creates an incredible uplifting. It
makes people feel good; it makes people smile. That's something visitors
say to me about the people who live here, that they're very friendly and
smile a lot. I was in a beautiful park in Hungary two days ago, and no
one smiled or greeted me."
very grateful that I can be here. I travel to unusual places, connect
with different energies, and meet beautiful people. I go to play my
harp, and appreciate where I am, but I'm counting the days until I'm
back here in what I consider paradise."
~ Interview by Jenny Coyle, from the Mount Shasta Book