Looking back on 2016

Thanks to all who made 2016 another delicious year for the Wild Moon Bhaktas. We are grateful to the owners and leaders of the centers and churches who welcomed our music, and to the yogis, sufis, mystics and seekers of all persuasions who joined us, chanted with us, made music with us and invoked the beauty of the Spirit with us. We are looking forward to 2017!  Here are a couple of images from this last year. wmbfirstujune20162wmbfirstujune20162

Wild Moon Bhaktas at First Unitarian Society, June 2016

Wild Moon Bhaktas at First Unitarian Society, June 2016

WMBs at Tula Yoga, Sept. 2016

WMBs at Tula Yoga, Sept. 2016

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Great Mother Chant, May 14

The Wild Moon Bhaktas and Kirtan Path led the chanting and music for the Second Annual Great Mother Chant at the St Paul Yoga Center, May 14, 2016. It was a memorable event: three hours of chants to the Great Mother! Om Shakti Ma!
A third of the proceeds were donated to the World Wildlife Fund. We are already looking forward to next year.

The Wild Moon Bhaktas, from left to right, David Ballman, David Schmit, Gary Waryan and Christine Larson

The Wild Moon Bhaktas, from left to right, David Ballman, David Schmit, Gary Waryan and Christine Larson


Pascale LaPoint of Kirtan Path, with Will Kemperman on percussion

Pascale LaPoint of Kirtan Path, with Will Kemperman on percussion

The wonderful group who came out to sing and chant.  Om Shakti Ma!

The wonderful group who came out to sing and chant. Om Shakti Ma!

Great Mother Chant Flyer

Great Mother Chant Flyer

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Wild Moon Bhaktas at First Unitarian Society

WMBsFirstUJan-May2016007
The band continues our monthly program at First Unitarian Society, in Minneapolis. Last Saturday of the month. Chanting, kirtan, spiritual music and more. Music is good for the soul. Chanting is equally good for the soul. Being together with spiritually- minded people and raising our voices up is even better! No experience necessary. Join us!

Here is a poem by Hafiz, the 14th century Persian Sufi poet (version by Daniel Landinsky):

Become a pen
In the Sun’s hand.

We need for the earth to sing
Through our pores and eyes.

The body will again become restless
Until your soul paints all its beauty
Upon the sky.

Don’t tell me, dear ones,
That what Hafiz says is not true.

For when the heart tastes its glorious destiny
And we awaken to our constant need
For that Love
God’s lute will beg
for your hands.

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Wild Moon Bhaktas

“The Wild Moon Bhaktas are a spiritual/musical force to be reckoned with! Live, and on their debut CD, From the Ganges to the Mississippi, they share a passionate and exuberant call to the Divine. Virtuoso guitar, accordion and tabla playing give rise to gorgeous musical landscapes. Sinewy violin lines weave around gospel infused masculine voices, pulling chant participants into an open hearted meditative space. In both live and recorded formats, the Wild Moon Bhaktas are not to be missed!”
-Mike Cohen, Kirtan Leader Institute founder

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Bhakti Beat

BhaktiBeatLogo&Info
“The Wild Moon Bhaktas, a great midwestern bhakti band you should get to know. Love this.”

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Rumi Celebration

Thanks to the nearly 70 people who packed the Center for Performing Arts Chapel who helped make our seventeenth annual Rumi Night another success. Many thanks to the individuals who strode to the microphone and shared their illuminating, heart-breaking, and hysterical Rumi poems. Thanks also to Jack Norton for videotaping the event and shooting this photo. And of course, kudos to Hakim Bushnell, Karima Bushnell, Ted and Kristen Eide Tollefson and all who made it happen. Thanks also to Coleman Barks whose English versions of Rumi from the original Persian has aided in this renaissance of a 13th century mystic’s astonishing poems. Next year, we will need to find a bigger room. A good sign!
RumiNite2015JackNortonphoto

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Seventeenth Annual Rumi Celebration

Sunday, December 13 at the Center for Performing Arts in Minneapolis, 7:30-9:30. Our seventeenth annual evening of music, chanting, Sufi poetry and sacred dance in honor of Sufism’s greatest poet, Rumi.
RumiNiteDec13-2015006

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Wild Moon Bhaktas at Spirit United Church

Sunday, November 8, 2015
WMB@SpiritUnitedChurchNov8-2015
Spirit United Church is a welcoming and open-minded congregation in Minneapolis who invited the Wild Moon Bhaktas to lead their service We led a couple of chants and then told the story of Tibet’s great yogi, Milarepa, a moving tale about the power of perseverance and practice on the spiritual path. Here we are at the church, with our good friend, Will Kemperman sitting for Gary Waryan who was away. Thanks to Ron, Karen, Ellen and Joan for helping make it happen!

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A poem by Rumi: The Clear Bead at the Center

The Wild Moon Bhaktas at First Unitarian Society, July, 2015

The Wild Moon Bhaktas at First Unitarian Society, July, 2015

“The Clear Bead at the Center
changes everything
There are no edges to my loving now.

I’ve heard it said, there’s a window
that opens from one mind to another.
But if there is no wall
there is no window,
And if there is no window,
there is no need for a latch

There are no edges to my loving now.
The clear bead at the center
changes everything. – Rumi, translation by Bly & Coleman

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Wild Moon Bhaktas at River Garden Yoga Center, St. Paul

We are happy to be bringing our music to River Garden Yoga. Lots of friends, yogis, various seekers and new faces were there. Our guest percussionist Will Kemperman joined us, and he took these two photos, of the band and Christine. Here is a photo of him, too. River Garden is located in an old, historic building on West 7th in St. Paul and has good vibes!

Here are a couple lines from the great Bhakti poet, Kabir (15th century, India; version by R. Bly): “If you don’t break your ropes while you are still alive, Do you think ghosts will do it for you after? If you make love with the Divine now, In the next life, you will have the face of satisfied desire.”

Wild Moon Bhaktas at River Garden Yoga, July 2015

Wild Moon Bhaktas at River Garden Yoga, July 2015

Christine Larson

Christine Larson

Will Kemperman

Will Kemperman

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