newsletter logo: Sangha Reflections

Mindfully Rocking Out at WAVE AID

by Joseph Byrne

Who says mindfulness is incompatible with a rocking good time? On March 10, 2005, a number of mindfulness practitioners—and members of the Washington Mindfulness Community—participated in a fund-raiser for Tsunami relief, called WAVE AID, organized by sangha member Annie Sidley, and held at the eminent State Theatre in Falls Church, VA.

The show opened up with the booming djembe and dun drums of the activist drumming group The Rhythm Workers Union (RWU). And who was that shaking his shakers (and booty), but Joseph Byrne, sangha member and mindful rhythm-maker. Unfortunately, RWU was a little too much on the ball: they managed to play their set in the specified time allotted, before the photographer had a chance to set up and snap a pic.

RWU was followed by The Skiddz, a band featuring Bernie Stoltz and Joe Catazano of the WMC (check out their website below to see pics of Bernie and Joe when they had big hair!). The Skiddz didn't exactly bring the show to a grinding halt. They rocked the audience into the stratosphere.


Annie Sidley, who not only organized the event (along with Danielle Westphal), and acted as emcee for the evening, lent her golden voice to a number of acts, including Radio Mosaic and Sugarbear. She also had a set of her own near the end of the show. Joining her on the drums was a major musical star-in-the-making, none other than Annie's son Sean Sidley (not the balding guy in the picture).


Husband Steve Sidley was not to be left out. In fact, with his new band Sugarbear, he closed out the show. And a humdinger of a closing it was. Anyone who's seen Steve's intense banging on the bass guitar (or maybe we should say "inviting the bass guitar to play"?) knows this is a mindful man who's laying down the bass line. And if you get up and dance (as many were in the course of the evening), enlightenment can't be far behind.

steve s

This mindful party, if audience response is any indication, was a great success. More of an audience (more folks making donations) would have been nice, but the folks who came certainly learned about the issue and compassionate responses to the destruction caused by the Tsunami in December (proceeds went Unicef, American Red Cross, Catholic Relief Services, and the Washington Buddhist Vihara). They also learned, whether they knew it or not, that Buddhists can boogie with the best of them.

Check out their websites (and come to a performance soon):

The Rhythm Workers Union

The Skiddz

Annie Sidley

Sugarbear (formerly Sam's House)

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