It was nothing like I expected.
To begin with, the chanting had started early. We entered a room filled with a Bennetton spread of nationalities literally humming with the Nichiren Buddhist chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo (for those that love them some Tina Turner and have seen What's Love Got to Do With It a half million times
As I looked around, I noticed young and old, Asian, Latino, Jewish, Black, and White filling the room (thanks to Tina Turner the largest groups were black folks and a pan-Asian hodgepodge--and true to form most of the black folks arrived late as hell including the Afro-Latin@s). The service was simple, except the five minutes of the liturgy which sounded like a Buddhist monk on meth, and largely consisted (except for that five minutes) of chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo which means I commit myself to the cosmic law of cause and effect and to the ultimate universal truth expressed through sound. Damn that little old Japanese/Sanskrit phrase packs a lot of punch.
I fell into the easy rythym of the chant. About half way through, RJ looked up and said, "call me." Which is a code word for HOT MAN. I paused in my chanting to appreciate the Latin thick 'em that was moving out to take a call. Yes, the Buddha is good. Hey glory.
About 15 minutes into the service, I found myself chanting and rocking back and forth to the vibration of the sound. And then I experienced a strange and awesome sensation. I felt as if a cool fire was emanating from my skin...like...if they had killed the lights...my little brown ass would have been all a glow. It was a cool feeling. And then the little Japanese women next to me, who arrived late I might add, started chanting out of rythym and threw off my feng shui...and I lost my glowing feeling. But for a minute I felt like Bruce Leroy...whose the master? I am!
I have always believed in God. It's been both a blessing and a curse. He and I have not always gotten along, but I've always believed in him. This was an entirely different way of experiencing him. And one that I will be repeating. I am no hero for opening myself to the experience, but I am proud that I was enable to enhance my faith journey...even if it was a little bit Barry Gordy style.