Enter a large, quiet room, a room quickly filling with people. A small candle in a glass candle holder sits in the middle of the room on the floor. A small circle of drummers, tambourines and colorful rattles sit on the floor in a circle around the candle. A cello player stands nearby. People sit on chairs around the circle. People stand behind the filled chairs.
Suddenly a chime of a bell is heard. A rhythmic beat of a drum, softly, slowly,. The other instruments join in. Other instruments scattered about the room join in.
A leader announces the number of the chant. Line 1 2X, Line 2 3X, Line 3 4X. The directions thus read, chant line 1 two times, chant line 2 three times, chant line 3 four times. Line 3 is a repeat of line 1 and line 2. The changers knew, the newcomers learned.
The chants were many – Muslim, Hindu, Druid, Sufi, Baha’i, Christian, Catholic, Jewish, American Indian.
After a time of chanting, all was silent. No rhythm heard, no directions, no chants. Just silence. It was meditation time.
A soft bell rang. People moved about into one huge circle. People held hands to make a circle without end. One by one, people introduced themselves, first names only. One hundred fifty people in the circle.
Then one quiet voice, “Peace go with you.”