The Santo Daime service that I attended lasted about seven hours. We sang traditional hymns, sat in silent meditation, and listened to prayers, stories, and lessons from the leaders of the church, Jonathan Goldman and Jane Seligson.
There were two servings of the Daime tea, one at the beginning and another perhaps three hours later. (As I noted in a previous post, I wasn’t thinking in hours and minutes by then.) The tea was served in a smaller building outside the big yurt. I waited in line and approached the table where Jonathan was holding a glass and a flask of the brown liquid.
The spiritual leader of the Church of the Holy Light of the Queen is a tall man with a strong presence. He spoke often during the service and I held on to his words as best as I could, but the beautiful sound of the rain drew me away and the tea dissolved everything in a bath of light.
He held up the flask and poured out a small amount.
“This will help you go much deeper into the experience,” he said as he handed the glass to me.
I drank it and thanked him. Then I walked out onto the wooden pavilion by the big yurt. I listened to the rain falling on the canopy overhead and watched the mist gather over the Cascade Mountains.