Before my brain could tornado into lots of car scenarios, I was jolted back to the room by the appearance of a cake. Now we were talking... or chanting. Anyway, I got excited. Because I love a frosted, delicious sheet cake.
The cake was handed to a guy for his one-year chanting anniversary. The cake winner said, "Chanting changed my life! I wouldn't have all of the blessings in my life without it!" That brought about a bunch of questions, like: what blessings? How did it work? And, most importantly, when was I going to get some cake?
Next on the agenda was newcomer introductions. Each of us newbies looked like deer in headlights as we said things like, "Yeah, so happy to be here!" and "It seems like chanting is great!" I boldly went where the other newcomers didn't. "When do we get cake?" Everyone laughed.
No one answered.
One older woman stepped in to say she knew how we felt and that she was lost 20 years ago before she began chanting. And you know what? Chanting changed her life.
I sensed a theme.
But thankfully, she did elaborate on the how: by chanting this phrase repeatedly, one vibrates in harmony with the Universe, which is what allows for manifestations. That cleared up... not a whole lot.
I didn't know if I really wanted to change my life. I like a lot of it as it is, except for the cake part. It had disappeared faster than a Scientologist from a Katie Holmes movie. Had the cake wisely escaped? Was it being locked up like a bad chanter? I had so many questions and no cake.
At the end of the meeting, members swarmed the new people. Each of them said, again, how chanting changed their lives and, "It works if you keep coming back." Basically it was like Alcoholics Anonymous, but for chanting.
Overall, I did feel good, but I attribute it to the horchata iced latte (caffeine + sugar = heaven) and the fact that I was about to escape. Thank God I brought my delicious prop because it was my ticket out of there. I excused myself from the cult induction committee by explaining I had to pee and booked it for the front door.
When I got to my car, I locked the doors, released a big sigh of relief and raced home because I really did have to pee. I chocked the whole experience up to a weird LA rite of passage until the actress texted me the next day saying she'd love for me to come over and chant again.
Uh, sorry, no. Who wants to be part of a group that doesn’t share cake?
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Kerry Quinn is a blogger for The Kerry Diaries and writer based in Los Angeles. She sucks at chanting but is easily won over by chocolate sheet cakes. Follow her: @kerrylquinn.