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AfricaSpeaksRastafariSpeaksCheik Anta Diop

Rastafari Speaks

My First Experience

First, some background: I am 27, I live in the American South with my girlfriend and my three year-old son. I do not smoke the herb with any regularity at all, and I prefer ska to reggae or dancehall. I have always considered myself an atheist until recently, and that's where this post comes in.

Religion has always fascinated me. A few months ago, I found a Peter Tosh album, the wonderful acoustic "I Am That I Am." In this album, there are some interview segments from appearances he made on American radio. He talks about the herb, Rastafari, and the history of the Wailers. His talk of Rasta led me to do some research on the movement. I love to learn about religious faiths; they fascinate me.

In my research, it spoke to me like nothing else I've ever experienced, more than the protestant Christianity that I grew up with, more than anything other faith I've learned about. I learned and learned. I've read so much information over the past month, on this website and others. I was beginning to think about becoming a Rasta, but all of the information was starting to overload my brain. I've read so much about becoming a Rasta, and it seems like the one common denominator is that a great place to start is a simple prayer to Jah, followed by quiet personal meditation, so that's what I decided to do.

I prayed "Glory be to the father and to the maker of creation. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be World without end: Jah Rastafari: Eternal God Selassie I," and I meditated, trying to clear my head of all thoughts.

As soon as I finished praying, I felt a calm, an incredible peace, pass through my body. I got goosebumps and I felt like I'd never felt before. When my mind began to wander, I would say "Jah Rastafari" a few times until I got back on track. Thoughts of Jah, HIM Selassie I, and peace just kept me in that special place. I stayed there for a half an hour. Afterwards, up until right now, three hours later, that feeling of peace persists.

I do not know if I am ready to call myself a Rasta yet, but I can say this: nothing but contemplating Jah and praying to Jah Rastafari has ever made me feel like this. There is truth in Rastafari and I can't wait to go further and further into the faith.

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My First Experience
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