The night was clear and dark, only the lights from camps nearby and those adorning the people walking through the fragrant fall evening dotting the darkness like bright flowers in a deepening field. In front of me the glow of one particular set of lights cast their spell – those from the DJ’s booth, a few small steady streams and some lasers dancing patterns around the 30 or 40 people gathered in the forest clearing. The trance music was opening a mind-state more than a mood, where the dancers moved with a gladness and ease beyond conscious thought. The music thumped and thrilled as bodies and the souls inhabiting them twisted and twirled in the ribbons of light bouncing off the trees.
My friend pulled me to the side, pointed to the twirling bodies and swirling lights, and asked, “You say you like church; have you ever seen worship like this?” Suddenly my perception shifted and I realized that he was speaking a deep truth. No one was reading sacred texts, holding out holy bread or engaging in solemn reflection, but this was worship of the most primal kind. This was joy in action, the homily of sound, the liturgy of movement. No one needed to go anywhere, to do any action, to believe any creed; all they – all we – needed was to be, celebrating this grace-filled moment with our bodies, dancing with all the joy that filled our hearts.