Coachella Valley Church believes in the Judeo-Christian God, known as "Jah". In general, Rastafarian church beliefs are based on both Judaism and Christianity, with an emphasis on Old Testament laws, prophecies and the Book of Revelation. Jah was manifested on earth as Jesus, and Emperor Haile Selassie. Selassie is referred to as His Imperial Majesty or H.I.M. and believed to still be alive. His death was a hoax and he lives in protection awaiting the Day of Judgment. Selassie is worshipped as divine. Scriptural texts include Revelation 5:2-5, 17:14, 19:6, 22:16, Ezekiel 30, Psalm 9, 18, 68, 76, 87:4, Isaiah 9.
We do not believe in an afterlife, but instead look to Africa(Zion) as a heaven on earth. "Everliving" is a concept to be immortal, both physically and spiritually. Another important concept "I and I", is the oneness between humanity and God as well as the equality of ALL humans.
Herb (cannabis) is a Godly creation from the beginning of the world. It is known as the weed of wisdom, angel's food, the tree of life and even the "Wicked Old Ganja Tree". Its purpose in creation is as a fiery sacrifice to be offered to our Redeemer during obligations. Ganja has been used as food for mankind, and as a medicinal cure for diverse diseases since the beginning of mankind. Ganja is not for commerce; it was raised up as the only liberator of the people, and the only peacemaker among the entire generation. Ganja is the sacramental rights of every man worldwide.
Mission - to create a space honoring the spiritual tenets of Christ, and offering of sacramental ceremonies and spiritual healing practices. Included:
- Sermons conducted by ordained ministers
- Prayer, Music and Meditation
- Guest authors & speakers
- Members are welcome to come in for individual meditation practice as well as
offerings of gratitude to the community chapel.
When Rastafari speak about meditation it is not so much about an active practice, but more as a state of being. Cannabis is used to enhance “this” state of being. Being deeply in tune with nature and Jah(God), Positivity, Life & Heal your Living. This may include what one is experiencing at the present moment, being able to gain a deeper insight and understanding of what is at hand. By finding relaxation and inner peace in “that” state of being, brings us closer to Jah.
Types of Meditation
- Giving praise to Jah and/or Haile Selassie I
- Playing Nyahbinghi or Reggae music
- Reading the Bible
- Burning of incense
Practice of Rastafari
As a California Rastafarian church stemming from the Ethiopian Zion Coptics, we promote vegetarianism. We try to abstain from: Swine (Pig) Meat, Cow Meat, Goat Meat, and any form of flesh eating. In some cases, members eat scale fish only* Abstain from Liquor, beers, and other mood changing beverages. In most cases most Rastas do not drink sodas, candies, sweets or use salt, if so it is done sparingly. However, in some instances natural wine may use where health is concern. Harm not yourself or your Sistren or Brethrens, do not put yourself in situation where you become trap or ridicule by the system of Babylon. That is do not mix with people who will bring harm or evil to you. Rastafari do not preach instead I and I teach: Love, The Messages Of Haile Selassie I, health, reasoning to resolve disputes, self government, and right thinking using only positive language. For example, Rastafari use words like Forward, Overstand, Sight up, Livity. These words signify Kingly and Queenly thinking.
Love is a very important part of Rastafari in Meditation, having a loving kind hearted spirit and feeling one with nature, enhances meditation. Love makes it easier to connect with the Life Force, rather than harboring negative feelings and thoughts inside. Love and the feeling of oneness is something that can be discovered through meditation. Having Love in our heart greatly improves the ability to gain spiritual awareness and connect with the Higher Forces motivated by Love themselves: Jah & Mother Earth.
Cannabis is used with the meditation of a Rastafari. We bless cannabis before smoking it by giving a short prayer, or just being aware about the fact we are burning something sacred and treat it with Respect. It can be used to get a heightened state of awareness, where we can feel one with the Life Force “JAH”, or deepened insights about anything we put our focus on.
Livity is the Rastafarian concept of “Ever-living”. Its essence is the realization that an energy or life-force, conferred by Almighty Jah (God), exists within, and flows through, all people and all living things. Through the livity we can see that Jah and his Law is what motivates us, and there is a always a focus on the principles of the Bible.
Seven Principles of Rastafari
One: the belief in H.I.M. Haile Selassie I as being the one whom the book of Revelations Chapter 5 spoke of; the Conquering Lion of Judah and the Root of David.
Two: that Marcus Mosiah Garvey was the prophet who led us to H.I.M. and should therefore be given the place of the prophet in the Rasta hierarchy.
Three: that we fight against black and white oppression.
Four: that Ethiopia is a Holy Land.
Five: is Repatriation; Africa for Africans at home and abroad.
Six: the Ital living, or natural way of doing things.
Seven: the principle of reasoning, or being reasonable.
- Love Jah, the most high, your higher-self.
- Love your neighbour as yourself.
- Do not unto others what you will not have others do unto you; rather do unto them only that you want them to do unto you.
- Honour your father and your mother.
- Honour your sons and daughters so that they will honour you.
- Thou shalt not kill nor harm anyone, or permit yourself to be killed nor harmed by anyone.
- Thou shalt not adulterate, pervert or waste the Love of Jah.
- Thou shalt not steal by weapons or by pens or by any false pretences.
- Thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbour nor tell any lies at all.
- Thou shalt not be covetous, greedy nor gluttonous for the sake of thou own physical and spiritual health.