Kalipimu-Move with Spirit

In Living a Life Off-Center on January 26, 2011 at 9:43 am

People have been asking me what made me begin my journey into energy healing. The very first experience (well not the first, but probably most dramatic) was with Kalipimu or Inner dance. Here is what I wrote back in 2008 right before Holy Week about my particular sojourn into this moving meditation aimed at releasing the kundalini, unleashing one’s life force and removing any blocks from one’s body.


Stuck. Trapped. Blocked. Disconnected. These are words that formed part of my daily dictionary. Active as I was on the outside, inside I was feeling lethargic, and going through the motions of life on automatic pilot. I had tried meditation to clear my head of a thousand voices—but they just wouldn’t shut up. Even my outward movements felt mechanic, truth be told, finding quiet time was a skill I did not possess. An inner desperation led me to an old acquaintance (on recommendation of a mutual nephew) to Kalipimu. Kali what? Kalipimu, without delving into details (since you can Google it or go to it was explained to me as an ancient healing ritual indigenous to pre-colonial Philippines—practiced by tribal shamans, the baylan (male) and the babaylan (female). They were the soul “doctors” before Christianity was brought (some say ‘forced’) upon us with the arrival of the Spaniards.

Set yourself free

Feel it to believe it

But describing the power of this healing ritual in words is unjust. Experiencing it is the only way to go, or in this case, flow. I was simply asked to sit down and close my eyes. I felt light touches on various parts of my body and later on was slowly and seemingly stretched with gentle pushes and pulls. Part of me thought, “Ok, feels nice, but … ” and my mind started to drift off, to the usual traffic of what I did that day, what I was going to do later … etc., etc. The being moved around continued and at some point I found myself lying down on my back, eyes still closed taking in the music that was being played and trying desperately not to think about anything else but stay in the moment. I decided to just let my friend finish his work and I would politely just lie still until the session was over.

The tipping point

My friend stopped physical contact with me and moved a short distance away. My hands started to tremble, and jerk—to an irregular beat all on their own. My arms, planted firmly on the floor, started to sway, in no fixed direction left, right, round, up, down. At this point I should have freaked out, but I didn’t, I was mesmerized, transfixed (even with my eyes still closed) by the flow, by the loss of control which was still, weirdly enough, controlled. I felt little snaps of electricity traveling from my elbows to the tips of my fingers, as if something was slowly being released into the world and beyond. The trembling and shaking continued and this time, the voices in my head did shut up and my mind flew free. There was a lightness I felt, although I was still very connected to my body. All I could comprehend in this in-between state was that something had opened up within that allowed me to see into another dimension of myself, one that acknowledged an inner life force that had long been dormant. My body continued to move on its own and as I turned my head to one side my eyelids opened slightly and I ‘saw’ standing over me a woman, dressed in what seemed to be native American garb, her expression was one of observation. There was nothing sinister about her presence, she just seemed to belong there. Minutes later I heard a voice in my ear welcoming me back to the present. I left that night feeling like I had definitely found something. “This practice is a guru-less one,” my friend explained, “all you need is to find spirit and you can continue this on your own.” That night, alone and lying in my bed, I plugged in my iPod, closed my eyes and was taken over by movement once more.


Open spaces right in our backyard

Level Up

A month passes and I find myself on a plane to Davao, and greeted in the airport by Pi Villaraza—who I will identify basically as the moving force behind the awareness and expansion of Kalipimu and its benefits. I was going to spend the Easter weekend at his base, in the Don Bosco Youth Camp in Makilala, North Cotobato. For the next three days, I was going to immerse myself in all the healing qualities that this inner dance had to offer. First was release, the blocks, past life traumas, issues, hurts that were contained in my subconscious. The movements that took over my body were sometimes violent in their force and speed, but they never once caused any injury nor any fear in me, it was almost like I welcomed the spasms, the coughs that escaped from my throat and, on one occasion, tears. In the midst of one of my almost cathartic states, I had images of all the people in my present life who had hurt me and as tears flowed I heard myself addressing each of them saying, “I’m sorry, I’m so, so sorry,” Yes, it was a reverse, instead of forgiving I was the one asking for it instead. That particular session left me with a rather deep sense of emptiness, and as it was performed on a rock overlooking a beautiful flowing river, I curled up into a fetal position and allowed the Universe to cradle me once more, so vulnerable, and yet open to what was around me. The key was, I was no longer caught up in the past, it was a giant, giant leap for me as I came to understand later on during my stay. We are emptied out, so that we may change what fills us, what makes us, and what moves us.

Part of this immersion was also reconnection to the purity of nature. Our party hiked, swam, took in the icy cold and warm waters offered by the mountains, natural heated pools and the cleansing benefits of breathing clean air and drinking fresh, flowing water. I felt like a child again, there were no “no’s” involved in anything I did as I explored what surrounded me and what was within me. By the end of the weekend, I had even learned the healing art of massage through Kalipimu. During this heightened state of connectivity to spirit you can activate another’s own life force to remove pains, both physical and emotional by touch. You become so sensitive to energy that sometimes you don’t even need to look where to place your hand, you are guided to it intuitively.

Life waters run deep

Everyone Can Heal

To think that Kalipimu is an instant fix is a huge mistake, it is part of a process, one that is designed for you to dig deeper and deeper, and you realize how much you may have repressed when the rigidity of adulthood took over the free spirit you possessed as a child. We all have aches and pains, but the ones we repress are the most difficult to bear. Kalipimu is like a much needed hug to a bruised heart or a broken soul. There is an almost instant soothing that takes place, but it doesn’t make all that pain or past issues go away. It takes practice, and sincerity. When it is later combined with an intention to heal, it may be used to free others from their own issues. It has been known to ease physical ailments, enhance creativity and more importantly (as in my case) feel connected again. Visualization ( if you’ve been on the recent law of attraction bandwagon) is energized when in a state of inner dance release. This could possibly take you one step closer to the person you were meant to become.

No one experience is the same; to resonate with spirit at this level is different for everyone, and is definitely for everyone.

Special thanks to Betsy Gamela of the Don Bosco Foundation for Sustainable Development and her staff.

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