[Books] Pi Villaraza’s ‘Conscious Trance’

Agnes Prieto
A yuppie turned solitary suddenly finds his body dancing and healing

SEEKERS, SKEPTICS, SPIRITS. "Conscious Trance: The Journey to the Dancer Within" is for everyone. Photo by Roopak R Nair

MANILA, Philippines – Pi Villaraza’s Concious Trance, the Journey to the Dancer Within describes his quarter life sojourn from corporate to mystic, his walk through Mindanao as a renunciate unhampered by money and basic necessities, his climb up California mountains to commune with strange messengers who direct him to an island in Palawan, his sudden dance erupting from within which finds him able to heal. 

Inner Dance now brings Villaraza all over the globe in scores of Inner Dance sessions creating a band of quarter life healer-dancers in unlikely places such as cosmopolitan Singapore and urban Makati (as of this time, Villaraza is in Taiwan to conduct sessions and train facilitators).

When I first met Villaraza at one of the initial Inner Dance sessions, everything seemed random and I asked about structure — the whys and wherefores of what people were undergoing. 

Inner Dance is not a dance, he says.

The phenomenon can best be described as Filipino yoga, an exercise that is both physical and spiritual which opens pathways  to other levels of awareness.

Much of the initial movements  in Villaraza’s early sojourn were unstructured; definitely out of the linear and the logical. One day, he just stepped out of his corporate Makati office and went for a walk — through Mindanao, parts of California and then, Palawan, without the barest necessities, and has never since looked back.

The book starts with the “Kundalini Rising,” Villaraza’s peak experience on Kalipay Island, Palawan, where  he stayed for two years in total isolation. He experienced his body moving involuntarily, his spirit suddenly taking over his mind and body — which all shamans and healers attest to as a defining moment in spiritual experience. Literature on the phenomenon describes how the “shift is triggered usually by an intensive cleansing process, either through a lightening of the diet, solitude, traumatic experience or spiritual discipline.”

The book details how Villaraza had been living off mainly coconuts and undergoing an extremely ascetic and solitary life. He spent his time meditating, exercising, and tending to his pocket  garden, all the while ruminating on his spiritual journey. The sudden spiritual-physical combustion triggered visions and depths of insight within, plus a strength drawn from the wholeness emanating from the totality of a  spiritual-physical-intellectual source that would enable him to return to the city to serve others like him who were seeking (many of whom did not even know that they were), providing a new spirit framework for his generation.

Humor in sacred simplicity

The book , despite its mystical flavor, is highly entertaining. Villaraza was a communications man in his former life (former professor of Advertising and Marketing Communication at the University of Asia and the Pacific) and the creativity is notable. His chapter on “Digesting Garbage,” for instance is hilarious as it details how, despite the distance and seeming isolation of his island home, the flotsam and jetsam of what he had turned his back on washes up, literally on his doorsteps — diapers and slippers and at least seven kinds of Procter and Gamble shampoo products from Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam , Laos, and China, along with tons of Styrofoam and “anything that had the capacity to float.”

How the Kundalini phenomenon can happen is presented in a utilitarian outline (because it can happen to anyone). He  simplifies it as:

1) The Raw Food diet, particularly the Coconut Diet 

2) Solitude 

3) The Flower of Life Garden 

4) The Divine Mother Spirit Guide  

5) Exercise (and) 

6) Service

  • The Raw Food diet which consisted mostly of coconuts gave him a thorough physical cleansing which reflected in a psycho-emotional detoxification.
  • Solitude had the effect of bringing on mental clarity and emotional stability; without distraction and other voices, he was able to realign to his life purpose.
  • The Flower of Life Garden was a challenging endeavor on a hot beach and pulled together his knowledge on sacred geometry, organic farming, and communing with the spirits of nature.
  • The Divine Mother Spirit Guide instructed him through visions and dreams which enabled him to understand what was going on and fortified his faith in himself as he floundered in unchartered seas.
  • Exercise enabled him to have a rare mental and physical focus that took his spirit life onto a new level.
  • Even on the island, he began to serve people offering them healing. Many fisherfolk  found themselves benifiting from his ministrations. Serving others, he says, opened his heart and unleashed a “tactile light that could illuminate any darkness.”


All the factors led to the burst of psycho-spiritual-emotional energy known as a “Kundalini Rising.” He described this as “a flowing of trapped energies that start to build up and rise from the base of the spine towards the crown, resulting in a transformational and transcendental experience.”

GREAT TEACHERS MEET. New Age expert and columnist Jaime Licauco has written about Pi and Inner Dance several times. Photo by Roopak R Nair

The experience is coveted by those on the spiritual path, and proof that this was not just some strange fluke are the hundreds of well-attended workshops and sessions all over the world that Villaraza now facilitates. 

Each workshop is unique in itself and what may flow is unpredictable. What is notable is that burst of energy on the beach continues to flow on to countless (mostly) young people who find healing and a meaning to their lives. – Rappler.com

Click on the links below for more.

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