Mission Statement:
The Center for Babaylan Studies (CfBS) focuses on Filipino Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices (IKSP) with specific focus on Babaylan discourse and Sikolohiyang Pilipino (Filipino psychology). The mission of CFBS is to connect with resources and to facilitate the relevance, cultivation and promotion of Filipino indigenous wisdom in an age of globalization through:

  • Exploring and developing Pakikipagkapwa (deep interconnectivity), Kagandahang Loob (Wholeness of Being), Pakikiramdam (Deep Empathy)
  • Organizing conferences, workshops, retreats, concerts and events that bring about deep appreciation for Filipino Indigenous Spirituality
  • Creating and maintaining an online archive of spiritual, social, cultural, historical and other materials relevant to our vision (babaylanfiles.blogspot.com)
  • Fostering learning groups and collaborating with other organizations who share our vision
  • To facilitate decolonization processes rooted in Filipino Indigenous Spirituality,hellomd Wisdom, and Beauty

Rationale and Vision (long version): 
We believe in the power of the Indigenous Soul and the Indigenous World View, as embodied by primary babaylans and contemporary babaylan/culture-bearers, to provide a narrative that restores a sense of wholeness, beauty, and integrity to our pagkaPilipino. In a world that aches for peace, justice, and healing from the violent effects of colonial and imperial histories, our Babaylans and our indigenous knowledge systems and practices offer a path to re-membering and remembering the sacredness, strength, beauty, and the creativity of our Filipino Loob.

Those who have done the deep work of reconnecting with the spirit of the Babaylan would like to share this experience with our communities. We would like to reflect together and celebrate this wealth from our spiritual and cultural heritage so that it might nourish and nurture the work that we do to heal and bless, to make peace, to create justice, to teach our kin the values of Kapwa,Kagandahang LoobPakikiramdam, and Panagtagbo.

We live in a planet of diminishing resources. We live in a time when so many peoples on the planet are becoming disillusioned and disheartened by the narratives of empire, manic global capitalism, neoliberalism, and “progress and development,” as these fall short in their promise to alleviate suffering, poverty, injustice for a majority of people on the planet. Many are questioning these modern paradigms, because it isbecoming apparent that the affluent lifestyles expert-writers net these paradigms have created for a fraction of people on the planet are not sustainable and do not sustain happiness.

There is a growing body of literature that attempts to show why modernity is failing us. These texts invite us to extend our historical perspective all the way back to Paleolithic times to learn what values and worldviews allowed the earliest groups of people to live sustainably for hundreds of thousands of years. Only through a lengthened historical perspective do we begin to see the bends and turns that our ancient ancestors took to become on the one hand as “Leavers” (those who remained on the land) and on the other as “Takers” (those who would eventually become empire builders and colonizers). (Ishmael by Daniel Quinn).

We are fortunate to still have with us shamans who have access to “The World We Used to Live In” (Vine DeLoria) when All was considered Sacred – the sacred world that includes spirits, and belief in the sacred non-hierarchical interdependent relationship of all species – before it all became disenchanted and desacralized by the rise of the scientific worldview. We still have remnants of old sacred chants and oral traditions, dances, rituals, weaving, drumming and other practices that can re-connect our body, mind, and soul and experience this sacred wholeness.

We envision that our events and projects will bring together:

  1. key resource persons from the Philippines on Filipino Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices;
  2. babaylan/culture-bearers in the US whose life work is informed by the babaylan tradition;
  3. babaylan-inspired scholars who address the sub-themes in the stated vision;
  4. babaylan-inspired teachers, healers, warriors, priestesses, and visionaries whose life work is centered around indigenizing the Filipino self;
  5. persons who recognize decolonization as a spiritual path;
  6. persons who consciously work on the sycnretic integration of non-indigenous elements into Filipino spirituality;
  7. persons whose expressions resonate with being indigenous or indio-genius.

(Note: This was also the theme of the Kapwa 2 Conference in Iloilo in 2008; we focused the 1st International Babaylan Conference of 2010 on Babaylan and framed it within IKSP).

 

 

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