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Ho’oponono and the Art of Forgiveness

“Whenever there is a problem, I am always there. So, it’s my problem to clear for me and for everyone else.” Patricia Meier

What is Ho’oponopono?

“Ho’oponopono” is defined in the Hawaiian Dictionary as “mental cleansing: Family conferences within which relationships were set right through prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, and mutual restitution and forgiveness.”  Literally, ho’o is a particle used to make an actualizing verb from the following noun, as would “to” before a noun in English. Here, it creates a verb from the noun pono, which is defined as:

-goodness, uprightness, morality, moral qualities, correct or proper procedure, excellence, well-being, prosperity, welfare, benefit, true condition or nature, duty; moral, fitting, proper, righteous, right, upright, just, virtuous, fair beneficial, successful, in perfect order, accurate, correct, eased, relieved; should, ought, must, necessary.

Ponopono is defined as:

-to put to rights; to put in order or shape, correct, revise, adjust, amend, regulate, arrange, rectify, tidy up, make orderly or neat.

How did it come to be in the modern world?

The traditional use of Ho’oponopono required a kahuna to conduct the session with the family in order to set things right.  It was a long, honest, open and emotional process.

In the mid 70’s, kahuna Morrnah Simeona prayed for and received a unique new problem-solving process.  This system uses ho’oponopono techniques to create a working partnership among the three parts of the mind (or self), which she calls by Hawaiian names, as well as the terms subconscious, conscious and superconscious.

It consists of four phrases:

I’m sorry

Please forgive me

Thank you

I love you

Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len was a student of Morrnah’s and has one of the most famous stories about the successful use of ho’oponopono

How do I use it?

The premise is as follows, anything that I have a problem with, in my life, I accept complete responsibility for, and I use the phrases to clean and clear the issue from my life and for the world.

You might be thinking, “EVERY problem? What are you, nuts? Lots of things that happen in my life are not my fault. Why do I have to say I’m sorry when I did nothing wrong?”

“Turns out that loving yourself is the greatest way to improve yourself, and as you improve yourself, you improve your world.” Joe Vitale – Teacher/Authour

Here’s my, Patricia’s, take on what I have learned.  If I am part of All That Is, and I am a spiritual being having a human experience, then everything that happens to me is a part of my learning, and truly part of my choice of that which I wish to experience in this lifetime.  I try to view the challenging parts of my life as opportunities for growth.  They are lessons for me and a chance for me to use the experiences as a reflection of my own behaviour in the world.

Here is how I understand the meaning of the phrases and the energy I put out into the world when I say them.

I’m sorry. 

I’m sorry for any part I may have played in this situation, known or unknown; in this lifetime or any lifetime that may have contributed to the issue. I am saying sorry to the Divine, no one else. The goal is to clean and clear the part of me who is triggered by the issue. 

Please forgive me

Please forgive me for anything I, my ancestors or successors may have done in this lifetime or any other lifetime to contribute to this issue. Again, I am asking forgiveness from the Divine, no one else. As we are all sparks of the Divine, we are asking forgiveness, essentially of our greater or higher self.  

Thank you

Thank you for this experience.  Thank you for being a mirror to me so that I can examine my actions and behaviour to be sure that I am in alignment with the self I wish to project to the world. Thank you for this opportunity to learn and thank you for playing this role in my lessons.

I love you

I am you and you are me.  We are all sparks of one Divine Light.  I love the true you that is the spirit in you, having this human experience with me. We are all part of All That Is and therefore I love you as I love myself.

What is the goal?

The goal is to be at Absolute Zero with nothing but love inside my heart.  No resentment, no wounds, no judgement and righteous indignancy.  Only love. We all have a set point in our energy that is unique to each of us, the goal is to remain as close to our set point without letting life’s ups and downs bother us. I intentionally did not use the word neutral here, as for me that feels emotionless, which is NOT my personal set point and I suspect it is not yours either. 😊

As I took this online course offering from Dr. Joe Vitale, written in cooperation with Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, I learned the following:  I must be 100% responsible and erase the issue for All from mineral/animal/vegetable kingdom.  Everything I experience is within me; I cannot get out of me. When I am at Zero, everything is perfect and right for me will show up. Zero opens the door to God, creation.

When I can forgive whatever is going on, I take my power back.  My mind Is not stuck on some story about how someone did wrong to me.  I am not feeling the “poor me” feelings. 

I have opinions and observations about things. I am human.  I strive to let the negative thoughts just pass through without grasping on and assigning emotion to them.  Observation without emotion is just that, OBSERVATION. It’s only when we add emotion that judgement is created.   

For instance, when someone cuts me off in traffic and I start to get angry, I try to remember to stop myself and instead say, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.”  Now, I’m going to be honest and tell you that sometimes when I start, I’m saying it through gritted teeth in a tense jaw.  😉  But after the 3rd go around, I believe in what I’m saying and I return to my set point, my natural state of being as a positive, joy filled human being

I hope this practice helps to bring more peace into your heart. 

For more information please seek out Dr. Joe Vitale’s work or the following books on Ho’oponopono.

The book of Ho’oponopono:

  • The Hawaiian Practice of Forgiveness and Healing by Jean Graciet, Luc Bodin, and Natalie Bodin
  • Ho’oponopono:  The Hawaiian Forgiveness Ritual as the Key to Your Life’s Fulfillment by Ulrich E. Dupree
  • Dr. Joe Vitale Ho’oponopono course:   www.hooponoponocertification.com  It’s super inexpensive and very good.  Ignore the cheesy video.  His stuff really is good, and the investment is not huge.  😊

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