Ho’oponopono is a Hawaiian word meaning ‘to make right’ and is a way of making things right in our lives. It is an ancient Hawaiian practice for healing, reconciliation and forgiveness that has been used in Hawaiian and other Polynesian cultures for centuries to support harmonious relationships between people, nature and Spirit.
Originally Ho’oponopono was used in situations where there was conflict among family members. A kahuna or doctor would be contacted to uncover problems, practice forgiveness and release family members from accusations, grudges and guilt. During Ho’oponopono, families would participate in prayer, confession, discussion, repentance, restitution and forgiveness.
In 1976, Morrnah Simeona developed an updated version of Ho’oponopono to be used individually for self-healing and personal development. This modern version, called ‘Self-Identity through Ho’oponopono’ or ‘SITH’, is a general problem solving process that goes beyond the family to create a spiritual self-help process.
Morrnah’s version was greatly influenced by her religious education as well as her philosophical studies about India, China and Edgar Cayce. The modern adaptation focuses on prayer the same as the ancient Hawaiian version. But unlike traditional Ho’oponopono, Morrnah said problems are the results of negative Karma. She believed that “you have to experience by yourself what you have done to others,” and “you are the creator of your life situation”. Any improper action, activity, or “doing” is memorized within yourself and reflected in each and every entity and thing that was present when the “doing” took place. The purpose is “to release unhappy, negative experiences in past reincarnations, and to resolve and remove traumas from the ‘memory banks’.” Modern Ho’oponopono is about forgiveness, love, and acceptance and does not conflict with religious beliefs.
Ho’oponopono is taking total responsibility for everything in your life. If you see someone who is suffering, you have brought that person into your life and are responsible for them being there. You are not responsible for the person or their suffering, only for them being there. If you are suffering in any way or if you are happy, you are responsible for those feelings. To take one hundred per cent responsibility means viewing every situation as a projection of something inside of you, rather than an external situation. With Ho’oponopono all of the problems you experience start inside of you, and will only go away by working on yourself.
The idea behind Ho’oponopono is that everything that is wrong in our lives is simply our bodies or our circumstances replaying old memories, feelings or beliefs. Every word, action, and deed, both good and bad, is held in the subconscious, along with the beliefs and thoughts we were brought up with. Some of those beliefs influence your life and the way you live and you are most likely still using them as an excuse not to allow yourself the easy life and the riches you deserve.
In order to make things right again, those old memories or feelings must be cleaned. Ho’oponopono allows the release of memories, feelings or beliefs that are held in our subconscious and causing us problems. It can permanently heal and clear the energies held by current and past situations and people in a few minutes each day as the layers of beliefs and memories are gradually peeled away. Ho’oponopono can be used to deal with negative feelings when someone has upset you or hurt you, as well as for any kind of forgiveness.
The Ho’oponopono experience can be both beautiful and uplifting. Once you have learned the practice you can use it spontaneously when needed. Silently chant the Ho’oponopono mantra during or after an argument and feel your stress dissipate and the other person relax and back away from the conflict. The Ho’oponopono phrases can be used as a forgiveness mantra, repeating them until your heart softens, your mood lightens, and you feel that harmony is restored. The ultimate outcome is that you can think about the incident and/or the other person with calmness and serenity and without negative feelings. If the upset feelings return, you can simply try the process again.
Ho’oponopono consists of four phrases: “I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.” The practice is called “cleaning”. By repeating the mantra, you clean yourself of your own negative feelings to erase from your memory or consciousness whatever is not working for you. You are expressing the fact that you no longer wish to suffer from a current or past problem.
Ho’oponopono is used to obtain forgiveness for yourself for whatever is within you that helped to create the problem. First you need to bring to mind a situation or memory that bothers you. If you find yourself worrying about something, say to that worry:
I love you. (addresses the problem, yourself, and the Universe/the Divine or whatever you believe in.)
I’m sorry. (addresses you and the Universe/the Divine for whatever it is in you that attracted or allowed this thing into your life.)
Please forgive me. (asks for forgiveness for attracting or allowing this thing into your life.)
Thank you. (addresses you and the Universe/the Divine for cleaning this memory and transmuting the problem.)
You can say the mantra out loud or mentally and the words can be in whatever order they feel right to you. Say them if something upsets you, makes you angry, makes you cry, worries or frightens you. Say them if you are having problems with someone else. Say them whenever possible. Repeat them every time a memory or problem comes up. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what is causing the problem. By saying the words you allow the Universe to clean the energy around the problem. Repeat the mantra until you feel it’s time to stop. And as you say the words, observe what comes up. If a different memory or problem appears do Ho’oponopono on that too. Also, if you are glad or happy, acknowledge it by saying “I love you. Thank you.”
There are many ways to use Ho’oponopono. I use it at night before I go to sleep, in the morning when I wake up, while I am driving, any time I think of it. It can be used for a headache or other pain by saying to the pain “I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.” The possibilities are limitless.
If people around you have problems, do Ho’oponopono mentally as you encounter them. Know that you’re not working on the people, rather on your own awareness of their problems and how they affect you. Ho’oponopono can be used anywhere, any time and in any situation. Whatever the problem is, just keep saying the words over and over to yourself without expectations and watch what happens as you peel back the layers of your personality and reveal your true self while making right the things that are wrong in your life.