Ho’oponopono (ho-o-pono-pono) is an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness which literally means, to “make right”. It is also referred to as ‘SITH’ (Self Identity Through Ho’oponopono) by its originator in this form, Morrnah N Simeona and subsequently taught by former clinical psychologist, Dr Ihaleakala Hew Len (who had successfully used the ‘cleaning’ techniques in a Hawaiian State Hospital for mentally ill criminals).
I first came across Ho’oponopono via a friend. As it wasn’t something that immediately grabbed my interest at the time, I passed the information on to another friend who I thought might be interested. She in turn decided to travel to Hawaii to discover more, and attended a course with Dr Hew Len. After seeing how using Ho’oponopono rapidly changed some difficult circumstances in my friend’s life, I decided to take another look at it myself. To my surprise, it seemed to improve any situation I directed my attention towards, whilst reciting the mantra (see below).
The basic premise of Ho’oponopono is linked to this question that Dr Hew Len says we must ask ourselves when faced with any situation or circumstance that we would rather change:
What is it within me that is attracting this situation?
The power of this question resides in each individual accepting full responsibility for everything that comes into his or her personal life awareness. Dr Hew Len realised that for mentally ill criminals to show up in his life, he had to be, at some level, creating them. By ‘cleaning’ on and healing his own thoughts and feelings, he gradually saw those same people leaving his experience – very often by recovering or sometimes being transferred to other accommodation, until eventually, the Hospital was closed.
The basic mantra is:
I love you
Please forgive me
Simply recite the mantra inside your head. The order of the first three isn’t important. Here’s another version:
Please forgive me
I love you
Suggestion: If you find it hard to begin with ‘I love you’ it’s sometimes easier to start with ‘I’m sorry’.
No explanation of why this is so effective is necessary to understand for it to work, but if you want to know more, just look it up online. All you have to do is keep repeating the mantra over and over, whilst holding any thought in your mind that you want to cleanse. Once you start, you will probably find that more thoughts and their associated feelings surface for cleaning. Just keep going until it feels comfortable to stop. Use the mantra as often as you like. The main thing is to remember to use it. Don’t treat it like a sandwich toaster – using it every day for a week, putting it away in the cupboard and suddenly rediscovering it a year later!
“The zero state, where nothing exists but anything is possible. Everyone has a lens through which they view the world [… ] you will use a new lens to dissolve all other lenses. And once you succeed, you’ll be at the place I call zero limits.” – from ‘Zero Limits’ by Joe Vitale
Below, is an audio version of a Zoom talk I gave to the the Bridge to Wellbeing group on 9 July 2020, which gives a basic introduction to Ho’oponopono. This version of the original video is audio only and edited to protect the privacy of attendees. However, the other people you will hear commenting, are Roger, Lyn, Suzy, and Jen. (Jen’s testimony at the end, to the effectiveness of Ho’oponopono, is particularly worth listening to).
A general introduction to Ho’oponopono