I’d never heard of Ho’oponopono until a few weeks ago, when it was mentioned in some coaching videos I was listening to as a tool for bringing more peace, love, connection and gratitude to one’s life. Well that sounds nice, I thought, we all need more of those things. So I looked it up and read a little more. I’ve started practicing in my own life and I can say, I can see that indeed Ho’oponopono fosters peace, love, connection and gratitude.
Ho’oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian system, or philosophy, that has it’s basis in a few key principles. The central one is that we are 100% responsible for everything that happens in our lives. That doesn’t mean any of it is our fault, as such, but that we must be willing to take responsibility for everything, rather than assigning responsibility to another person or set of circumstances. Another is that what we see as “out there” reality is really a projection of our own thoughts, experiences and memories. The analogy I read about that resonated most with me was that of a movie projector. We think the image that is projected onto the wall is the real thing, the actual movie, whereas in reality, the actual movie is playing within the projector machine itself. The image is see on the wall is simply an image that represents what is contains in the movie; it’s not the movie itself. Following this, we are the projector machines, the movies of our lives are actually running within us based on our old “tapes”. What we see as our external world, that we see as “reality”, is more of a projection of the tapes that we are playing.
That makes sense to me as I know that how we see the world, our experience of the world, and the things that happen to us in life, all are driven by our thoughts, beliefs, mindsets and internal patterns that reside within our subconscious. We all have tapes that don’t serve us well, and yet they seem really hard to erase, especially through use of our conscious will.
Ho’oponopono helps to erase those old tapes, memories, and stories that hold us back. The method of doing this is by repetition of four key phrases – Thank You, I Love You, I’m Sorry, Please Forgive Me. They can be said in any order, and they can be applied to anything and everything in your life.
As I said, saying I’m Sorry, Please Forgive Me, isn’t necessarily making someone else right, or making you wrong; it’s more saying to God, or the Divine, or Universal Truth – I’m sorry for whatever role I played in this situation. Please forgive me for that. In doing so, you can be freed up from the bondage of it.
I have started using these key phrases in my life. If I find myself feeling grumpy at my husband, or if I’m having negative thoughts towards a certain situation. Even when I’m out running, I’ve just started repeating the phrases in my head, not thinking of any particular person or situation, just repeating them to get them into my mind. I can vouch for the feelings of peace and contentment that come with it. I feel more loving towards everyone I cross paths with, whether or not I actually know them at all. It feels like those phrases contain energy that shifts my being into a more positive state.
To really make the most of Ho’oponopono, it seems that it needs to be quite immersive. In other words, followers of it repeat these phrases constantly, relating to every single situation in their lives, to where it becomes their internal chatter. This is said to “clean” situations, memories, conflicts, relational issues, etc and allow the Divine to bring healing and blessings beyond anything they could imagine. From where I’m sitting right now the challenge would be remembering to do it enough to form the habit – but even with the sporadic use of those four phrases I have been doing, I do indeed see a difference. Interestingly, I have had a person appear out of the blue in the couple of weeks that I’ve been practicing it, who could potentially solve a challenge I am currently faced with. They seem to be the perfect solution, and they just appeared out of the blue, got in touch with me, and are looking for the exact same thing I’m needing. Pure coincidence? Or did something become more open in me that allowed God to bring this person to me? Of course there’s no real way of knowing, but I’ll take it none-the-less! Certainly, in my reading so far about Ho’oponopono, these are the types of rewards that come with the practice.
The first book I read about Ho’oponopono was The Easiest Way by Mabel Katz. I read it in about an hour, it’s not a long book, but it’s a lovely explanation of the foundations and fundamentals of Ho’oponopono. Mabel Katz is very humble, and it’s more of a spiritually-grounded book. The next ones I read were by Joe Vitale – Zero Limits and then At Zero. Joe Vitale as a very different writing style – it’s definitely likes to talk about all the things he’s achieved through his Ho’oponopono practice, but it still contains good explanations of what the practice is, and why/how to do it.
Ho’oponopono is not a religion, although it is a way to foster greater connection to God, the Divine, Universal Energy (however you understand that). It is mostly geared towards helping us to be more loving towards ourselves, and to help erase the stories and memories that hinder us and manifest as “problems” in our lives. I personally find it fascinating, and know that the more of us that are focussing on love and forgiveness (of ourselves and others), the better a world we’re contributing to.