If you’ve heard the name Joe Vitale you may have heard of the ancient Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono.
Joe became interested in Ho’oponopono when he heard of someone who had healed an entire ward of criminally insane patients without ever having seen them in a therapeutic setting. This someone was Dr Ihaleakala Hew Len. After shelving it as an ‘urban legend’ Joe let it lie. A year or so later the information again turned up in his life. This time he felt moved to discover the truth behind Ho’oponopono. He managed to track down Dr Hew Len who confirmed the information Joe had been hearing as a rumour. Indeed he had healed an entire ward of the criminally insane without seeing them. How he did it was the most surprising.
Working on Yourself
Dr Hew Len took personal responsibility for everything that showed up in his life including these inmates. How easy it would have been to reject this idea! Not only were the criminally insane inmates his personal responsibility, but also all the disasters, catastrophes, and terrorism he witnessed in the world.
In Joe’s conversations with Dr Hew Len what came through was that the good doctor would read the patients’ files and then work on himself. As he considered what was in the patients’ history he looked within himself to see what it was that created them. When he found that, he healed what was within him.
And what was the manner of his healing – he simply repeated to himself over and over… I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.
I was fascinated by this idea! How simple! And humbling.
How does Ho’oponopono work
Maybe it’s a male thing wanting to pull things apart and see how they work. And I wanted to know how this worked. It was all very well hearing that you can create this and that by repeating the phrases and remaining open to inspiration. I didn’t have the resources. I was struggling to have money left before I’d even got paid and working for almost minimum wage at the time.
What I needed to understand was that this struggle with money came from thoughts about money. These thoughts were the data that Dr Len refers to, data that came from memories, memories that were creating a dirty window for my life. Ho’oponopono was the way to clean this window and allow the light of divinity to shine through.
And I continued to throw mud at my own window making the cardinal Ho’oponopono mistake of telling some of those that I’d told of this seemingly wacky spiritual process that they should clean on that. “They should clean on that” – Haha – If I need to take 100% responsibility for anything that shows up in my experience I should clean on it. My mistake!! Back to one of Joe’s great analogies for Ho’oponopono – the whiteboard. I start cleaning on not only the mistake but also the incident that had me saying, “you should clean on that”. Like I said – humbling.
Using it in the everyday
I didn’t get as far as having the phrases on a continuous loop in the back of my consciousness as Joe did. Working at the time in hospitality as a chef the phrases took a back seat to “Where are my fingers while I’m cutting this onion”. In hospitality, we’re generally completely focused in the present moment. Our whiteboard is as clean as the benches we use. We flow easily in the eternal moment as we collectively bring the food for a major event to the table. The cleaning of the kitchen after work became an opportunity to practice the phrases I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you with an inner focus. When I did become aware of any mental state that required some detergent or sanitiser the phrases slipped easily back into the foreground of my mind.
And the idea of how much I felt myself to be worth was also beginning to change slowly. Doubling my income in 8 years seems slow. Nothing miraculous appeared within that time but there were incremental changes as life progressed. Obviously, something was working but I was unsure of what that was. I still remained fascinated with Ho’oponopono.
Joe talks about unconscious counter-intentions playing havoc with our manifesting abilities and this idea I immediately resonated with. It seemed to sit easily with some of the concepts I was learning in my part-time life coach training. The emails began to arrive around this time for the opportunity to attend a Ho’oponopono workshop run by Dr Joe and Dr Hew Len. I wished I could attend but while there were incremental financial changes happening, my consciousness wasn’t stretching enough to allow me to sign up and resign myself to the investment required. Hello counter-intention!
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I’d discovered Joe early through seeking spiritual and self-development ideas online. He put up a lot of free content which I’d download with relish. I’d purchase the odd book through Amazon – my budget stretched at least that far – and download the bonus content that came with the launch. I found this material wound up in my downloads folder and was never to be seen again. It wasn’t content that I’d devour like the book that eventually turned up in the mail. I found my mind going back even further to a time before the internet when I’d done Reiki training…
I remembered Dr Usui when he’d discovered the Reiki system, had offered free healings and attunements to the poor people. He imagined these people had been healed and yet he found they would do nothing with this gift they’d been generously given. He soon discovered that he needed there to be some sort of payment or energy exchange in receipt of the healing or attunement. When people had to pay for something it was more likely to be respected.
All this free stuff was a gold mine and yet I would mine this gold put it in a vault (file or folder) and then forget about it. I neglected to bring it out, look at it, create some sort of action around it and bring it to the marketplace.
A few years passed, the emails came and went, books were bought and read (Zero Limits, At Zero, The Key), and Joe started making music which blissed me out. Then a couple of years ago the very same workshop that I would have loved to attend was offered as an online course. What an opportunity! I’d inhaled the content of the Ho’oponopono books that Joe had written and now the prospect of seeing both Joe and Dr Len in action providing the picture that could be added to the words wrought an immediate response and I signed up for the course.
I sat in front of the laptop whenever I had a free moment jotting down notes as I watched. Rewinding to capture passages again in case I missed the veins of gold running through them.
Both Dr Len and Joe are down-to-earth types and their honest accounts of how they came to the understandings required by Ho’oponopono and the help that it can give practitioners created a profound sense of integrity around the material they were offering.
For such a simple process there are quite a few layers of understanding to go through as we journey to the healing space.
I believe the cleaning process works on our personal self-image. As we connect a problem or issue we may have with another it is projected on the screen of our own self-image. It is this projection that we are cleaning. We take 100% responsibility for that which we are experiencing even though we may imagine that we are not really responsible. As we clean the lens of our self-image we allow the light of the divine to project onto the screen of our souls.
Everything is alive and our environment is sacred. The place where we are needs to be loved and cared for. The 4 phrases (I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you, I love you) provide us with an opportunity to clean on our environment if required. This maintains our surroundings (home & workplace) in a cocoon of sacred care.
In my day to day dealings with people, something may come up that has a hook in it for me on which I need to clean. There’s sorrow for those feelings have come up and have severed the sacred connection. I seek forgiveness from the divine for my allowing that connection to be severed. Then gratitude to the divine for forgiving me and loving me. Commit to love – I reconnect to the divine.
I connect to the triggers that register in the conscious mind and pray for cleaning. I offer this up to the super-conscious – where we access the collective divinity. The frustrations, issues, and disconnects that come up are the barriers between myself and God. This is what we are continually erasing.
Seeking the Divine
Love becomes the sword of healing. As a soldier of Ho’oponopono, the cuts that I make give life, not death. What I am seeking for myself I am seeking for all. I invoke the Mana that happens through cleaning. Both my subconscious and the trigger are cleared. The memory, data, information is thus purified and transmutes into pure energy.
If I start to imagine that there is something obscuring the vision of others I come into contact with I need to look at that very same thing myself. I must “Remove the mote from my own eye before I remove the mote from my brother’s”. Memory is keeping us from experiencing the divine within. It is this memory that is keeping us stuck, in time, in place, and in our emotions. It is only divinity that can void these. First seek the divine within and that which is creating a barrier to that experience.
When what I find in the daily round is someone with cancer or bankruptcy I need to embrace detachment. I maintain the cleaning process. Whether these experiences come from data that is interrupting their connection to source, or from a deep sense of inspiration within their divine soul I can’t know. I just clean.
Not only do we have the phrases, Ho’oponopono also has an array of cleaning tools to assist us.
- Breathing Cycles – one of these mitigates the effects of jet lag and Alzheimers.
- Blue solar water
- Saying the following“I love you” – peace begins with me.
- New Zealand – this came through as I cleaned during the course, as I embraced collaboration with the divine.
- Bluebonnets or Bluebells
- Corn/Maize – The growth of the plant represents reaching for the divine. The subconscious. The cosmos. Soul-searching and paying down debt and death.
What were the takeaways for me from this Ho’oponopono Practitioner’s Course?
- Surrendering to what is.
- Allowing myself to be a window for the divine to shine the light of inspiration through.
- Cleaning to open a clear channel for myself with the divine. Allow what unfolds for others to be as it is.
- Allow God, Source, Universal Life Force Energy to be my only Guru.
- Let go and let God.
- The stories of Practitioners who were using Ho’oponopono in New York around the time of 9/11.
- Being present to the inspiration-evoking tools of Ho’ponopono.
- Finding tools that enable us to be the change we want in the world.
There is always data, information, memory smudging the clarity of our whiteboard. With terrorism, disaster, crime there is always something to clean around. I give myself to Ho’oponopono and acknowledge 100% responsibility for everything I witness in my experience. I become an instrument for the divine to work through. This is the help that Ho’oponopono offers – to be of service with humility and the understanding of the human condition.
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