Chapter 1: What is Ho’oponopono?
As hard as I try, I can't remember when or how I first heard of Ho'oponopono. That I can't remember is even more puzzling to me when I look at its tremendous effect on every part of my life.
Ho'oponopono (‘Ho oh pono pono’) roughly translated as "to make right", "to correct", is an ancient transformational and healing technique originating in Hawaii. Its simple message of 100% responsibility, repentance, and gratitude has been changing lives throughout the world. Originally practiced by the native Hawaiians. Ho’oponopono was primarily a group ceremony, used to solve community based problems and disputes. It has ties and similarities to many indigenous shamanic practices found throughout the world.
The Ancient Hawaiians understood the power of the mind. Centuries before mainstream science they identified the distinction between the conscious, subconscious, and super-conscious minds, and the part they play in forming our present day lives. This knowledge was considered so important that they built their whole belief system (Huna) around it.
Huna’s, which translates to the “The Secret”, main focus was on understanding and controlling the power of the mind. The Ho’oponopono process was one of the most powerful tools the Hawaiians had. It was used to clean and heal the minds of individuals, and to resolve communal problems and disputes. As with all ancient tribal practices its use has declined dramatically over the last few decades. Social changes and modernity made it increasingly difficult to practice. It wasn't until the late 1970s that the late Morrnah Simeone took Ho’oponopono and updated it to reflect the demands of the modern world. No longer needing the collective the technique could now be practiced individually.
-She called the new 12 step process; Self-I-Dentity through Ho’oponopono, and established The Foundation of ‘I’ in order to bring the updated process to the world’s attention. Morrnah was so respected and loved for her work with Ho’oponopono that in 1983 she was made a "National Living Treasure” by the Hawaiian people. Since then Ho’oponopono has been quietly but steadily spreading around the globe, gathering rave reviews and devotees as it goes.
-So what exactly is Ho’oponopono? Is it really so easy? Does it work? How do you do it? What can it do for me? This book will answer these questions and many more. Examining its origins, development, and the philosophy that underpins it. I will guide you through the Ho’oponopono process step-by-step with sample mantras so you can begin practising right away.
We’ll look at why this deceptively easy, but extremely powerful process, is changing the lives of all it touches. And show you how it can change yours too.
Ho’oponopono is simple cleaning process employed by individuals to clear and heal harmful past memories and unconscious programming.
I like to call it the “Karma Cruncher”.
It is based on the principle that each of us carries with us many lifetimes of karmic debt and other negative emotional baggage. By petitioning a higher spiritual power individuals can resolve these issues, freeing them to live the rest of their time on earth empowered. This enables us to live lives guided by inspiration, not fear and guilt. The petition is carried out in the form of a mantra, and is a personal petition to God, The Source. The Void, Divine Intelligence, whatever you choose to call it.
I prefer Divine Intelligence or The Divine.
By acknowledging and accepting responsibility for our past actions and deeds, we are able to free ourselves of their effects, leaving room for inspirational thoughts to flow in. The more you clean, the more you free yourself to follow your true path.
Ho’oponopono is not a religion. It is an intensely personal spiritual technique that individuals can use to communicate with the source of their existence. It has roots in animistic belief systems, believing that all living and material things are connected, that the Earth (Gaia) itself is a living spiritual conscious being. There are no priests or gurus, no masters or leaders, and no paths to follow. It needs no one but yourself, knows no boundaries, and can be practised, by anyone, anytime, anywhere.
The Ho’oponopono technique is very easy to learn. What is not so easy is that in order to practice effectively, you first have to accept that you are 100% responsible for the world and everything you see and experience in it.
I mean everything!
Everybody, every act or reaction, good or bad. All the wars, all the hate and injustice in the world, all the suffering was created by you and you alone. The world around you in all its majesty and misery, all of it, is a direct result of your thoughts.
Your thoughts shape your reality.
The circumstances of your life are a mirror of the inner you. Like attracts like, and you attract the people and circumstances that reflect what you are, and where you are in your spiritual journey.
This concept is not new. It is a long held belief in many metaphysical circles that we are here on earth with free will, and the power to co-create. The popularity of “The Law of Attraction” and success of books such as “The Secret” has proven how widespread these ideas have become. The core of these beliefs is that your thoughts create your reality, and by controlling and focusing what you think, you can shape circumstances and events in your life.
You are what you think!
Now like I did initially you’re probably asking yourself why, if I have free will and the power to create anything, would I create a world around me full of hate, violence, and fear? Why would I put myself in hardship, in poverty, in ill health?
The simple answer to that is because you didn’t do it deliberately. In the absence of a captain, your ship has been sailing itself. You have been running on auto pilot, relying on your ego, intellect, and subconscious to formulate your reality. The majority of our decisions and actions in our daily lives are based on past experiences and old memories replaying. What happened the last time I did this? What was the result?
It is widely accepted that past traumatic events in a person’s life can cause significant reactions and major personality changes for many years after the event.
Memories that we have repressed play an even bigger role in shaping our lives. Mainstream therapy is focused on recalling these memories and facing up to them as a form of resolution. It is not difficult to see how these past experiences help shape and form our lives and attitudes today. How you remember the past can dictate your present day view of the world. That is undeniable.
-But can these memories shape our very reality?
Ho’oponopono takes this idea one giant leap further. Suggesting that we not only carry with us all the memories and experiences of this life, but also those from all our past lives as well.
Ho’oponopono practitioners believe, as I do, that we are all eternal, spiritual beings, incarnating here on earth in physical form, in order to learn and progress spiritually. This can take many lifetimes to achieve, and we do it by learning to overcome obstacles in this life, in a loving compassionate manner. Each incarnation is presented to us as an opportunity to evolve spiritually. The latest in a long line of lives stretching back many eons.
We don’t start over with a clean slate every time we begin a new life. That would lead no-where. Our lives here are governed by certain immutable Universal Laws. One these is The Law of Correspondence, sometimes referred to as The Great Law, more commonly known as Karma. (More on these Laws in Chapter 8) We arrive here with all the knowledge, wisdom, and love we have struggled for, and worked so hard to earn.
Unfortunately, as well as all the good we have done, the lessons we have learned, and the progress we have made, we also bring with us all the garbage. The karmic debt, the hate, the fear, the guilt, and the prejudices we have accumulated over many difficult and challenging lifetimes. Our entire lives’ experiences, past and present, are stored forever in our subconscious minds, running endlessly on a loop. Every deed, thought, and act we have ever carried out, either in this life, or any of our past lives has been recorded for all time. This information is recorded and stored in our subconscious mind in the form of memories.
-The subconscious mind then uses that information to dictate our thoughts, feelings and actions. It is these memories that are being used to create our own individual realities. In order for us to move on we are continually presented with opportunities to clear karmic debt. Unfortunately instead of resolving the problem we frequently get stuck in a loop. Many of us find ourselves repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Finding ourselves in the same situations repeatedly as if we were deliberately punishing ourselves for some forgotten guilty act.
Well, perhaps we are.
-Earth school, Spiritual Evolution, Duality
As we discussed earlier, our goal here on Earth in this life is to evolve spiritually. And we do this by learning to overcome obstacles presented to us in a loving manner.
Earth is the perfect place for us to learn, to grow, to evolve. We bravely choose to enter this world of duality and separation, virtually blind, with our perspectives narrowed considerably.
Why? Because these are the perfect conditions for the task at hand.
How could we take life seriously if we knew our real magnificence, our true selves? The knowledge that we are eternal beings, alone, would make a mockery of much of the drama and pain in the world. This is a world of duality, of Ying and Yang. Light and Dark. Love and Hate. We chose to live this life of opposites.
How else could we appreciate the beauty and wonder surrounding us if we knew no want?
How could we experience love without hate, health without illness?
How would joy feel if we’d never known sadness?
Ho’oponopono doesn’t change any of this. We’re still here to learn lessons, and some of them are difficult. It does though provide us with the tools we need to free ourselves from the mistakes we made in the past. Mistakes that we made in ignorance and fear. Allowing us to face our future challenges clean and clear, and once again in control of our own destinies.