Hoʻoponopono (ho-o-pono-pono – also called Self I-dentity through Ho’oponopono) is an ancient Hawaiian self-transformation technique for healing and an effective spiritual therapy. It is a practice of reconciliation and forgiveness, and was originally taught by Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona, a hawaiian healer, back in 1983.

It is defined as “mental cleansing: family conferences in which relationships were set right through prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, and mutual restitution and forgiveness.” In the past, a kahuna or doctor would be called into a family context to uncover problems, practice forgiveness and release each other from recriminations, grudges and guilt.

Today, Ho’oponopono may be used as a complementary therapy by both practitioners and patients. Self I-dentity through Ho’oponopono therapy teaches patients and practitioners who they are, and how they can solve problems moment to moment. It’s meant to help with healing any toxic bonds or traumas by using the role model of high values.

An essential component to Ho’oponopono come from the principles of consciousness, as defined by the late Dr. David Hawkins. Dr. Hawkins postulated that each level of consciousness coincides with determinable human behaviors and perceptions about life, each representing a corresponding attractor field of varying strength that exists beyond our three-dimensional reality.

Think of it this way – as part of the Unconscious Mind, we all carry inside us all the significant people in our lives (this idea is very similar to Carl Jung’s archetypes). Ho’oponopono makes it “all right” with them. The process of Ho’oponopono is to align with and clean up our genealogy as well as to clean up our relationships with other people in our lives.

Benefits of Ho’oponopono

Clinical experience has shown that Ho’oponopono technique may be used for a number of spiritual and emotional issues, and that the benefits include:

  • Helps to achieve balance
  • Easy to learn stress reliever
  • Can be self applied
  • Improved response to therapies and treatments
  • Recovery from the anger and distress of negative experiences
  • Acceptance to various situations
  • Enhanced confidence and clarity
  • Removal of past negative emotional ties
  • A deeper connection to the Divine
  • A greater sense of purpose

Here’s How it Works

How does Ho’oponopono work? Morrnah Nalamaku, the founder explains,

“We are the sum total of our experiences, which is to say that we are burdened by our pasts. When we experience stress or fear in our lives, if we would look carefully, we would find that the cause is actually a memory. It is the emotions which are tied to these memories which affect us now. The subconscious associates an action or person in the present with something that happened in the past. When this occurs, emotions are activated and stress is produced (…) The main purpose of this process is to discover the Divinity within oneself. Ho’oponopono is a profound gift which allows one to develop a working relationship with the Divinity within and learn to ask that in each moment, our errors in thought, word, deed or action be cleansed. The process is essentially about freedom, complete freedom from the past.”

Ho’oponopono helps one to take responsibility, and provides the following insights:

  • The physical universe is an actualization of my thoughts
  • If my thoughts are cancerous, they create a cancerous physical reality
  • If my thoughts are perfect, they create a physical reality brimming with LOVE
  • I am 100% responsible for creating my physical universe the way it is
  • I am 100% responsible for correcting the cancerous thoughts that create a diseased reality
  • There is no such thing as out there. Everything exists as thoughts in my mind.

Being 100% responsible for actualizing a problem allows the practitioner/patient to be 100% responsible for resolving the problem.

Ho’oponopono consists of four phrases:

  1. “I am sorry.
  2. “Please forgive me.”
  3. “I love you.”
  4. “Thank you.”

Through repetition of these phrases while holding a negative thought, emotion, or experience in the mind, a cleansing of certain memory programs occurs. Ho’oponopono teachers call this practice “cleaning,” in which a patient or practitioner cleanses their negative feelings and emotions to erase from their memory or consciousness the negative cycle that is detrimental to optimal healing. The repetition of these phrases is an expression that one no longer wishes to suffer from a current or past problem.

“Ho’oponopono is a profound gift that allows one to develop a working relationship with the Divinity within and learn to ask that in each moment, our errors in thought, word and deed, or action be cleansed. The process is essentially about freedom, complete freedom from the past.”


Science and Safety

In a research abstract published in 2007, preliminary findings illustrated that the therapy was associated with a statistically and clinically significant reduction in mean blood pressure.
sourceSelf identity through Ho’oponopono as adjunctive therapy for hypertension management, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2007

As published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology in 2005, epidemiologic evidence correlating individual spiritual practice, involvement within a spiritual community, and of communities characterized by their spiritual practices with improved cholesterol levels, more normative blood pressure, other risk factor modulations, incidence of clinically recognized coronary disease, incidence of MI, post-coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) survival, and improved survival overall provides an intriguing context for other observations of psychosocial descriptors—including personality type, hostility, depression, isolation, and cardiac outcomes.
sourceIntegrating Complementary Medicine Into Cardiovascular Medicine : A Report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation Task Force on Clinical Expert Consensus Documents , Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2005

In an article posted on Psychology Today, Dr. Matt James explained that the Hawaiian forgiveness process allows us to cut the connection, essentially clearing out preconceptions in how we view others, to create new connections, and rejuvenated relationships. As described by Victoria Shook (1992), Ho’oponopono was conducted face to face in many families.
sourceThe Hawaiian Secret to Forgiveness, Psychology Today, 2011

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