What is Ho’oponopono?

Ho’oponopono (ho-o-pono-pono) is the ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. To practice Ho’oponopono is to take total responsibility for your life and everything in your life. It means that the problems you experience in life started inside of you, and will only go away, or get solved, by working on yourself. This all happens at the subconscious level.

When you first hear this definition, it sounds pretty strange. Some may think it will conflict with their religious beliefs such as Christianity, but it does not, at least the modern version does not. Modern Ho’oponopono is about forgiveness, love, and acceptance.

The ancient Ho’oponopono practice has been updated… let’s look at the traditional first…

Traditional Ho’oponopono

Traditional Ho’oponopono is a process of mental cleansing. This was/is accomplished in family meetings where relationships were set right through prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, and restitution and forgiveness.

The Ponopono part of the word means: “to put to rights; to put in order or shape, correct, revise, adjust, amend, regulate, arrange, rectify, tidy up, make orderly or neat.”

Early beliefs were that sickness was brought on by breaking kapu, or spiritual laws, knowning that the condition could not be healed until the individual atoned for this offense. Forgiveness was sought from the gods, or in the case of a dispute, from the person with whom you’re having the problem.

It could be described as a process of relatives meeting to “make right” damaged family members relationships. Some households met every day or every week, to avoid issues from erupting. Others met when a person became ill, believing that illness was attributable to the strain of anger, sense of guilt, recriminations and insufficient forgiveness. They thought that healing could come only with full forgiveness of the entire family.

Typically the most senior family member runs the meeting. They gather the family members together. In the event the family is not able to sort out an issue, they utilize a highly regarded outsider.

One ancient practice that I find especially helpful is this: People with a problem with a particular person or issue would go to the beach in the evening and imagine that person or problem on a floating platform out in the water. They would imagine cords or ropes connecting them to the person or problem and envision themselves cutting those cords or cables and the cords or cables splashing in the water. I find that this mental exercise is very helpful when accompanied by the phrase from Dr. Hew Len: “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you”.

Modern Ho’oponopono

In 1976 Morrnah Simeona, considered a healing priest or kahuna lapa’au, modified the traditional Ho’oponopono to the social realities of the present day. With this she expanded it both to a general problem solving process beyond the family and also to a psycho-spiritual self-help as opposed to the group process.

Morrnah’s variation is influenced by her Christian (both Protestant and Catholic) education and her philosophical studies about India, China and Edgar Cayce. Like the ancient Hawaiian custom she focuses on prayer. As opposed to the traditional custom, she identifies problems as the results of negative Karma, stating that “you have to experience by yourself what you have done to others,” and you are the creator of your life situation. Any improper doing is memorized within yourself and reflected in each and every entity and thing that was present when the cause took place. The intent behind her variation is principally “to release unhappy, negative experiences in past Reincarnations, and to resolve and remove traumas from the ‘memory banks’.”

Morrnah’s teachings include things like: there exists a Divine Creator who attends to altruistic pleas of Men; “when the saying ‘And it is done’ is used following a prayer, it indicates Man’s work ends and God’s begins.” “Self-Identity” signifies, that by doing ho’oponopono, the three selves or facets of consciousness are balanced and in touch with the Divine Creator. Via this transmutation within the mind, the problems will shed their power, and recovery or balancing is started.

Creating state of Zero

Morrnah Simeona died in 1992. Her former student Dr. Ihalekala Hew Len, co-authored a book with Joe Vitale titled Zero Limits referring to Simeona’s ho’oponopono teachings. The book states the primary purpose of ho’oponopono is reaching “the state of Zero, where we would have zero limits. No memories. No identity.” To achieve this state, referred to as ‘Self-I-Dentity’, you have to repeat continuously the motto, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.” It is based on the principle of total responsibility, taking 100% responsibility for everyone’s actions, not just your own. If a person takes full responsibility for their life, everything he or she sees, hears, tastes, touches, or experiences IS one’s responsibility since it is in his or her life. Any problems wouldn’t be with our external reality (out there), the problem is inside ourselves. To improve our reality, we must transform ourselves. Complete Responsibility, as outlined by Dr. Hew Len, states that everything exists as a projection from inside a person. He believes that any error that a person clears in their own consciousness is cleared for everyone.

Blue Solar Water

So where do the Blue Solar Water Bottles come from. It is an ancient Hawaiian practice (among other cultures) to place water in blue (or other color) glass containers and place in the sun to sterilize the water, but that’s not where this comes from. Dr. Len states that God told him to drink lots of water from blue bottles he’d placed in the sun to help remove the recurring memories, or programming, that cause problems. This clears problems that we’re not even aware we having… memories that are constantly replaying that we’re not even aware of.