According to an old Hawaiian priestess and Kahuna (Healer and Guardian of the Secrets, “Hu” is knowledge, “Na” wisdom) the beginnings of Ho’Oponopono (which means doing something right, readjusting, reordering) reach far back into the past. It belongs to a system of Hawaiian (resp. Polynesian or Lemurian) traditions. Old tales and songs date it to a time several thousand years ago when humanity forgot its unity and connectedness with the Creative Source (Oneness, Infinity, God). Competition and envy began with all the consequences like conflict, judgement, cruelty, theft, robbery and even murder. It coincided with the upcoming ‘Kali Yuga’ known from oldest Sanskrit texts like the Ayurveda. This so-called ‘dark era’ is described as the last of four evolutionary cycles in Hinduism and Buddhism. It seems also to coincide with the biblical story of Adam and Eve and their ‘expulsion from paradise’ at the roots of Hebrew, Christian and Islamic religions.
In that dark era, humanity developed the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ which happen in my understanding through compressing the vibrations of life force energy in our seven main chakras (numbered from crown to root):
Through Michael Newton’s discoveries and the LBL work, we know that as Souls, we agree before our incarnations to all earthly experience and also to these vices. We want to learn, heal and grow through them, and that it all belongs to the higher evolutionary plan. Fortunately, humanity has meanwhile developed some insight, understanding and tools to overcome its “sins”. We know so many methods how to heal traumata, apply the most powerful energy of the Heart (the spiritual heart is written in capital), to enlighten our shadows, to free our inherited Divine virtues in the seven chakras by raising their vibratory frequencies. We know ways to recall our true whole Self, live our chosen life purpose, connect to our spirit helpers and receive spiritual guidance.
Ho’Oponopono comes from ‘Ohana’, the Hawaiian term for family. Mary Kawena Pukuli (1895-1986) developed this practice for the solution of conflicts based on old family traditions. Morrnah Nalamahu Simeona (1913-1992) updated it to a modern version including ideas from Christianity and Hinduism. In 2006, I learnt from Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, a Hawaiian psychologist, his condensed form of Ho’Oponopono. He was taught by Morrnah in the early 1980s, and in 1992 became ‘Spiritus Rector’ of her ‘Foundation renaming it ‘Self-I-dentity-Ho’Oponopono’. He had extracted an essence of the more traditional methods into a simple, yet highly effective ritual of cleaning oneself from subconscious memories which stand against spiritual self-identity. It’s addressed in four phrases to the Unihipili (the Inner Child): “1. I am sorry 2. Please forgive me 3. Thank you 4. I love you.”
It can be seen as a mantra, prayer or just an inner habit. Its key is taking over full responsibility for any problem in the outside world, inner disharmony and annoyance. Dr. Hew Len’s work in a forensic psychiatric clinic in Hawaii gained recognition with his publishing his well-documented report on the healing of a whole ward of mentally ill criminals. The management had agreed that with his unusual methods. He wouldn’t meet any client personally but worked for several hours each day only with their photos and medical reports on his desk; in the same way he worked remotely with the building and its staff. This healing consisted of exploring and forgiving those aspects in himself which somehow participated in that so-called “hell” unit, composed of clients, staff and building. Over the course of 18 months, the ward turned gradually into a pleasant working place for the staff. All bonds could be removed from the mentally ill prisoners, and their medication gradually reduced. Then Dr. Hew Len started face to face talking sessions with them while continuing ‘Self-Identity-Ho’Oponopono. His report documented that, after 4 years altogether, 28 clients were healed and released, only 2 had to be moved to a “normal” psychiatric clinic, and the forensic ward could be closed.
The magical effect of the 4 phrases is due to their simplicity and beauty. It is love in action to take over full responsibility and practice self-forgiveness from the Heart. My innocent, loving Inner Child, who stands for my core being and true Self, is forgiving quickly and wholeheartedly those parts in me who “part”icipated in any problem. Vice versa I can quite easily thank my Inner Child and love her dearly. She preferably resides in my Heart, which is open, soft and warm and sends its love energy through my whole body. In this process of self-forgiving, forgiving and gratitude happen at once, as love is the most powerful healing force of all. A few more inner processes and chakras are simultaneously involved: with recognition (of the problem or disharmony), insight and willingness to contribute to the healing, I am directing Heart energy into my upper, male chakras. In my states of compassion, acceptance, decency (as respect of my human limitations), letting go, freedom and peace Heart energy is flowing into my lower, female chakras. The main energy stream in self-forgiveness, however, is from Heart to the liver and gall-bladder, both belonging to the Solar plexus chakra. After this inner healing, communication and action in the outside world could be necessary, or maybe not.
Some people criticize the four-phrases-method because it’s not a full Ho’Oponopono. Although this is true, it is nevertheless a powerful healing tool bringing about some amazing change for me, and sometimes for others which can appear quite magical. We don’t need forgiveness from others for our own (self-) forgiving.
Fighting over a methodical correctness about forgiveness and love is a bit funny. Ultimately, there is obvious cosmic support to simplify pathways for human healing and spiritual evolution. The original Greek word ‘problem’ means task. Each is a challenge, be it a disease, an accident, loss and deep grief or heavy disappointment; be it an anger about a traffic jam, forgotten birthday, unreliable clients, loud mower noise during the nap, mishap, etc. a. All complaining, fussing, criticizing, self-pitying, putting-down or condemning (me and others) is spoiling energy, producing inner cacophony and disharmony in relationships and leading to inner distance from the world. Disconnection and the illusion of separation is the primary cause of all suffering.
Whereas the fundament of Ho’Oponopono is a holographic concept of the world: all creation is mirrored in me like a hologram, I am part of the whole and co-create it (while the whole is of course more than the sum of its parts). Whenever I perceive a problem, conflict, disharmony or just an annoyance, be it in the outside reality or inside, I “part”icipate in it. By taking over full responsibility and healing my parts involved, I am contributing to the healing of others and to peace in the world. Forgiveness cannot be forced; however, according to Dr. Hew Len, we can only be in one of three states:
Dr. Hew Len assumed that it is not possible to go directly from state 1 to 3. as we are constantly influenced by millions of data from the subconscious, including personal history, past lives, ancestors and collectives. Therefore, an ongoing clearing of the M-state is necessary to be in “Zero”. Only here, Mana (cosmic light energy), Aloha (all-love) and Divine inspiration is streaming from its Creative Source into and through us so that we receive higher inspiration and impulse. Meditation is another method of emptying the M-state and go into “Zero”. It only needs to be practiced as often as necessary. I am applying the 4-phrases as a habit of spiritual hygiene, on some days more often than hand-washing.
Whenever I perceive a problem inside or in my outer reality, I know that I take part somehow because otherwise I wouldn’t have come upon it. I participate also in harmonious relationships and pleasant processes which are naturally much more easy and joyful. Self-responsibility is not about guilt or self-condemnation. To the contrary, it is a highly effective remedy to pacify the Inner Critic, judge or Perfectionist. Also, forgiveness doesn’t mean condoning harmful behavior, nor does it replace necessary decisions or actions. We need here clear distinctions. Rather, it is about responsible awareness that I am part of all my perceived realities far beyond conscious awareness. Neuroscientists discovered that neuronal impulses happen before any conscious thought, aware decision or motion. They also found out that only sixteen of the eleven million bits of information our senses pass on to our brains. Unfortunately, these findings are misinterpreted by denying free will. I think that it’s not the conscious mind which decides on “free will”, yet it’s rather the subconscious or super-conscious (Nøretranders, T, 1999, The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness down to Size).
The 4-phrases are a baseline according to Dr. Hew Len. Ho’Oponopono, he said, is like a tree, and his method, a branch of it. My own approach might be a twig or a leaf which contains the essence of the tree while it is also unique like any other leaf. I developed a mix of Dr. Hew Len’s Radical Self-Forgiveness with elements from Inner Child Contact, Chakra Energy Balance and Heart Coherence. Although I don’t apply it formally in my LBL practice, it has an effect on how I facilitate the sessions. It has clear influence, first through my inner habit itself, second in assisting my clients with the formulation of their essential life questions, and third in the way they interpret and integrate their experience. Only occasionally, I feel inspired to formally suggest the 4-phrases-Ho’Oponopono in the post-talk or follow-up session. Forgiving and self-forgiving are usually essential themes in LBL like in any authentic religious or spiritual practice. For deeper impacts, the (self-) forgiveness, gratitude and love have to be felt in the body, mainly in the chest-heart and Solar Plexus area.
1. Whenever I feel an annoyance or think “I cannot bear this any longer” or sense stress in a certain situation I try to become conscious of the actual issue and the underlying feeling, Then I say in my mind the four phrases to my Inner Child (unihipili, true Self, heart): “I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you” and I feel these states as intensely as possible in my body.
2. I may realize a reservation towards a person who I am trying to avoid. Then I would feel deeper into the central emotion, be it, for instance, fear, disappointment or anger. I imagine how the other could feel towards me and think he may have a similarly unpleasant thought or emotion. I allow myself to feel compassion with her/him and say the four phrases directing them simultaneously to my Inner Child and to that person. I do it with anyone with whom I want to come clean.
3. Sometimes I remember a fault or realize that my kids have a problem. I try to recognize my parts in it as a necessary lesson for my growth, also to understand that it is an illusion to think I could have avoided it. Then I forgive myself to have fret about it for so long and say the four phrases to my Inner Child. If I sense guilt feelings, I do the same. Occasionally I realize a prejudice or that I have hurt someone involuntarily. I practice self-forgiveness along with the other correspondent inner processes. Also, I follow the belief that it is never too late to apologize and ask for forgiveness.
4. We meet huge problems with environmental pollution and collective issues like diseases, pandemics, fears, injustices, exploitations, violence, wars, hunger etc. and feel sometimes angry powerlessness. I try to become aware of how I am contributing to these problems. My super-consciousness knows there are always discrepancies between insight and real life, always an inner dissonance between conscious values and actual behavior. I forgive myself this lack of total consequence by saying the four phrases as well as I forgive all those involved (government, corporations, scientists, medical establishment, uneducated people, collectives) by saying “I forgive them as they don’t know what they do”.
5. After having injured myself, for instance by bumping my head against something, I practice the four phrases for my missing attention and sometimes angry reaction. I find this practice of self-forgiveness especially important if I realize a lack of self-care in relationship to another person or for my bodily wellbeing, especially not allowing me enough freedom, space and time to just be and to rejoice (and to have fun with my Inner Child).
If we are aware and honest how much “M-stuff” is thought by our conscious mind or grumbling emotions in our bellies, we have to admit that an ongoing clearing makes sense. Due to this insight, I am habitually asking my Inner Child to forgive me for having imposed a problem upon her and by that, clearing the way to my super-conscious. Lastly, it is about self-forgiving and forgiving human imperfection, decently accepting the given limitations (physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, spiritually) and acknowledging that as humans we will always stay somehow imperfect as long as we live in spite of all healing, transformation and conscious evolution.
Seen from a higher spiritual perspective I forgive myself that in certain (probably many) moments I am forgetting my connectedness and unity with the whole but let instead old, unfinished, subconscious issues (beliefs, emotions, thoughts, illusion of separation) impact my wellbeing, let my Soul light become shadowed and my energetic functions ruled by compressed vibratory frequencies. Therefore, complete (self-)forgiveness leads ideally to moments of dropping back into the limitless ocean of cosmic light energy with a felt sense of the Divine (oneness, infinity, eternity, all-love, bliss, all-consciousness, absolute peace and freedom). In this enlightened state I allow myself to give up my conscious mind’s steady effort to control life but instead surrender to its evolutionary dance and receive its rich gifts.
Dr. Hew Len used to close his courses with a short meditation addressing the Whole Self. He let us participants thank the Divine (Creative Intelligence, God) for our being and for having created this beautiful world, thank our super-consciousness for being in perfect alignment with the Divine, thank our intellect for assisting us in life, and thank our subconscious and Inner Child for enhancing healing, growth and transformation. I see the Whole Self as the Soul containing and embracing all these part-functions. Dr. Hew Len encouraged us to tell our intellect and subconscious “I love you nevertheless and will always love you no matter what”. The final sentence of his meditation was “I thank you dear Whole Self as in you I rest, abide and have my being”. ♥
Dorothea Fuckert is an LBL Facilitator in Waldbrunn, Germany