I did not discover Ho'Oponopono until some years into my clinical profession. Simply pronouncing the word seemed somewhat odd; seeing it as a therapy tool seemed even a bit of a stretch. A stretch, I thought, especially when working primarily with adolescent males, to whom "touchy feely" or anything akin to meditation was eyebrow raising. These young men had histories of abandonment, assaults on their abilities to feel espcially in front of peers, and a fundamental lack of belief in their inherent goodness.
Once, when I was unprepared for a group due to a plethora of crises on a unit, I thought I would present Ho'Oponopono in a simple form. My guilty expectation was that it might fall flat with them. But...the group and evening turned out quite differently.
Initially, they were cautious, glancing at other group members to evaluate each others' responses ... as only teens can do (!). In my corner was the fact that this was the last group before their bedtime, so a slight sense of the day's closure was present.
They responded like they loved it. I, somewhat more skeptical, thought it would be interesting to see what evolved in their chatter after that.
There was no chatter. Egoistically, I thought, I was right.
But two minutes into group, they asked if we could do "that 'HoPo' again"...And night after noight, the same. It became an anticipated ritual. It was one that was completely compatible with their individual senses of faith. But more than that, the exercise is about culpabilty and personal responsibility
with a deepest of reverence for the human.
Ho'oponopono means to make right. Essentially, it means to make it right with the ancestors, or to make right with the people with whom you have relationships. We believe that the original purpose of Ho'oponopono was to correct the wrongs that had occurred in someone's life including Hala (to miss the thing aimed for, or to err, to disobey) and Hewa (to go overboard or to do something to excess) which were illusions, and even 'Ino (to do harm, implying to do harm to someone with hate in mind), even if accidental.
- Bring to mind anyone with whom you do not feel total alignment or support, etc.
- In your mind's eye, construct a small stage below you
- Imagine an infinite source of love and healing flowing from a source above the top of your head (from your Higher Self), and open up the top of your head, and let the source of love and healing flow down inside your body, fill up the body, and overflow out your heart to heal up the person on the stage. Be sure it is all right for you to heal the person and that they accept the healing.
- When the healing is complete, have a discussion with the person and forgive them, and have them forgive you.
- Next, let go of the person, and see them floating away. As they do, cut the aka cord that connects the two of you (if appropriate). If you are healing in a current primary relationship, then assimilate the person inside you.
- Do this with every person in your life with whom you are incomplete, or not aligned.
The final test is, can you see the person or think of them without feeling any negative emotions. If you do feel negative emotions when you do, then do the process again.