Hoʻoponopono: The Practice Of Forgiveness

Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len

In the 80s/90s, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len worked at Hawaii State Hospital and cured a complete ward of criminally insane patients in four years, without ever seeing any of them. The psychologist would study an inmate’s chart and then look within himself to see how he created that person’s illness. As he improved himself, the patient improved. Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len had used a Hawaiian healing process called ho ‘oponopono.

Dr Joe Vitale, author of the book “Zero Limits”, writes about Dr. Ihaleakala Hew’s story:

Psychologists quit on a monthly basis. The staff called in sick a lot or simply quit. People would walk through that ward with their backs against the wall, afraid of being attacked by patients. It was not a pleasant place to live, work, or visit. “Dr. Len told me that he never saw patients. He agreed to have an office and to review their files. While he looked at those files, he would work on himself. As he worked on himself, patients began to heal.

“‘After a few months, patients that had to be shackled were being allowed to walk freely,’ he told me. ‘Others who had to be heavily medicated were getting off their medications. And those who had no chance of ever being released were being freed.’ I was in awe.’Not only that,’ he went on, ‘but the staff began to enjoy coming to work. Absenteeism and turnover disappeared. We ended up with more staff than we needed because patients were being released, and all the staff was showing up to work. Today, that ward is closed.’

“This is where I had to ask the million dollar question: ‘What were you doing within yourself that caused those people to change?’

“‘I was simply healing the part of me that created them,’ he said. I didn’t understand. Dr. Len explained that total responsibility for your life means that everything in your life- simply because it is in your life–is your responsibility. In a literal sense the entire world is your

“Whew. This is tough to swallow. Being responsible for what I say or do is one thing. Being responsible for what everyone in my life says or does is quite another. Yet, the truth is this: if you take complete responsibility for your life, then everything you see, hear, taste, touch, or
in any way experience is your responsibility because it is in your life. This means that terrorist activity, the president, the economy or anything you experience and don’t like–is up for you to heal. They don’t exist, in a manner of speaking, except as projections from inside
you. The problem isn’t with them, it’s with you, and to change them, you have to change you.

“I know this is tough to grasp, let alone accept or actually live. Blame is far easier than total responsibility, but as I spoke with Dr. Len, I began to realize that healing for him and in ho ‘oponopono means loving yourself. “If you want to improve your life, you have to heal your life. If you want to cure anyone, even a mentally ill criminal you do it by healing you.

“I asked Dr. Len how he went about healing himself. What was he doing, exactly, when he looked at those patients’ files?
“‘I just kept saying, ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I love you’ over and over again,’ he explained.

“That’s it?

“That’s it.

“Turns out that loving yourself is the greatest way to improve yourself, and as you improve yourself, you improve your world.

Hoʻoponopono Healing Process

The Hawaiian word ho’oponopono comes from ho’o (“to make”) and pono (“right”). The repetition of the word pono means “doubly right” or being right with both self and others. In a nutshell, ho’oponopono is a process by which we can forgive others to whom we are connected.

Hoʻoponopono is “mental cleansing”, to make right, correct, adjust and amend. Similar forgiveness practices are performed in other Pacific Islands, including New Zealand by the Polynesian settlers, the Maoris.

The ho’oponopono healing process works on Repentance, Forgiveness, Gratitude, and Love.

Practice Ho’oponopono by repeating the following words:

I am sorry

Please forgive me

Thank you

I love you

Say these words with meaning and feeling multiple times during your day and notice how you feel.

How to Integrate the Process Of Hoʻoponopono With Reiki

If you have received a Reiki attunement, you can amplify the power of the Ho’oponopono process by integrating it within your daily Reiki practice. There are many different ways of working with Reiki, so follow your intuition and do what resonates with you..

What follows is my own process:

Let us assume that you want to work on a difficult relationship you have with someone. This could be someone close to you, a colleague, and even that person who made that impolite comment while you were at the supermarket.

1. Acknowledge the fact that people, circumstances, events and even accidents are something that our subconscious has projected out into the word. Therefore, by working on the part in our inner world that has generated the imbalance, we bring balance and materialise it in the outer world. It is important that we understand this concept, as energy follows thought and therefore intention moves energy.

2. Start with your Reiki treatment: ground, call the Reiki energy and any other Guides/Ascended Masters.

3. Reflect on how that person makes you feel: Angry? Sad? Guilty? Write this down if you need. Ask your body: “Show me where the source of this feeling is”. Wait for a response. You may suddenly feel tension/pain somewhere in your body, or you may sense heat/cold/tingling of whatever change happens as a result of you asking that question.

Know that there is not right or wrong answer, so if you are finding it difficult to locate this area in your body, just notice the first thing that comes up in your mind or even guess. All answers are good answers.

You have now found the source of the feeling that you have towards this person. Do not try to rationalise it too much, most of the time it is something that is coming from our subconscious mind; therefore it is something that we may not be aware of.

4. In alternative, you can also use the Byosen scanning to identify the source of the feeling.

5. Bear in mind that the symptom and the source can sometime manifest in different parts of your body, For example, you may find that talking to a particular person leaves you with tension on your neck or with a bad headache, but the exercise above may lead you to a source in your chest or abdomen.

6. Work on the source of the problem. Continue to follow your guidance, draw the Distance Symbol followed by any other symbols you may feel drawn to use. Intend to send Reiki to the source of the feeling, for your greatest good and the greatest good of all people involved.

7. Now bring in your mind the image of the other person. What does he/she look like? What is he/she wearing? Is he/she happy/sad/worried/joyful? If you feel comfortable with it, imagine that you are reassuring this person by saying “everything is going to be ok, this process is going to heal any unhealthy aspect of our relationship”.

8. Start to practice the Hoʻoponopono process. Hold the intention that you want to heal that part of you that has generated the problem outside you. This part may be the same as the source you have identified above, or it may be different.

Say: “I am sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you, I love you”.

Repeat these affirmations as many times as you feel guided to. When the exercise feels complete, stop and keep sending more Reiki to seal the process. Notice if you are guided to use any other symbols.

9. If you have worked with cords/ties before, you can ask Reiki to dissolve any negative cords/ties between you and the other person.

10. Now imagine that that person is leaving and going away by boat/car/airplane, train or simply walking. Just wait until you do not see him/her anymore.

11. Give yourself more self-healing, particularly on your heart centre. Ground. Thank. Complete the session.

12. Ask how many sessions are needed, as you may guided to repeat more than once.

13. Make notes on your diary, in particular any results you may notice in the coming hours or days.

The above technique can bring amazing results as I have witnessed on myself and other clients. Just do it with an open mind, surrendering completely to the power of Infinite Consciousness.

“Artwork by Daniel B. Holeman ” –

Giancarlo has over ten years of experience in practising and teaching Healing Arts. He is a Reiki Master Teacher of Usui/Tibetan, Holy Fire® and Karuna Reiki® systems of healing and works as a Consultant Spiritual Healer at the College of Psychic Studies in London.