Ho’oponopono is the practice of forgiveness. Literally meaning, to make right, you can think of a cup that’s off balance, and you correct its position and put it upright. The practice alters your relationship to your experience, so you no longer resist or push against what life delivers. (And this actually changes what shows up for you!)
Often when we think of ho’oponopono, four phrases come to mind.
I love you
Please forgive me
is the most widely known version, and it’s a very powerful practice, popularized in recent years by Joel Vitale. Yet when referring to this ancient Hawaiian practice, these four phrases are only the tip of the iceberg.
Long ago, ho’oponopono involved gathering the parties who are involved in a disagreement, and having them come to a “safe space“ where everyone could give their perspective and reach reconciliation.
Over time, particularly over the past forty years, the practice became a more personal endeavor, involving taking a look at one’s own part in any conflict, and releasing the memories, patterns, and programming that created the impasse.
There are several ways of doing this.
Using the four phrases above:
I love you, I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you, is one way. This way is super-useful to use as you’re going through daily life. Yet simply mouthing the words, without a deeper level of awareness about what you're doing, seems to have a more superficial effect.
As an example of what you're actually doing with these phrases is you're not asking forgiveness of "the other." You're asking forgiveness for your own misperceptions, and anything in YOU that was complicit with the experience you had.
If you have something that's been sapping your energy, the long-form process of Ho'oponopono can provide huge relief! It brings to mind and addresses healing and clearing patterns from your conscious mind, subconscious mind and higher self, family, and ancestors as well as the person you have a conflict with and their family and ancestors. This process also releases negative energies from land and properties, entities and other elements that may be involved in your conflict.
This is a very powerful practice that can change seemingly unchangeable situations.
Finally, there is my favorite ho’oponopono practice.
Less heady than the previous version, the kalana (forgiveness) hut meditation helps release anything unspoken which may be blocking your energy, and help to provide deeper insight into the lessons and the gifts inherent in the conflict. This is done by going on a journey into to your subconscious mind, and communicating with the the Being, Soul or Spirit of the person you’re having challenges with. By being guided in this practice, you both release old energies you've been carrying, and reach a new level of clarity and freedom.
I love sharing the practice of Ho'oponopono because it's created so much freedom from triggers and challenging situations, and helping create clarity and peace in relationships, both intimate, and other! I also love receiving the many emails that come in after the class, recounting how participants’ relationships have changed, including your relationship with the chatter in their own heads!
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A certified transformative coach, yoga therapist, author, + adventurer, Kathy has coached people to happier lives for over 20 years. (Has it really been that long?)