Ho’oponopono: The Hawaiian Art of Healing


The state of absolute ‘stillness’ known as ‘Shunyata’ in Buddhism is where you are devoid of any thoughts, simply ‘empty’ like a glass without water, no movement, no ripples, no waves. This state of non-duality is also the root of Ho’oponopono, the Hawaiian art of healing.

Simply put, Ho’oponopono means, ‘to make right,’ or ‘to rectify an error’.
Based on the principle of love, gratitude and forgiveness, this ancient practice talks about the ability to take responsibility of not only your own action, but also the action of others.

“Ho’oponopono is a profound gift that allows one to develop a working relationship with the divinity within and learn to ask that in each moment, our errors in thought, word, deed, or action be cleansed. The process is essentially about freedom, complete freedom from the past”. ~ Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona, Ho’oponopono Master Teacher.

The art of Ho’oponopono gained attention when Dr Hew Len healed a ward of criminally insane prisoners at the Hawaii state hospital with his cleansing meditation, without ever going to the facility or meeting the people he cured in person. He reviewed each patients’ files, and then he healed them by healing himself.

He not only improved the prisoner’s behaviour patterns, but also the atmosphere of the ward personally over a period of four years.

Hew Len compared the brain to a computer – when we delete information on a screen, it goes into the recycle bin, but not out of the computer.

Similarly, our old time memories are stored in the unconscious mind, consciously we are unaware of it, but we are processing, looking, accepting and understanding things around us based on the reservoir of information stored within us.

The subconscious mind processes 11 million bits of information per second. If we have to reach a state of nothingness, we have to clean out the erroneous thoughts arising in our mind and Ho’oponopono works to clear away the destructive messages incessantly whispering to us. It assists you in establishing a direct connection to the Divine consciousness that exists within all of us.

Theory of Ho’oponopono

In earlier times, if one person behaved criminally then the whole family, clan and village felt they were responsible for that behaviour. Hoʻoponopono was communicated by the village, and it was addressed to the ultimate Spirit and Gaia. The heart of the mantra was –

“We are responsible.”ho’oponopono mantra
“We are sorry.”
“Please forgive us.”

Ho’oponopono professes that we are all connected beings and if we see something wrong, it is a part of us that has brought us to that particular event/situation. Any event in our life is brought to us through our own vibrations.

We create our own reality and attract people, situation and things to ourselves. Our job in such a scenario is to heal that part of us that has brought us to a certain situation and that situation will automatically take care of itself.

When Joe Vitale, co-author of the book Zero limits, first spoke to Hew Len and asked him how he cured the ward of criminals at the Hawaii state hospital, Hew Len simply said, “I was simply cleaning the part of me that I shared with them.” He meant that when we take responsibility of ourselves, we are also accepting the responsibility of the world we live in.

The healing technique also focuses on love & forgiveness. The best way to tackle an issue is to accept the person or situation, forgive them/it, forgive yourself and convert it into love. Hew Len said, “I just kept saying ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I love you’ over and over again,” and this way he kept cleaning each and every patient in the ward.

The role of the subconscious mind

Guy Claxton in his book ‘The Wayward Mind’ stated that a surge of brain activity took place before the person had the conscious intention to do something, suggesting that the intention came from the unconscious, and then entered conscious awareness. Such experiments suggest that our choices surface from the unconscious mind, and they are not formed in a rational manner.

In order to reach a state of nothingness where there are no thoughts, words, memories, programs, beliefs, or anything else., we need to delete the garbage and connect with the Divine.

Hew Len said, “You have two ways to live your life, from memory or from inspiration. Memories are old programs replaying. Inspiration is the Divine giving you a message. You want to come from inspiration.”

The updated form of Ho’oponopono is called ‘Self I-Dentity Through Ho’oponopono’ and it means the process of continuously cleaning. Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona, the creator and first master teacher of Self I-Dentity Ho’oponopono, said that we are required to align the three parts of the self that are “Unihipili (child/subconscious), the Uhane (mother/conscious), and the Aumakua (father/superconscious)”. When our inner self is in alignment, we are in rhythm with the Divine and life begins to flow.

The process of Ho’oponopono:

Close your eyes, and focus on the blank space in your mind or your mind’s eye.
Bring in to the stage of your mind’s eye a person/situation/feeling or object you want to heal.

Feel the infinite light from the source (higher self) on the top of your head and flowing in your entire body from head to toe. Flowing through the top of the head, the light goes all over the body and comes out of your heart, opening the heart chakra. Generate a sense of compassion and desire to heal the person or situation or feeling or object.

Ensure yourself that it is ok to heal the person/situation/feeling or object.
Ask for forgiveness by saying I am sorry, please forgive me. Also, forgive the other person/situation/feeling or object, remember when you are forgiving someone, you are forgiving yourself.

Then profess your love for the person/situation/feeling or object and pay your gratitude by saying thank you.

After your discussion, allow the person to float away wherever they belong to and cut the aka cord (Aka is a Hawaiian word for energy threads we have with everything and everybody. It consists of ideas, feelings, thoughts and information and all forms of contact that exists whether physical or otherwise), if appropriate or if you are in a relationship with the person, it is advised to assimilate them inside yourself.
Repeat the procedure with whosoever you want. Remember to notice the difference in them & yourself and if needed, repeat the process again as many times, till you feel zero negativity.

Everything is energy and thus interconnected; our thoughts and words are filled with a special vibration. If you fill your daily life with thoughts of love, gratitude, appreciation and acceptance, you will begin to feel liberated from feelings of resentment, guilt, fear etc. You have the potential to heal yourself and people around you, and Ho’oponopono is a simple reminder of your creative powers and reconnecting you with your inner self.