Quite the buzz word lately.
Let me start by saying that I have been studying the Hawaiian method of reconciliation called Ho'oponopono for the last 15 years. Gone through lots of books and many different thoughts on the process including information from both Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian writers and let me say that it is never quit that easy. All manner of reconciliation with yourself, others, the past, whatever, takes some work.
Don't get me wrong, those 4 simple sentences can make a difference if you continue with them every day and direct them over and over to the situation or person that you want to reconcile with, but that also is a problem. As long as you continue to dwell on that which you are trying to reconcile with the longer it will continue to be with you. At some point you need to let go of the issue and replace it with what you really want to be in that same place in your life.
Let me talk first about the word Ho'oponopono. The Hawaiian language is complex in it's word inflection (how the word is said) and in the use of words made up of other words (and then how they are used). I am no authority but again the Hawaiian words that I use specifically I have researched to understand their meaning. So let's look at ho'oponopono. In Hawaiian the prefix ho'o is used as a causative action to the word that follows it. What that means is that a Hawaiian word that is preceeded by ho'o means that it now is the action of or to bring about or cause the word it preceeds. The word pono means goodness, correct or proper procedure, well-being, right, just, fair, etc. etc. and when a word is doubled it is for emphasis. Ponopono is defined as neat, in order, arranged. Ho'oponopono is then defined as to correct, revise, edit, put to right mental cleansing, as by family discussions. (And yes, I have a Hawaiian dictionary!)
Hawaiian Ho'oponopono is an ancient and traditional Hawaiian forgiveness and reconciliation process which was modified in 1976 by Morrnah Simeona into a 12-step program. Traditionally ho'oponopono was used to resolve problems within the family (ohana) group. This could have been a traditional family or a village family. The traditional process would have involved prayers, fasting, cleansing as well as the talking between the parties and then ending possibly with feasting when all was reconciled. Morrnah wanted to make this into something that could be used in the modern world. She started with a conscious connection to self (and possibly the issue that needs reconciliation) with a prayer (pule) and then a connection to a divine (aumakua) and then breathing techniques to release and replace negative thoughts and emotions about the issue. She would have the person make a list of the issues that needed to be reconciled which could then be released, cleansed and transmuted (let go). The entire process ends with a closing prayer and breath (HA).
Quite a bit more than the 4 sentences we have been taught. Don't get me wrong if the 4 sentences are working for you then go ahead, but it you need more then maybe we need to go back to some of the traditional methods. But for the New Age, cultural appropriation method I will say:
Please Forgive Me
I Love You
I taught Ho'oponopono that way for years but recently I have started teaching it based on my most recent Lomi Lomi instructor, Dr. Maka'ala Yates, and his 4 steps to Ho'oponopono. Do these with Action, clarity and determination. And I still suggest making a list of those things that you want to disconnect from and reconcile with. Disconnecting from negative energy is essential for you to move on or initiate change.
Step 1: Sever ('oki) the unwanted energetic cord between you and the person, place or thing. Some kahunas (master) or kumus (teacher) use and actual physical cord when they do this in ceremony.
Step 2: Transmute (loli'ana) or surround that which you are disconnecting with into clear white light.
Step 3: Recycle (ho'ohana hou) this transmuted energy into the ethers or Universe around you. In other words, let it go!
Step 4: Replace (kuapo) the empty energy receptor, which is created when the cord is cut, with the feeling of joy or positive outcome or energy you would like to have there. Your thoughts become things so come up with a positive feeling to replace that which you had been attached to in the past. E malana pono (Take good care).
These 4 steps come directly from Maka'ala's book Na'auao Ola Hawaii Hawaiian Principles and Practices of Being Well.
I will be presenting a Ho'oponopono class starting in 2021!
Paula J Kaprocki, LMT
I am a Licensed Massage Therapist with thoughts, aspirations and opinions - much like any other person on the planet!