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!
I was contacted recently by a current student (not one of mine) with some Lomi Lomi questions so here they are and here are my answers.
Q. How often do you perform Lomi Lomi massage or how often do clients request that service? What type of clients typically see you for Lomi Lomi massage (specific issues or more spiritual or do they just find it relaxings)? Is Lomi Lomi massage more stressful on your body than Swedish massage? Do you typically perform this massage at a client's home or in an office space? What about Temple Lomi draping? What kind of draping do you use for Lomi Lomi massage? And finally what are any common misconceptions about Lomi Lomi massage?
In answer to how often I perform Lomi Lomi, I would say every day. After I learned Lomi Lomi it became a part of every massage that I do. I may not do an entire Lomi protocol at every session but every client gets some part of Lomi as part of my regular massage now. It is not necessarily a requested service but I have had clients call me specifically for Lomi when they find out that I do that type of massage. I would say that the ones that do call me for Lomi are looking for a different type of massage experience outside the standard Swedish relaxation massage experience or even the deep tissue massage experience. Most people have seen the videos online or have had someone come back for Hawaii and tell them of their experience of having a Lomi massage. Not everyone however understands that there are as many variations of Lomi as there are of Swedish massage.
I must say that I do not do Temple-style Lomi which is a more modern take on Lomi and not necessarily what would have actually been practiced by the Kahunas and Kapunas of old. The Lomi practitioner of the Islands would have been skilled in more than just the manual manipulation of tissue but also would have been knowledgable of herbs and the skillful manipulation of joints and other areas of healing. My tradition of Lomi comes from Aunty Margaret lineage as my original instructor studied directly with her on the Big Island - Hawaii. The Lomi protocol that I do is not more stressful on my body than Swedish massage or any of the other modalities that I know. In fact, I would say that it is probably less stressful based on the movements and body mechanics I have learned to use with the Lomi that I have learned over the years.
I do work out of an office or my own home and rarely do out-calls any more. And my method of draping is pretty much the same as any standard Swedish massage. I modestly drape and always use a bottom sheet for my Lomi massage. As I said before I do not practice Temple Lomi. I have had students come to my classes expecting Temple Lomi but have not gone away disappointed with what they have learned.
I think that the most common misconception about Lomi Lomi massage is that it is ALL Temple Lomi since that is what they see most on the Internet and You Tube. I have had my class cancelled at a spa because that is what they thought it was going to be and would not even give me a chance to do a practical demonstration! There are many books available to you and many versions of Lomi, if you are interested then take some classes. In fact I would love to come to Michigan and show you my version of Lomi!
Please come back to my website as I am currently in the process of creating some videos of my Aunty Margaret style Pololei Lomi and would love for you to see them. I love Lomi Lomi and the results that I get with clients - both relaxation wise and structurally. I hope that you give it a try in a variety of its different styles.
And thanks for the question!
Paula J Kaprocki, LMT
I am a Licensed Massage Therapist with thoughts, aspirations and opinions - much like any other person on the planet!