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Ho’oponopono: The Hawaiian Practice of Reconciliation and Forgiveness

Ho'oponopono - the Hawaiian practice of forgiveness


What is Ho’oponopono?

Ho’oponopono is a Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. It is based on the belief that all illness and disharmony in our lives is the result of unresolved past issues with other people. Through Ho’oponopono, we can release these grievances and find inner peace.

I recently became an advanced certified practitioner of Ho’oponopono and it’s a practice that I have implemented in my daily life. In the beginning it was a concept that was difficult for me to grasp because it just seemed too simple. But that is the actual beauty of it. Once we stop overthinking it, and actually start embracing the simplicity of it, that’s when the light bulb turns on and the magic shines.

The Four Steps of Ho’oponopono

This practice involves four steps: acknowledging the problem, taking responsibility for it, making amends, and releasing it.

Acknowledging the Problem

The first step is to acknowledge the problem. This means recognizing that there is an issue that needs to be addressed. It may be something as small as a disagreement with a friend, or as large as unresolved anger over a past hurt. Whatever the issue is, we need to acknowledge it before we can begin to work on resolving it.

Taking Responsibility for the Problem

Once we have acknowledged the problem, we need to take responsibility for it. This means understanding that the issue is our responsibility to resolve. We cannot change what has happened in the past, but we can take responsibility for our part in the situation and make amends.

Making Amends

Making amends is about taking action to resolve the issue. This may involve apologizing to the person we have hurt, or it may be something as simple as making a commitment to change our behavior. Whatever the case, taking action is an important step in Ho’oponopono.

Releasing the Problem

The final step is to release the problem. This means letting go of our grievances and forgiving those who have wronged us. Forgiveness is not always easy, but it is essential to Ho’oponopono. When we forgive, we are freeing ourselves from the past and opening up to a brighter future.

Practicing Ho’oponopono

Ho’oponopono can be practiced anytime, anywhere. All it takes is a few minutes of your time and a willingness to let go of your grievances. The next time you are feeling angry, hurt, or frustrated, try Ho’oponopono. You may be surprised at how quickly it can help you find peace.

How do you do it?

As I mentioned earlier, it almost sounds too simple to be true. But here it is…

Once we acknowledge and take responsibility for the problem we start the “cleaning” process. And keep in mind, the problem doesn’t necessarily need to be something that directly involves us. For example, we can become aware of a friend or loved one who might be experiencing a problem (or even a stranger for that matter). What we need to remember is that as long as the “problem” has been brought to our attention, we are now able to take responsibility and start our process of cleaning to resolve that problem for all those who are involved. And there is no need to be letting anyone know that we’re doing this. This is not about taking credit or trying to get pats on our back to boost our ego.

To clean, we simply repeat these four statements:

  1. I’m sorry
  2. Please forgive me
  3. Thank you
  4. I love you

You can say them out loud if you’re by yourself, or just say them in your inner voice. Keep repeating the phrases over and over, but do it with sincerity. You can do this while you’re meditating, while you’re going about your regular activities, while you’re going to sleep, it honestly does not matter how or when you do it, as long as you respect it and do it with meaning. Before you know it, after several days and weeks of practicing Ho’oponopono regularly it becomes second nature. You will find yourself automatically cleansing throughout your day.

You might ask, “Who am I actually saying this to?” The answer is, we’re saying this to Divinity, The Universe, The Higher Power, God (whichever name you personally prefer to use).

Another thing I would like to mention is that the order you say the four statements in is not written in stone. Do not overthink this; just do this as you feel the most comfortable with. Whatever flows the most naturally for you. There is no right or wrong. If you are too stuck on just focusing on the order of the statements, you are missing the point of the practice.

The Benefits of Ho’oponopono

The Ho’oponopono practice offers many benefits, chief among them being inner peace and harmony. By resolving our past issues and forgiving those who have wronged us, we can find a newfound sense of peace and balance in our lives. This practice can also help to improve our relationships with others, as well as our overall health. Ho’oponopono is a simple yet powerful tool that can help us to create a happier, more fulfilling life.

Creating a More Positive Future

Ho’oponopono can help us to create a more positive future. By resolving and forgiving our past issues, we can find a newfound sense of peace and balance in our lives. This practice can also help to improve our relationships with others, as well as the overall health of all those we include in our cleansing practice. Ho’oponopono is a simple yet powerful tool that can help us to create a happier, more fulfilling life.

We all have a shared program of memories that need to be cleaned. When we practice Ho’oponopono, these programs are cleaned and reset back to zero. Not just for us, but also for all those who shared the same program of memories (whether they are physically near you or not).

Think about our program of memories being like a white dry erase board. Every time we write on it, we are leaving residue on the whiteboard. Even after we wipe it with an eraser, you can still notice some smudges left behind. The more we write on it and the more we erase, the more marker residue is left behind. Soon what was once a nice clean whiteboard turns into a dirty board with faded shades of black, red, blue, and green marker ink all over it.

Ho’oponopono is like spraying the whiteboard with the best cleaning fluid and completely eliminating all the leftover smudges of countless memories that were once left behind. It brings the board back to zero. Just like it brings us back to zero – to the way that we originally were created. Free of past memories (problems) that needed to be cleansed and healed.


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