Ho'oponopono

The practice of Ho'oponopono comes from Hawaii I learned it from Rhonda Battisto in a Fall retreat we co-lead with David Nelson. Ho'oponopono is a practice of forgiveness and self love with the purpose of relieving suffering. 

The shortened version of H’oponono is:

I’m sorry

Please forgive me

Thank you

I love you

The idea is, that through these words we take ownership of our suffering.  When someone has hurt us we can meditate on these words.  When I first learned H’oponono, I didn’t resonate with the practice.  How could I possibly be responsible for someone being unkind to me?  Isn’t that “their” stuff? 

From the Ho’oponopono practice, the belief is that in some way, something we did contributed to hurt.

The last 8 months I have been living with a family member, and it has been far from easy.  My tendency was to blame her for being the way she is.  From my perspective, she was the cause of the fights, the disagreements.  A friend recently suggested I work with H’oponono on this.  I felt resistance, as I have had in the past.  Not really believing that it could be at all related to any of my mistakes.

I began by relaxing on my back, as I do every night before I go to sleep.  Listening to my favorite album at the moment, Darshen by Ajeet Kaur.  I first focused on the breath, deeply breathing.  Then I do a grounding, often a variation of one of the many forms I have learned from David Nelson.  When I felt totally relaxed, then I begin repeating the words in my head.  They can be in any order.  Sometimes I forget lines.  It’s okay if you forget lines.

As someone who studies mantra in another language, I completely understand how words (even spoken silently) can have unique vibration.  Until I really dived into the practice, I didn’t think that these English words had a power.  However, after practicing Ho’oponopono for 3 days the family member I was in conflict with gave me some organic almond milk and also made an organic dish at a family gathering.  Understand that this was a big act of kindness for her.  No one in my family respects or acknowledges that I feel more energetic, healthy, and radiant when I eat organic food.  For her to think of me in that way was a big deal for her and me!

I look at spiritual practices as tools for my toolkit to relieve suffering for myself and all beings.  The key is to get familiar with a practice, so you know how to come back to it when you need it.