Saturday, August 20, 2011

Light-Bearing: Ho'oponopono, Hawaiian prayer for healing

Ho'oponopono is a breathtakingly beautiful simple prayer that unlocks toxic thoughts trapped in the subconscious, freeing us to experience a more healthy and fulfilling life. 

As magnetic beings, we attract into our lives that which is of a like frequency.  This means, if we are holding onto old painful memories unaware, we will attract into our daily life experiences that which mirrors those memories.  For example, if we grew up with childhood abuse, we will experience abuse in our daily lives, despite how disguised it may seem. Those old memories, which consciously are forgotten continue to have magnetic power, like buried land mines which explode when tripped over. So, no matter how many positive intentions we affirm on a conscious level, those intentions are negated or sabotaged by deeply buried memories. 

Western psychologists and spiritual counselors have long sought means to help people release old operating patterns, usually unsuccessfully. Through Ho'oponopono's prayer, which is very ancient and traces of which are in all the world's religions, cultures, and spiritual traditions, old wounds are finally healed, terminating their magnetic power to attract more pain, illness and powerlessness into our lives. 

Ho'oponopono seems to be a perfect spiritual fit for the human problem. For anyone who has prayed earnestly for a miracle, for healing, for a job, or new home or even just to keep your current home from foreclosure, knows, just wishing, just making intentions, reciting affirmations, begging God on your knees, doesn't always work.  Too many people have lost their faith over what seems like God's reluctance or unwillingness to answer our prayers.  As a hospital chaplain, I've sat in a neonatal unit with new parents who knew their newborn would die, or in a children's hospital with a teenager who had a terminal diagnosis of cancer, or in an AIDS unit where a young man in his late 20s had no hope of a cure due to the advanced stage of his disease.  

I've seen great pain and suffering among us, from sickness, poverty, domestic violence, racism, crimes against mankind on so many levels. And, in every single case, I've sought God's help in prayer.  Sometimes, wonderfully, those prayers were answered.  Several cases were really remarkable, but so many other times I've waited in the chapel with families as their son or daughter or parent or spouse lay dying in a hospital bed upstairs. God's silence was heartbreaking.


We were going about it all the wrong way. There is another way to bring God's healing into a situation. According to Dr. Hew Len, a psychologist who is reported to have completely cleaned out an entire high-security Hawaiian mental hospital by curing all the patients using this beautiful prayer, it's really as simple as taking responsibility for everything that's happening in your face and asking for forgiveness for it.  

Dr. Len bases his prayer on two simple concepts.  The first is that we are all, in our core self, perfectly and 100 percent connected.  There is no "you" and "me,"  we are actually one, connected by the Divine who flows between and among us at our core level.  That center is where all God's love is, bubbling away, bringing us bliss, creativity, empowerment.  That center is right below our subconscious which is below our conscious level of daily life.  

This understanding seems to complete the idea introduced in the popular book/movie, The Secret, which claims wonderfully that we can have, be and achieve anything we want.  We just have to set our intentions and program our mind through constant repetition and visualization and those intentions will miraculously appear in our lives.  So, if I imagine peace in the Middle East or the healing of a friend, that will happen?  Yes, but only if I had a clear mind, completely rid of any old sabotaging memories in the subconscious.  And, sadly, tragically, that's the real situation. No one does.  We all have blockages, "memories" according to Dr. Len, that filter our perceptions, undoing the effectiveness of our intentions, many of which are ignorantly set by our ego anyway rather than our divine self.  The beautiful Ho'oponopono prayer is a radical shift away from ego intentionality to Divine inspiration and authentic being.

So, how do we know what's in our subconscious so that we can clean it out or delete that old programming? According to Dr. Len, everything that's showing up in your current reality - sickness of a friend, poverty of a homeless person you pass on the way to work, the falling stock market, the traffic ticket you got, etc.  Everything that shows up in your life, is being caused by buried "memories" which are still powerful, deep within your subconscious.  

Dr. Len says that to begin healing our lives, and our world by extension, we have to take 100 percent full responsibility for everything that shows up in our lives.  If a friend e-mails you to tell  you that another friend has cancer, that has shown up in your life.  If a neighbor has lost his home to the bank, that has shown up in your life.  Those are just a few examples.  These "negative" situations are external symptoms of deeply buried negative memories which need remediation.  They need to be excised, deleted, removed to allow the deeper power of the God-self, in which we all are alive, to flow through us into the world around us.

Then, there is only one way to heal those memories, or erase them, or delete them in order to remove their power to attract negativity into our lives and block us from our real power, which is the Divine presence that is waiting to beautifully and powerfully bless us below it.  That is through forgiveness.  The idea of forgiving ourselves for what has happened to us in the past, stuff for which we are not to blame, but now are responsible for, is not new.  This idea is all over the Course in Miracles material and is central to Christian spirituality.  Remember the last words from the cross were, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."  

Dr. Len's Ho'oponopono prayer is simple.  It asks us to ask the Divine for forgiveness for anything and everything that shows up in our lives that needs healing, even a toothache or that you have to drive 7 more miles and your car is registering empty.  Anything!  And, this is even better.  You don't have to know why these things are showing up in your life.  You don't have to psychoanalyze the root cause.  You just have to know that it needs to be healed or remedied. So, here's the prayer:   

"I'm sorry........Please forgive me ........ Thank You .......I love you."  
This prayer is simple, beautiful, scripturally and theologically sound, and awesome in its effectiveness. 

You can explore more about this in Joe Vitale's book, Zero Limits, and there are a plethora of articles about Dr. Len Hew and the origins of the Ho'oponopono.

Here's another just to clarify further.  Remember you are loved and the Divine wants to bless you.  


  1. Thank you so much for this reminder! Stumbled over it just at the right moment!

  2. Beautifully written.
    Thank you.
    Be Well