Ever since I discovered the ho'oponopono practice of forgiveness and healing about 3 years ago, I have used it, pursued it, and experienced healings big and small.
I have taught it to a few friends. To my delight, they have embraced it and discovered for themselves the instant peace that comes with cleaning (as using ho'oponopono is called; you are cleaning your subconscious of unhelpful beliefs).
My friend Alice showed me this picture she took from her hotel window in London:
Every morning, I started my day by looking out that window.
ILY, ILY, ILY.
It was a beautiful way to start the morning. Every day, I felt the embrace of the city and I'd like to think that the city felt my ILYs. We certainly had nothing but pleasant interactions with people (and in fact, a few times, we had people offer unsolicited help!).
I responded to her with this:
The ho'oponopono "trick" of repeating to yourself "I love you" when in a negative situation really works. Just recently I was feeling a bit tired and some people on the bus were being really loud, and after a few minutes of that, I started my ILY mantra and they quieted down. Instantly. That happens again and again and now I want to know why. What's the mechanism? This isn't affirmations, you know. This is thinking something and influencing other people directly. What is this magic?
To answer my own question, I look to Gary Renard's book "The Disappearance of the Universe". In it, Gary Renard says we don't really have much in the way of free will—not when it comes to the big story. But like on some DVDs, we do get to pick an alternative ending if we want. I sometimes think we can't change the story, but we can change the director. Is the movie that is your life directed by Mel Brooks, Michael Bay or Steven Spielberg? Are you having fun pushing the envelope of what's proper? Do you experience a lot of drama? Are you a regular person experiencing an irregular event?
All I know is that my life is a drama that looks like is going to have a happy ending. But I do have to have discussions with the producer about whether or not the way the scenes are playing out are in tune with the end result I want.
Ho'oponopono helps you go back and reshoot a scene as it were. Or just toss out today's production and start over. (Unlike real movie-making, this never puts you over budget.) It makes the director choose a different, a better way to tell the story.
I have just discovered that Joe Vitale has written a follow-up to "Zero Limits": "At Zero". He delves into the origins of modern ho'oponopono and gives this prayer authored by Morrnah Simeona, the creator of this modern method of ho'oponopono:
Spirit, Superconscious, please locate the origin of my feelings, thoughts of [fill in the blank with your belief, feeling, or thoughts].
Take each and every level, layer, area, and aspect of my being to this origin.
Analyze it and resolve it perfectly with God's truth.
Come through all generations of time and eternity.
Healing every incident and its appendages based on the origin.
Please do it according to God's will until I am at the present,
Filled with light and truth.
God's peace and love, forgiveness of myself for my incorrect perceptions.
Forgiveness of every person, place, circumstances and events which contributed to this, these feelings and thoughts.
The recommendation is to do this prayer four times in a row. That will cause the release or cleaning. Ideally, you should memorize this so you always have it handy.
Or you just do "I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you." By the way, I've been seeing those four phrases in various orders. "I love you" sometimes comes at the end, after "Thank you". Sometimes it comes at the end before "Thank you". The order of the four phrases doesn't matter.
Joe Vitale's new book provides more techniques for using ho'oponopono and addresses some issues that pop up. He mentions that the shit hit the fan after his book "Zero Limits" came out. He got an awful lot of criticism for that book. His explanation was that "Zero Limits" stirred up in other people the stuff they need to clean. He could clean his part in it.
I was wondering what he did wrong to have things go so badly, when I suddenly remembered that I and a co-worker are facing a downsizing that will force one of us away from our current job. We are both working on finding other positions in the company and we are both calm and positive about it. I surprised myself with that reaction, and I surprised the HR representative, too. It's the ho'oponopono. It is still an unhappy situation, but not disturbing. But should bad stuff happen as we clean? Aren't we ridding ourselves of problems?
I interpret it as leveling up. You're playing a game and you've finished a level. You start a new, higher level, and the progress bar is back at zero. But you aren't starting over from scratch; you've already accomplished a lot of cleaning. That's why you're moving on to something new to clean.
This sort of housework is never done, but it is so rewarding that it's fun to keep doing it. Because note this: Even though you're facing a difficulty, ho'oponopono can help you keep your inner equilibrium.
Also, nobody did anything wrong. I think this is the most wonderful message in ho'oponopono: You aren't fixing people; they are fine (you are fine). You are fixing beliefs that aren't serving us well, that block us from inspiration, from the Divine. And you do it by addressing your reaction to the beliefs.
You take responsibility. I cannot stress enough that you are cleaning yourself. You are taking responsibility for the bad programming that's in you. You aren't pointing a finger at others and saying "You screwed up. I forgive you." Note that ho'oponopono doesn't have "I forgive you" as any of its phrases. It has "I'm sorry. Please forgive me." You have to take responsibility for youself and clean your own mess. This is what restores you, and once you function better, so does everyone (and everything) around you. So when something bad happens, it's a message to you that there is still something in your junk drawer; you haven't cleaned everything out. Find out what that is. That's how you resolve a bad situation. Find out what inside you is allowing it to happen, own that, forgive that, and watch the situation shift into goodness.
Inspired by the above and by the story of Dr. Hew Len, I am trying to heal my employer. I look at the logo on the side of the building as I arrive for work, and say, "I love you [workplace]. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you." It has occured to me that I am experiencing a downsizing (and some collateral damage that goes with it) because it is in my belief system. I too believe that reorganizations that involve downsizing and letting good employees go is a fact of life. Now I want to change that belief. Why not try to create a culture of success that doesn't involve awkwardly managing human resources?
I also try to bless/clean the co-op I live in. I want to have good neighbors and a safe and beautiful home environment.
As I practice ho'oponopono, problems have been resolving themselves even better than expected. I can't take credit, but I do note that with ho'oponopono, I hear more and more good news from others, instead of bad.
The best part about this practice: You can't mess up. You don't have to know what the problem is: Ho'oponopono it and it will either melt away on its own, or inspiration will guide you. That's part of what the cleaning is for: Getting rid of what prevents you from being inspired.
PS: I wrote a short introduction into what ho'oponopono is in Norwegian on Facebook, in case that's your preferred language.