Ho’oponopono

 HO’OPONOPONO
by Joe Vitale 

“Two years ago, I heard about a therapist in Hawaii who cured  a complete ward of criminally insane patients–without ever seeing any of  them. The psychologist would study an inmate’s chart and then look within  himself to see how he created that person’s illness. As he improved himself,  the patient improved.

“When I first heard this story, I thought it was an  urban legend. How could anyone heal anyone else by healing himself? How could  even the best self-improvement master cure the criminally insane? It  didn’t make any sense. It wasn’t logical, so I dismissed the story.

“However, I heard it again a year later. I heard that the  therapist had used a Hawaiian healing process called ho ‘oponopono. I had  never heard of it, yet I couldn’t let it leave my mind. If the story was  at all true, I had to know more. I had always understood  “total responsibility” to mean that I am responsible for what I think and do.  Beyond that, it’s out of my hands. I think that most people think of  total responsibility that way. We’re responsible for what we do, not  what anyone else does–but that’s wrong.

“The Hawaiian therapist who  healed those mentally ill people would teach me an advanced new perspective  about total responsibility. His name is Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len. We probably  spent an hour talking on our first phone call. I asked him to tell me the  complete story of his work as a therapist.

He explained that he  worked at Hawaii State Hospital for four years. That ward is where they  kept the criminally insane was dangerous.

Psychologists quit on a  monthly basis. The staff called in sick a lot or simply quit. People would  walk through that ward with their backs against the wall, afraid of being  attacked by patients. It was not a pleasant place to live, work, or visit.

“Dr. Len told me that he never saw patients. He agreed to have  an office and to review their files. While he looked at those files,  he would work on himself. As he worked on himself, patients began to heal.

“‘After a few months, patients that had to be shackled were  being allowed to walk freely,’ he told me. ‘Others who had to be  heavily medicated were getting off their medications. And those who had  no chance of ever being released were being freed.’ I was in awe.’Not only  that,’ he went on, ‘but the staff began to enjoy coming to work.

Absenteeism and turnover disappeared. We ended up with more staff  than we needed because patients were being released, and all the staff  was showing up to work. Today, that ward is closed.’

“This is where I  had to ask the million dollar question: ‘What were you doing within yourself  that caused those people to change?’

“‘I was simply healing the part of  me that created them,’ he said. I didn’t understand. Dr. Len explained that  total responsibility for your life means that everything in your life- simply  because it is in your life–is your responsibility. In a literal sense the  entire world is your creation.

“Whew. This is tough to swallow. Being  responsible for what I say or do is one thing. Being responsible for what  everyone in my life says or does is quite another. Yet, the truth is this: if  you take complete responsibility for your life, then everything you see,  hear, taste, touch, or in any way experience is your responsibility because  it is in your life. This means that terrorist activity, the president,  the economy or anything you experience and don’t like–is up for you  to heal. They don’t exist, in a manner of speaking, except as  projections from inside you. The problem isn’t with them, it’s with you, and  to change them, you have to change you.

“I know this is tough to  grasp, let alone accept or actually live. Blame is far easier than total  responsibility, but as I spoke with Dr. Len, I began to realize that healing  for him and in ho ‘oponopono means loving yourself.

“If you want to  improve your life, you have to heal your life. If you want to cure anyone,  even a mentally ill criminal you do it by healing you.

“I asked Dr.  Len how he went about healing himself. What was he doing, exactly, when he  looked at those patients’ files?

“‘I just kept saying, ‘I’m sorry’ and  ‘I love you’ over and over again,” he explained.   “That’s  it?”      “That’s it”.

“Turns out that loving yourself is the greatest way to improve yourself, and as you improve yourself, you improve your world.

“Let me give you a quick example of how this works: one day,  someone sent me an email that upset me. In the past I would have handled it  by working on my emotional hot buttons or by trying to reason with  the person who sent the nasty message.

“This time, I decided to try  Dr. Len’s method. I kept silently saying, ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I love you,’ I  didn’t say it to anyone in particular. I was simply evoking the spirit of  love to heal within me what was creating the outer circumstance.

“Within an hour I got an e-mail from the same person. He  apologized for his previous message. Keep in mind that I didn’t take any  outward action to get that apology. I didn’t even write him back. Yet,  by saying ‘I love you,’ I somehow healed within me what was creating him.

“I later attended a ho ‘oponopono workshop run by Dr. Len. He’s now 70 years old, considered a grandfatherly shaman, and is somewhat reclusive.

_http://hooponopono.org/lectures.html_ (http://hooponopono.org/lectures.html)


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