Ho’oponopono

I lived on the Hawaiian island of Kauai for some years. There I learned some of the Hawaiian customs. One of them is called “Ho’oponopono” — a practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. It was used by shamans or “Kahunas” to heal sick people. In order for healing to take place, all transgressions in the family had to be discussed and forgiven. It was believed that ones errors were the cause of illness. This is true in many Polynesian cultures.

They believed that the “sins of the fathers” fall upon the children. If the child is sick, the parents are suspected of quarreling or other misdeeds. Rituals were performed of mutual family confession and forgiveness to release the memories of wrong doing and free the sick from bad karma.

Whether you subscribe to these ideas or not, owning up to one’s errors, apologizing for them and receiving forgiveness can be very healing go to. It releases the great burden of carrying around unconfessed feelings of guilt. And forgiving someone for perceived “wrong doing” can heal the forgiver, as well. Feelings of anger and victimhood create a cascade of chemicals in the body that cause problems with stress and health.

When we forgive, we stop creating all of those nasty chemicals that contribute to dis-ease.

So, in that spirit, I offer the lovely video I found called “Hooponopono.” The phases repeated for Ho’oponopono are:

I’m sorry.
Please forgive me.
I love you.
Thank you.

So simple and profound.

And another video that gives instructions on practicing Ho’oponopono.

Text Copyright © 2009 by Victoria Young