Saturday, November 28, 2015

Ho'oponopono Blessings, from Alaska to You

I've just enjoyed a 1987 video of Morrnah Simeona and Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len conversing about Ho'oponopono, through What a wonderful gift for a Thanksgiving weekend! is making this vintage 29-minute video rentable for $1.00, until Sunday evening 11/29/15.

In it, Morrnah describes her familiarity with traditional Ho'oponopono, which translates from Hawaiian as "making things right."  Morrnah shares that Self-Identity Through Ho'oponopono is her own process, updated for modern times. She remarks that she knew this in previous lifetimes as well. Morrnah believed we all have MANY lifetimes, and that their memory traces come with us wherever we go. In fact, this residue is the root cause of all problems everywhere. 

The entire conversation is beautiful to me, as it encompasses the parts of the Self, our relationship with Divinity, healing, and health issues like diabetes, addiction, and schizophrenia. It was filmed in Alaska, and the moderator asks some very useful questions.

Both Morrnah and Dr. Hew Len emphasize that Self-Identity Through Ho'oponopono is a way to work directly with Divinity ourselves -- rather than appealing to others who, after all, have not created us. 

Making sure all three parts of the self are well-connected is the first step, and Ho'oponopono seminars explain how to do this. This process aligns us with our Creator in ways no other human can accomplish -- which may be startling for some, and liberating for others. We can each appeal to the Divinity within for cleansing and healing, even when we don't consciously understand the myriad issues showing up in our lives.

For sure though, our Creator DOES know about them and their root causes.

Dr. Hew Len describes some of his experiences with criminally psychotic patients at Hawaii State Hospital. Though employed as a clinical psychologist for 4-5 years, he did no talk therapy with these patients. Instead, he used Ho'oponopono processes to clean with his own reactions to their behaviors and histories. When other clinicians called them "crazy," he also cleaned with his own judgments about this rather than speaking directly with the people involved.

He would ask the Divinity what he needed to do within himself in connection with each of these patients (and staff) so that Divinity could do His own work with them. This self-cleansing clears the way for Divinity to transmute all problems and symptoms -- which only Divinity can do, in His own time and rhythm.

This may be one of the most difficult aspects of Ho'oponopono for us to grasp. Both Morrnah and Dr. Hew Len mention that people come into our lives in the present, because of old memories or data from the past. This is equally true of our parents, spouses, children, siblings, patients, and anyone else in our lives.  When they arrive, it's an opportunity to let go of associated "stuff" within ourselves that might show up in any form including anger, hurt, judgment, physical symptoms, addictions, etc. We can ask Divinity to correct the errors we've unwittingly committed over time (all our shared previous lives!) that show up as these issues now.  As we practice Ho'oponopono cleaning with each of these situations, the associated pain and suffering (manifesting as "problems") gradually lessens.

Who knows how many layers we're dealing with though, or what level we're at in the process? Only our Divine Creator really knows -- and that's why we may think our Ho'oponopono isn't "working." No matter what appears to be happening on the outside, our best bet is to heal the relationship between the mother and child parts of ourselves on the inside. "That's the most important relationship in creation," says Dr. Hew Len.

As a doctor, one part I contemplate deeply is why certain patients come to me, and how their healing proceeds. In medicine, I'm trained that it's up to me to figure out what each person needs, and to apply my skills in helping them achieve that. This might include various talk therapies and/or medicines -- homeopathic, but still these are medicines. In Ho'oponopono, it's my task to get myself out of the way as much as possible so that the Creator can work with them. And that's why I clean before going into the office every morning, and as I leave each evening.  Hopefully, any care I provide is then more likely to come through Divine inspiration than through my own errors. :-)

I work towards similar repentance, forgiveness, and transmutation in my personal relationships too. 

If you'd like to see a brief part of the video, here's a link -- and no, it's not an "affiliate" one. :-)  

Morrnah Simeona and Ihaleakala Hew Len, Ph.D  in Alaska from on Vimeo.

Peace begins with me,

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Ho'oponopono: to Clean or Not to Clean? Or: Who Gets the Non-Stop Flight :-)

A fool and her luggage are soon parted. -- Pam Pappas MD

Ho'oponopono is a process which can be used in ALL of life, not just sometimes.  It can cleanse memories or data from us, which would otherwise show up as problems. The trick is to remember to DO IT. Even the most caring and genuine among us can sometimes forget.

Ordinarily, Ho'oponopono preparations before an airplane trip would include gently talking with your Inner Child (or Unihipili) about where you're going -- and making sure s/he is willing to come too. You'd cover all the legs of the journey, offering protection and care. You'd do your "HA" breathing, to make sure all parts of you are connected and energized before setting out; you might use a specific cleaning tool as inspired, multiple times before leaving. Think of how you'd prepare a small child for such a trip, and you've got it.

Usually I clean with each of the steps beforehand, from door to door -- and talk with the plane when I board. Sounds weird, I know; but I do. Planes are often grateful somebody notices what all they do. Sometimes for all of this, an abbreviated process is fine.

And here's what happens when you don't do ANY process, even connecting with your Inner Child. :-(

I'd been at a coaching workshop in Asheville, and was very tired. The event ended on Friday evening, and I had a long flight home to Phoenix -- non-stop (so I thought) from Charlotte. 

Things began innocuously enough, and we even arrived in Charlotte early.  But then, we had to sit on the runway for about 20 minutes because traffic was backed up. First sign of "uh-oh." Then we ended up parking at a gate at the very end of the "E" terminal -- making it a LONG sprint to my next flight.

Coming inside, I checked the departure schedule for my next gate. There was only one flight to Phoenix listed -- showing a different flight number from the one on my ticket. Yet it was to leave within minutes of that flight.  Feeling uneasy, I wondered whether the recent US Airways merger with American Airlines had caused some change they hadn't told customers about? With no other option, I scurried over to Terminal B.  

Arriving at Gate B12, I asked the agent for help. "You're the only flight to Phoenix this evening, but your flight number is different from my ticket. Can you please tell me if something has changed?" She looked puzzled, called her manager, and then told me the flight on my ticket was at Gate D6. Indeed it wasn't listed on the departure screen, but she assured me it existed and was boarding now.

Huh? A "secret" flight? And yikes! This meant streaking back across the airport -- where crowds created a nightmarish obstacle course. As I zipped and maneuvered through folks with rollerbags, I'm sure I was part of somebody else's nightmare too.

Breathlessly jogging to Gate D6, I found the boarding well underway. The flight number was correct, but the destination was Dallas-Ft. Worth! No mention of Phoenix at all. Handing my ticket to the gate agent, I asked her about this. With an exasperated tone of voice, she told me, "It goes straight through to Phoenix, ma'am."  The crowd shuffled along obediently, me with it.

Finding my seat, I promptly fell asleep. Still no cleaning, and no talking with the plane. Woke up realizing I was hungry, and asked if they were selling those chicken wrap sandwiches they advertised? "Oh no -- all we have is snacks, ma'am." None of them looked appealing.

(Um, another step in preparing for a trip is to bring your Inner Child a bag with all needed supplies for the day. Check.)

Arriving in Dallas, we taxied to the gate. The steward FINALLY mentioned that any passengers going on to Phoenix should get off the plane and re-board. So I did -- and was still hungry. It was 10pm in DFW's airport. What quarry might there be? Some corn chips in a vending machine. Yes, I confess to eating them. May my Unihipili forgive me.

Back on the plane an hour later, there were babies crying as if their little hearts would break. I finally said "Ice Blue" -- first sign of cleaning all night. Fell asleep again, exhausted.  

Once in Phoenix, everyone migrated to the baggage carousel -- and waited, and waited, and waited. Finally it started up, letting out 3 bags . . . then stopped for about 20 minutes. Then started again . . . producing nothing. People paced, rumbling in low voices to each other. It was 12:45am, and even college co-eds looked bleary-eyed. After another 10-15 minutes, a baggage handler guy popped up from the chute, and started hauling bags up onto the carousel by hand. I could just imagine the work he had ahead of him, doing the whole flight's luggage that way.  I said to myself, "Ice blue."

From somewhere in the ceiling rang a voice: "Ladies and gentlemen, there's been a -- a baggage jam -- for Flight 894. We ask your patience while we get your luggage to the carousel." Then they announced a change to another carousel . . . which released a few more bags.  While this was happening, bags started appearing (unannounced) on the original carousel. Everybody shuffled back and forth to collect their belongings. 

I waited until the last bag came . . . and mine was not there.  By now it was around 1:20am -- and those of us remaining had to search out the baggage office. Long line there, and only 1 agent at first. Then 2 more materialized.

My turn came, and I told the nice lady that my bag had a purple ribbon tied on the handle.  "Purple?" she repeated. "Purple," I said.

She disappeared into the bowels of baggage claim -- and came out with my bag!  "Where was it?" I asked. "Back in our office," she replied. "No -- I mean it wasn't on the carousel," I said. "Well, it got here before you did." "Before me?" "Yes -- they put it on the other flight from Charlotte and it arrived 2 hours ago."

This means my luggage got the non-stop trip to Phoenix, that I thought I had purchased when buying my ticket. The flight number it rode in on, left from the first gate in Charlotte that I'd tried (and failed) to fly out from.

So this, my friends, is what happens when you forget to do your cleaning. I'd started to feel irritable with the airline -- but suddenly, when my bag didn't show up, I realized the truth. I thought of Morrnah's leaving so many wonderful prayers and processes for us. I remembered Ihaleakala, Kamaile, Mabel, and everyone else who has ever taught me how to clean. What a night of, um -- accentuated learning! 

My Inner Child and I went home, holding hands with our suitcase. I'd say it did a better job cleaning than me. :-)  And I'll do my job next time, for sure.
Peace begins with me,

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Ho'oponopono: Changing situations, or changing ourselves?

Ho'oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian method of problem solving and stress release, which Kahuna Lapa'au Morrnah Simeona updated for modern use. Practiced consistently, it can change everything about our lives. Yet instead of focusing on outer situations, the focus is entirely on working with ourselves.

On top of that, there's complete acceptance of whatever shows up -- with no need for self-flagellation about past "mistakes." We simply recognize that the problems present opportunities for release, nothing more. Practicing the Ho'oponopono process is embracing Divinity's constant presence and helpfulness in our lives. Accepting that we are not "in charge" (Divinity is!) opens the very doorway to all possibility inside and outside of us. It's both miraculous and enigmatic at the same time. 

I've attended multiple more Ho'oponopono trainings over the past year, and have been pondering them deeply. One question many ask: "Why shouldn't we teach this to others who don't know about it?" 

It's a sensible enough question -- after all, here's a wonderful way to deal with the seeming problems in our day-to-day lives. Why wouldn't we want to tell everybody in our lives about it?  I love the response from Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len below:

"Why would you want to teach it if you're the problem? If you teach something to somebody who's not ready for it, it could come back and slam you in a way that you would not want . . . I don't mean to be threatening, but it's incredible what will come back and slam you. Whatever you put out will come out and get you."

You can hear the entire interchange here.

Many of us want to be the bearers of "good news" for our friends, family, and others. We forget to practice the Ho'oponopono cleaning ourselves, before speaking -- and that's when we get into trouble. Ho'oponopono holds that it's the data IN US that causes whatever issues we might think we see in others. (And that makes us think, "gosh, they need to clean.") :-)  Our views of other people and situations can be skewed by the unconscious memories we carry. If we just take care of that as best we can inside, that's plenty. 

Often it's our ego wanting validation -- not inspiration from Divinity -- that pushes us to say or do things. We can tell when this is the case, because we get irritated if others make fun of, or don't seem to listen to, what we're saying.  We get hurt feelings if others don't seem to appreciate our efforts. 

If instead we clean first before saying or doing anything, we're less likely to get into this kind of trouble. 

Dr. Hew Len refused to teach Ho'oponopono to anyone, unless they asked for this first. This has always been his stance, even when he was working at Hawaii State Hospital in the 1980's. No matter how much of a saving grace Ho'oponopono might be for anyone, Morrnah showed him that teaching without being asked was out of alignment with Divinity -- and could throw everyone off. 

I think of this in my own life also, both individually and professionally. In my office, it's extremely important that my patients learn to align with the Creator inside themselves, rather than anything I might say to them. I would much rather them receive help from their Creator, than me! The same is true with every other person I meet as well. I don't have to say anything at all about Ho'oponopono -- I just need to do my own cleaning.

This is what students agree to in writing, before attending any Ho'oponopono training with IZI, LLC. We sign a release stating that we will not teach or share their copyrighted materials without written permission. In contrast, some people purport to teach others this process online. Some even create and sell their own "Ho'oponopono products." I don't know whether they've asked for this written permission from IZI, LLC or not. I also don't know whether they've done the necessary preparation and spiritual cleaning to use the materials the way they do. Only Divinity knows. 

I've considered what I myself am doing by writing about Ho'oponopono. In this blog, I share only about my own experiences, and am not teaching anything at all.  I am no authority.  I am a sincere person and physician, engaged in my own ongoing healing process. My writing is part of the way I heal, and in doing this I'm taking care of my own self. If anyone finds usefulness in their own lives, it can be positive. Still, I refer people to IZI, LLC for further information. 

Peace begins with me,

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Ho'oponopono Cleaning with Our Inner Children -- and with the Children of Ebola

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is leaving thousands of children orphaned, without help.
Today I was fortunate to be part of an MsKr Ho'oponopono Conversation about  Care of the Self -- with many participants, including Kamaile Rafaelovich and Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len

Today's specific topic was
: "How does the Care of the Self (unihipili) through SITH® affect the physical body?"

For those who haven't previously taken
Self I-Dentity through Ho’oponopono® classes, the unihipili is that part of the Self which is subconscious.  It's like a small child needing love, concern, and gentle guidance from a caring parent. It's also the part of our Identity which runs all physical processes in our bodies, and which holds all the memories our soul has collected through eternity.  These memories (or data) can show up as "problems" in our lives -- repeating over and over like an endless loop.  Until we choose to let them go through Ho'oponopono cleaning, they cause us to suffer. Examples of such problems include physical or emotional symptoms, interpersonal conflicts, car accidents, financial difficulties, and even things which we might feel are completely unrelated to us -- like wars, famines, crimes, and epidemics. 

The bottom line is that once we notice a problem -- no matter what it is -- there IS a connection with us.  We then have a choice: take 100% responsibility to start the Ho'oponopono cleaning, or ignore it.  Ignoring it adds further suffering to our Inner Child (unihipili), which has to continue holding the burden for even longer. After all, the "problem" is only showing up because it's a memory within us that needs to be released.  Choosing the "ignore" option is like abandoning our own Inner Child all over again -- and this happens billions upon billions of times.

Alternatively, we can choose the Ho'oponopono cleaning path.  One way is to simply say inwardly, "Thank you."  Or "I love you."  There are countless other ways too.  All are simple, and Divinity takes over from there to transmute whatever is correct to transmute.  Divine mana, or energy, is left in the memory's place -- freeing our unihipili a little more each time.  Ahhhhhh.

In a sense, every problem we notice is a great opportunity.  We can release "gunk" that's clogging us up!  As Dr. Hew Len has often told me when I'm complaining about my problems, "Good for you!  You get to clean and let that one go!"  Then he might also say "thank you," because when memories come off of others, they come off of him too. Sometimes I can laugh when he says this; other times I'm grumpier. :-)  

The physical body can experience all kinds of things: aches and pains, cancer, indigestion, obesity, fevers, depression -- you name it.  People on today's call mentioned all sorts of situations they might be experiencing; many expressed gratitude for the Ho'oponopono process to apply to these things.  There may or may not be noticeable improvement; but in some cases there certainly is. 

These calls themselves are opportunities to clean with what anyone else raises; they are definitely not passive experiences. 

So near the end of the session, the call's hosts unexpectedly called on me.  Listening and cleaning with the subject of abandoned, suffering Inner Children, I had also been cleaning with the people of West Africa suffering with Ebola -- especially the children left behind when their parents or whole families died.  If they're lucky, neighbors or extended family might feed and care for these children; in many cases, they're shunned instead.  No one wants to touch these  [possibly infected] ones, who are feared and sent away.  My heart broke completely open for all these suffering kids -- who are so like the rest of our inner children that we have left behind for eons.  

Not able to contain my tears, I apologized for weeping as I spoke about these issues.  "Don't apologize," said Dr. Hew Len. There was silence on the line for a time -- yet I could feel him, Kamaile, and all the other participants cleaning with these children and me.  A new cleaning tool arose, and was shared.

Somewhere inside, a tender peace eventually came.  It still felt raw, yet authentic. I'm not in Liberia or Sierra Leone myself, and have felt that my financial contributions aren't doing enough to help.  "Those" people are actually part of me.  We are kin, and this transcends any geographic border.

In this experience I realized that cleaning with Ho'oponopono may be a worthy contribution in the Ebola crisis -- though not as visible as others.  If you feel likewise, you can help by connecting with your own inner child -- who is waiting for you. Take good care of him or her. When you do, s/he will work with you, letting go of painful memories showing up as problems even when you're asleep. We never know what can happen when we practice this way, what Divinity can do, and what Divine inspiration might lead us to do next ourselves.  Thank you to Morrnah for developing Self-I-Dentity Through Ho'oponopono, and to all who were with me today. 

Peace begins with me,

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Growing Ho'oponopono in My Life: With Love for the Gardener

This beautiful double hibiscus graces my patio -- cared for lovingly, moment by moment.
Last weekend I enjoyed a Self-Identity through Ho'oponopono seminar in Woodland Hills, CA -- led by the lovely Momilani Ramstrum and Christine Leimakamae Chu.  No matter how many of these trainings I attend, something more always shows up.

There's an outline of essential information, yet each instructor has his or her own way of conveying it.  Momilani mentioned that she responds to inspiration in each class as much as possible, since groups differ in personalities, focus, and patience. I appreciate the individualization.

"I want you to experience the Divine for yourself," Momilani said. "I'm not really teaching you anything. I'm doing the cleaning. Most of all I don't want to say anything that gets in your way."

This attitude differs from what some might expect in a teacher. How can a teacher "get in the way"?  There are thousands of possibilities -- including insisting that students revere the teacher's interpretations, rather than encouraging them to find their own way through personal practice. This is such a challenging tightrope to walk: one must provide necessary starting points, while also encouraging people to work with the process individually. Only in that way can the student truly own a new life practice.

Facilitating Self-Identity Through Ho'oponopono is especially tender -- and in this I felt both Momilani and Christine were caring for all of us.  I've often heard Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len say that people need connection with Divinity, rather than any human's ministrations.  Some might be offended by this, yet it makes complete sense to me. We humans can so easily project and misinterpret; unless we know when to shut up, we can inadvertently make more messes.

Through these classes, we can start knowing and appreciating all parts of ourselves, as well as the relationships between these and others too. When attended to gently, we can begin a lifelong practice of "making things right" -- releasing memories showing up as problems, in a moment-to-moment way.

In some books and web sites, Ho'oponopono is described as a "clearing technique" through which a person can manifest desired outcomes in the world. This is one point of view -- possibly a very limiting one.  Divinity has much larger ideas than we humans can ever dream of.  Vision boards may have their place, but Divinity's viewpoint far surpasses any collage I might create!  

So the attitude we hold in practicing Ho'oponopono is very important too, since trying to "manifest" is very different from practicing simple purity of heart.  The latter feels peaceful, warm, and gentle. I am open to inspiration. The former feels more forced, as if trying to make Divinity into my genie.

Another example: nurturing a garden. Can you force a garden to grow?  No. One must partner with the soil, environment, and plants.  One must observe what's needed, and plant in correct light and surroundings.  Watering, weeding, pruning, feeding, and other sustaining care must be provided too. Only then will double hibiscuses bloom fully, and will grapefruit trees grow delicious fruits.  Gardening is an excellent teacher for life, I think.  Would you ever say, "I already watered that plant once -- why aren't there tomatoes yet?"  Yet I've often heard people say, "I cleaned with that problem -- why isn't it gone?!" We humans are real pieces of work, sometimes. :-)  

This time, I came away with even more love for the relatedness between myself, other people, material objects, and the natural world.  I always had this as a little girl, and used to talk to the flowers. I silenced it when adults and other kids thought it was stupid, though.  Yet with Ho'oponopono, I can say "ice blue" to the plants -- talking with them again. It's very nice to be home within myself, these days.

Thank you Divinity, Momilani, Christine, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, and Morrnah for lovingly sharing Ho'oponopono with the world -- and with me. You are good gardeners, and I am grateful.

Peace begins with me,

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Ho'oponopono: What Are We Cleaning? Lessons from Morrnah and the River Iao

The Iao River on Maui, whose Iao Valley was the scene of the battle of Kepaniwai ("damming of the waters") in 1790. So many warriors died that the river was jammed with their bodies.  Today the river runs clean and free -- and is still a very sacred place.

Someone asked me the other day what Ho'oponopono is about, and what we are "cleaning" when practicing this process. 

Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona, the Kahuna Lapa'au who was inspired in meditation to simplify Ho'oponopono for modern times, provided one of the best answers to this I've ever read.  Ho'oponopono literally means "to correct an error," or "to make right."  But what kind of errors are we talking about, and what is there to make right?

Morrnah explained:

"We are the sum total of our experiences, which is to say that we are burdened by our pasts. When we experience stress or fear in our lives, if we would look carefully, we would find that the cause is actually a memory. It is the emotions which are tied to these memories which affect us now. The subconscious associates an action or person in the present with something that happened in the past. When this occurs, emotions are activated and stress is produced.

The main purpose of this process is to discover the Divinity within oneself. The Ho'oponopono is a profound gift which allows one to develop a working relationship with the Divinity within and learn to ask that in each moment, our errors in thought, word, deed or action be cleansed. The process is essentially about freedom, complete freedom from the past." 

She also stated:

"We can appeal to Divinity who knows our personal blueprint, for healing of all thoughts and memories that are holding us back at this time.  It is a matter of going beyond traditional means of accessing knowledge about ourselves."

The more times I re-read this, the more it intrigues me.  Ancient Hawaiians certainly pre-dated Freud, and understood that unconscious/subconscious memories influence current behavior.  These memories have nothing to do with people in our present, so they're misplaced -- and are "errors."  They lead to further errors downstream in thought, word, and deed.

Modern psychotherapeutic treatments analyze these memories, hoping that this will loosen their grip on the person's present moments.  Sometimes this is helpful in changing behavior; sometimes not.  The person still has to apply the insights and practice doing things differently.

Ho'oponopono deals with memories too -- but does not try to analyze,  interpret, manage, or cope with them.  And the memories concerned apply to the person's soul throughout time, not in the current lifetime alone. 

Rather than analyzing, Ho'oponopono provides a process that connects us with Divinity within, moment to moment.  We can ask Divinity -- the only One who can cleanse or erase memories or thought forms -- to address whatever is arising in our experiences: anxiety, sadness, anger, mistakes, delays -- anything.  Fortunately, Divinity also knows our individual blueprints, and can transmute whatever memories are "up" for release at the time . . . without our ever knowing what is going on.  

Simple. Direct.  Elegant.  

Morrnah believed that we are laden with memories -- dating from all the way back to when we were "seaweed."  It's just a part of being on the earth plane. These memories are held within the Inner Child (or Unihipili) part of us, and  can manifest in anything from depression, addiction, and heart disease to events beyond our bodies like car accidents and natural disasters. The land and everything on it can contain memories too. 

Morrnah also believed that the Ho'oponopono process allows each of us to individually petition Divinity for help letting go of these memories or errors -- allowing things to be made right, or "pono."  As these memories are released, so is our stress and other problems.  An added bonus: the memories come off of not only us, but everyone and everything connected to them also. 

She recommended that health care practitioners be especially mindful to do Ho'oponopono before treating each client or patient.  Otherwise, we can be like ground zero for all manner of pain and suffering.  

"It is important to clear Karmic patterns with your clients before you start working with them, so that you don't activate old stuff between you. Perhaps you shouldn't be working with that person at all. Only the Divinity knows. If you work with a person and it isn't your business, you can take on the person's entire problem and everything associated with it. This can cause burnout. The Ho'oponopono gives the tools to prevent that from happening."

I've broached this with some of my colleagues, and some are curious about this interesting way to address physician burnout.  Others simply give me the fish eye. :-)  Of course, none of this is evidence-based in terms of modern science, so how can we know it has any effect?  We really can't; we have to personally choose what we'll do.  

Some long-time practitioners like Dr. Hew Len and Kamaile Rafaelovich are able to see the process occurring.  Yet even they don't claim to know what all of it means; only Divinity sees the whole picture. Dr. Hew Len often says, "my only job is to clean." 

While walking in Maui's Iao Valley recently, I thought about this cleaning.  Despite the bloody battle in 1790, the Iao River runs fresh and invigorating today.  The air around it is energizing; the land exudes sacredness.  I felt Divinity cleansing me like this river, washing through every part of my being.

There's no way to know all the experiences my soul has collected over time, or how they may impact people with whom I interact. I'm so grateful to Morrnah for her wisdom, and for the Ho'oponopono cleansing process that allows me a way to work with all this -- even though I don't know what's what.  While on the island, I met a kahuna who told me she saw "Auntie Morrnah" standing behind me.  Tears sprang into my eyes when she shared this. How could she know that I feel this woman I have never met, around me all the time?  Much occurs in this world, that I do not understand.

Thank you dear Morrnah, and for your students Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len and Kamaile Rafaelovich who have become my teachers in the flesh. They have a lovely book called "Blue Ice: The Relationship with the Self," that you can read if inspired. I love it; it's brief, to the point, and provides ever more beauty and grace with each reading. 

Peace begins with me,

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Ho'oponopono Cleaning: When is a Blueberry More Than a Blueberry?

One question people often ask about Ho'oponopono, is "What is a Ho'oponopono cleaning tool?  What does this mean, and are there more than one?"

Ho'oponopono is a spiritual practice and way of life.  It incorporates an attitude of 100% responsibility, humility, and gratitude in every moment.  It's a process of making things right, or "pono."  

The idea is that Divinity created us in perfect alignment and rhythm with Itself, and our true nature is this state of "zero."  At zero we can feel peace and receive divine inspiration, which guides us.  When we then take inspired action, what's right and perfect for us comes into our lives. 

Unfortunately we also hold unconscious memories (or data) inside us -- blocking our awareness of our true selves. These memories can also show up in our lives as problems, discord, fear, illness, war, and other unpleasant experiences.

Ho'oponopono is a method of solving these problems by recognizing what they are: manifestations of memories ready for release.  This involves "cleaning" these memories from ourselves -- and as we do this, they're removed from everyone else too.  It's important to realize that in doing this cleaning though, we're working with what's inside US -- not "on" anyone else.

Although all this may sound overwhelming, it really doesn't have to be!

According to Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, "Problems can be solved without knowing what the heck is going on! Realizing and appreciating this is sheer relief and joy for me." 

This Ho'oponopono problem-solving process utilizes "cleaning tools."

Many people are familiar with the phrases: "I'm sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you, and I love you." These are certainly cleaning tools, and using them initiates the process of letting go so that Divinity can transmute problematic memories without our having to analyze them.  All we need to do is recognize the fact that we have them, and that they're reminders to remain humble and work with Divinity for their release.  

Cleaning tools aren't limited to words, though -- and this is wonderful for bypassing the intellect!  Otherwise, our Inner Child (an innate part of us, and essential in the cleaning process) might be confused. In the photo I've shown blueberries, one example of these tools.  Blueberries can be eaten physically, or in the imagination.  They're said to be aligned with angelic kingdoms.

Other cleaning tools include hot chocolate, blue solar water, candy canes, light switch -- and many, many more. These tools are unique, and may appeal to different people in different situations.  But they all accomplish the same overall result: initiating the cleaning process rather than getting embroiled in the seeming "problem."  Our choosing to use them in the first place is a life-affirming choice -- as I shared on this blog last week.

I used to think we had to memorize the various cleaning tools in order to know "how" to use them correctly . . . as if the cleaning depended on intellectually getting it "right."  Thank heavens it does not, or we'd all be even more burdened than we are already!  

The delightful thing about blueberries (besides the delicious way they taste) is that simply choosing to use them signals Divinity that we're willing to let go.  From here, Divinity transmutes as S/He sees fit -- and we can get back to Zero, our essential self.  Drinking a cup of hot chocolate or blue solar water will do that too, just a little differently.  

Kids love games, and these seemingly nonsensical "tools" are fun for our Inner Child.  Through offering and using these visual tools, we can engage and teach our Inner Child to do the Ho'oponopono process, just as we grownups are learning to do.  As the adult (or mothering one), we can play with our Inner Child in a loving way, while also modeling skillful ways of living.

When confronted with a problem, it's also possible to ask Divinity: "How do I clean with this?"  An inner answer may come, perhaps in the form of an image (a cleaning tool).  This may seem goofy to those of us who think of ourselves as scientific.  But according to Dr. Hew Len, "the goofier it is, the more likely it is to be from Divinity.  Divinity has a great sense of humor."  

This is absolutely perfect for me -- it lets me bypass all the mental junk I can get so stuck in otherwise!  Worrying, judging, and generally obsessing are only making things worse.  Give me a nice handful of blueberries any day! 

Even the poet Wendell Berry said,

“Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.”

In case you're wondering, strawberries (red berries) happen to also be Ho'oponopono cleaning tools.

You can learn much more about Ho'oponopono and all kinds of cleaning tools by attending a training seminar -- experienced teachers offer these all over the world.  I'm looking forward to the upcoming one in Woodland Hills, CA in June!  I've lost count of how many I've attended, but it always leads to more revelations.  Hopefully I come home a little lighter in spirit too.  :-)

Peace begins with me,