Exploring Mana, the pure energy of Love that holds this world together. This infuses all our lives, and brings forth healing, creativity, and beauty.
"It [Mana] is a living, breathing essence that the wise can pluck from the air at will and then like a master artist, mold it into something beautiful."
-- Syd Banks, "Second Chance"
Listening, compassion, and Ho'oponopono
Becoming a doctor isn't only about attending medical school, graduating, and passing licensure exams. It's also a process of learning to engage with others in a healing way, even when they're feeling their worst. We may think we have little in common with our patients, yet this is an error.
Histories need to be taken, tests and procedures may need to be done, and through it all patients needs to know we comprehend and care about them. I used to think they wouldn't know unless I told them in words, but over the years this has changed. There are many ways to be present when someone is suffering.
One of the most potent of these is also one of the simplest: listening. I mean listening without inserting our point of view, related experience, or advice. This is very difficult for many people, yet ho'oponopono offers a way to keep our minds still while genuinely hearing another. At least it does so for me.
"I suspect that the most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention. And especially if it's given from the heart. When people are talking, there's no need to do anything but receive them. Just take them in. Listen to what they're saying. Care about it. Most times caring about it is even more important than understanding it. Most of us don't value ourselves or out love enough to know this. It has taken me a long time to believe in the power of simply saying, "I'm so sorry," when someone is in pain. And meaning it.
One of my patients told me that when she tried to tell her story people often interrupted to tell her that they once had something just like that happen to them. Subtly her pain became a story about themselves. Eventually she stopped talking to most people. It was just too lonely. We connect through listening. When we interrupt what someone is saying to let them know that we understand, we move the focus of attention to ourselves. When we listen, they know we care. Many people with cancer talk about the relief of having someone just listen.
I have even learned to respond to someone crying by just listening. In the old days I used to reach for the tissues, until I realized that passing a person a tissue many be just another way to shut them down, to take them out of their experience of sadness and grief. Now I just listen. When they have cried all they need to cry, they find me there with them.
This simple thing has not been that easy to learn. It certainly went against everything I had been taught since I was very young. I thought people listened only because they were too timid to speak or did not know the answer. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well intentioned words."
Before people come to my office, I spend a few moments with my own responses to their names, cleaning with whatever in me is related to their suffering. I am asking Divinity to help me be present with this, so that it may be released from me and from them too. I know I don't know the whole story, but this preparation seems to help me listen more compassionately to whatever patients need to say.
There is no particular outcome I am seeking, only to be present. While they are speaking, I can continue to work silently with myself, so that I can simply receive them. All the pain and troubles they share are opportunities for me to let go, also.
I never thought of patients' problems as opportunities before, but they are. Although we are in separate bodies, my patients and I draw from the same ancestral memory bank. That these people have come to me for assistance means that something we share is up for healing in us both. Ho'oponopono has taught me this. It also gives me a simple way of remaining quiet, present, and listening as people share their suffering -- which is also mine.
I hope this makes me a more compassionate doctor when people come to see me. Hopefully it also frees me to do or say what will benefit them most, even when that is to simply listen.
This is a very brief video conversation with Morrnah Simeona and Dr. Ihaleakala Lew Len. Morrnah passed into spirit in Germany, in 1992. The sincerity in both of them comes through for me. Morrnah became known for "updating" the ancient Ho'oponopono process of correcting errors and making things right, for modern times. She termed her method "Self-I-dentity Through Ho'oponopono." They speak of allowing Divinity to help each of us heal ourselves and our relationships through repentance, forgiveness, and transmutation -- the last of which, only Divinity can do. They point out that Divinity created us, not any other person. The traditional Ho'oponopono process involved an entire group of people, moderated by an elder who might make suggestions to dissipate family conflict. Here, Morrnah explains that her amendments rely on each person's bonding directly with Divinity, rather than relying on any other human to solve his or her problems. Further, she
This past weekend marked a first for me, but more importantly for Ho'oponopono. Not only was this my first time to help staff a training seminar, but it was also the first time that " Health Ho'oponopono: Basic I and Your Health " has ever been offered. Over 2 days Kikikipa Kretzer, PhD presented basic principles and processes of Self-Identity Through Ho'oponopono as developed by Kahuna Lapa'au Morrnah Simeona -- and also focused on using these processes with health concerns. Dr. Kretzer shared cleaning tools and ways of responding to health issues, when these are the opportunities that arise. Memories can manifest or express in our lives in all kinds of ways, including health conditions like hypertension, heart disease, depression, cancer, etc. Ho'oponopono sees these as opportunities to "clean" as much as any other. We had a small, intimate group of people who traveled to Colorado Springs from all over. One woman drove 18 hours straight to get
Many people think that in order to do Ho'oponopono properly, we must direct our cleaning efforts towards particular problems that arise in our lives. Examples might be traffic jams, financial crises, health issues, or arguments with family members. I used to think this too. Thus, I wanted to know specifically how to "clean" with whatever problem was happening, when it was happening. What particular process or tool should be used for each? More importantly, I wanted to know exactly "what" I was cleaning with at any particular time -- in order to pick the right tool, of course. And if I was doing it well enough, the problem should clear up, right? :-) I must have thought my intellectual mind was in charge of things, even though I had many times read Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len's article, "Who's in Charge?" . From that article: "Memories replaying dictate what the Subconscious Mind experiences. The Subconscious Mind