Saturday, November 29, 2008

What Manta Rays and Humpback Whales Can Teach Us -- If We Listen

Earlier this year, we heard from Dr. Lucinda Sykes of Meditation for Health about a scuba diver cutting a manta ray loose from fishing lines that had somehow ensnared it.

This amazing story had reminded me of Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len's comments about a "Gordian knot" of memories and data that entangles us -- and how Ho'oponopono cleaning can help us free ourselves.

Today another colleague, Dr. Cheryl Feng from the California Center for Homeopathic Education, sent me a similar story -- this one about divers rescuing a humpback whale off the Farrallon Islands (near San Francisco) .

The 45-to 50-foot whale was on her usual migratory route between the Northern California coast and Baja California when she got entangled in some nylon ropes that link crab pots.

A crab fisherman spotted her, and called for help. Soon an entire team of divers from the Marine Mammal Center arrived to survey the situation . . . realizing that their only chance of freeing her was to dive into the water themselves.

Yes, dive into the water with a 50-ton whale -- who could kill a man with one flip of her tail.

But about 20 crab-pot ropes (240 feet long with weights every 60 feet) were wrapped around the creature. Rope circled at least 4 times around her tail, her back, and her left front flipper . . . and there was a line in her mouth.

She couldn't eat, and would almost certainly die without help. So into the water slipped 4 very brave divers, who spent an hour cutting the ropes with a special curved knife. The whale rested passively the entire time.

They noticed she was giving off a strange kind of vibration in the water, that they could feel as they worked. Humpbacks are known for complex vocalizations that sound like singing. Maybe she was offering the divers an "ultrasound" treatment of sorts, or perhaps the whale equivalent of purring? Who knows.

People on whale-watching cruises also know humpback whales for their acrobatic breaching -- playful activity where they lift their bodies out of the water and splash down. Thankfully, she didn't do that while these divers were swimming with her.

"When I was cutting the line going through the mouth, its eye was there winking at me, watching me," described one of the divers. "It was an epic moment of my life."

"It seemed kind of affectionate, like a dog that's happy to see you. I never felt threatened. It was an amazing, unbelieveable experience."

Although no one really knows what was on her mind, this whale was doing little dives and the divers were rubbing shoulders with her. Was she saying thank you somehow?

What must it have felt like to swim away from all those crab pots, free and unfettered? And what made her trust that these people would not hurt her? Although most humpback whales don't like to interact so much with humans, this one allowed them to work with her very closely.

Might Ho'oponopono make such freedom and trust possible for us? Might we humans -- who like to manage problems on our own! -- learn to allow Divinity to untangle our own Gordian knots? Could we learn to trust that It knows what It's doing with us, after all?

The possibility seems more than worth the practice. Many thanks to Dr. Sykes, Dr. Feng, the manta ray, and the humpback whale for reminding me.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gratitude and Thanksgiving

One question people frequently ask at Ho'oponopono live seminars and teleconference calls is whether or not it "works".

By this, they generally mean "If I do this process, will I get what I want?"

Tracey in Canada has even created a blog about this, called "Ho'oponopono Works". There, she shares aspects of her life and Ho'oponopono's effects on herself and her family.

Mabel Katz, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, and Kamaile (who also trained with Morrnah and has been practicing Ho'oponopono for ~38 years) often say that you don't know what you're cleaning when you're doing it. To a scientist then, it's hard to say whether it "works" or not.

In the midst of tragedy, I've received an answer.

For many months, I prepared to give a talk on Homeopathy and Psychiatry at a conference in another city. This required over 100 hours of research, distilling, and organizing so that the audience would receive good information in only 1 hour.

During this entire preparation process, I cleaned. I love you. Thank you. Please forgive me. I am sorry. And many other tools.

The talk was well-received -- and I was also grateful that the conference organizers had offered a large honorarium. With this, I planned further homeopathic training with one of my mentors, Dr. Rajan Sankaran.

I returned home, deposited the check . . . but quickly received notice from my bank that the organization had stopped payment on it.

This was the results of my Ho'oponopono cleaning? I was puzzled, hurt, and angry -- wondering what I was doing "wrong". Mabel, Kamaile, and Dr. Hew Len all advised me to "keep cleaning." arrrrggggggggh.

And because of financial constraints, I canceled my trip to Mumbai, India -- where I would have been right now for sure if my intellect had had its way.

With many homeopathic colleagues from all over the world, I would have been at Dr. Sankaran's International Homeopathic Symposium, which ends 11/29/08. It's being held in Mumbai, where terrorist attacks are now flaring at high profile hotels, railway stations, and more.

News reports say the terrorists are focused on westerners, especially Americans and British. So far at least 100 have died, with more injured. Hostages have been taken.

The seminar location is about 15-20 miles north of the main hotels attacked; we pray for the safety of Dr. Sankaran, my colleagues, and everyone in danger now.

I am humbled by how close I came to this myself, saved only by not receiving money owed for work I had done. The results I thought "should" have happened through my Ho'oponopono cleaning would have put me directly in harm's way.

Does Ho'oponopono "work"? I have no controlled double-blind evidence for it, but you can consider this story for yourselves. My heart is grateful at being provided for, even when when my intellect can't fathom it. Most especially, thank you to Dr. Hew Len, Mabel, and Kamaile for encouraging me to "just keep cleaning."

Happy Thanksgiving to all,

Peace Begins with Me

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cleaning, Apologies, and Clarity

Dear Readers,

It seems I wasn't clear in transmitting the purpose(s) of this blog the other day. I have offended at least one person, and I apologize for this.

From Kalea (Sunny) I received this comment that illustrated my unclarity:

"I have an issue with what you've written and would like you to clarify this on your blog so your readers won't be misled!!!

You wrote: This blog focuses on Self-Identity through Ho'oponopono as taught by Morrnah Simeona, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, Mabel Katz, and the Foundation of I. Though it especially reaches out to people in healing professions as they work with patients or clients, its information may interest others too.

Pam, please clarify "what" specifically reaches out to people in healing professions...and may interest "others" too. Are you talking about your blog or ho'oponopono. Because if it's ho'oponopono that you are writing about, you are completely wrong. I am 100 percent Hawaiian and my family has been practicing Ho'oponopono as far back as I can track in our ancestry. How dare you even imply this. This was a practice to "make things right" among families. I can see why someone wrote to you and asked "Who do you think you are". You need to think before you start writing down your opinions, or at least research what you are writing about. I am highly offended that you would even imply such a notion. I will clean on this, trust me."

Thank you, Kalea (Sunny) for writing to me, and offering this opportunity for cleaning and clarification. I am grateful to you, your family, relatives, and ancestors for another chance to make things right.

You're absolutely correct that since ancient times, Ho'oponopono has helped countless families correct errors in thought, word, and deed. Ho'oponopono is a process that applies to us all, no matter what our backgrounds.

Morrnah Simeona "updated" this process that families and other groups have been using for generations, to "Self-Identity through Ho'oponopono" -- the form I've been learning about and working with. I am imperfect with it, of course. Morrnah taught that one could do this process within one's self, appealing to Divinity within rather than requiring all family or group members to be present. I am grateful to Morrnah, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, the Foundation of I, Mabel Katz, and all others who are helping me learn also.

I did not mean to imply that Self-Identity through Ho'oponopono reaches out only to those in healing professions.

But my blog, "Ho'oponopono for the Doctor's Soul," began as a way to chronicle my learning about the nature of healing. Also it may help wake up my colleagues as I'm being awakened.

Both Morrnah and Dr. Hew Len have taught that doctors and therapists who think patients come to them to be "fixed" or "healed", are mistaken. There is nothing wrong, nothing needing to be fixed in these people; it is only shared memories or data (presenting as patients' problems) that needs to be cleaned or "erased" within us. Through these problems that cause them to suffer, patients show us what also needs healing in ourselves. If there were no shared memories, these people would not come to us. When they do, we can choose to either engage with the memories, or "clean" (appeal to Divinity within) as we do our work.

This has been a major revelation to me, requiring me to completely reassess my inner and outer work. It is an evolving process.

"Ho'oponopono for the Doctor's Soul" hopes to illustrate this aspect especially to healthcare providers willing to consider it. My little blog is one small voice, but it is a voice nevertheless.

People in healing professions are burning out in record numbers, and misperceptions about why we're here may be one reason. So this blog reaches out especially to health professionals of all varieties. If we in healing professions begin to understand that we're here to clear our own memories that patients or clients are showing us, we may exercise our choice to clean and be free. Suffering less, we're then better able to better hear others.

Downstream, there are profound benefits of this inner approach to what we deal with every day. Dr. Hew Len has told me often enough, "If you clean your own stuff, everyone else will be fine." His experience with patients at Hawaii State Hospital in the 1980's showed this clearly. The benefits could extend to our planet itself -- I don't know, but am open to possibility.

I think of so many colleagues in pain; those of us who are also patients suffer too. What a breath of fresh air if we could all be free of notions that there is something wrong with us needing to be fixed! I cleaned for months before starting this blog, and finally did as inspired. Both it and I are imperfect, but we offer ourselves anyway.

People of all professions and backgrounds can use the Ho'oponopono process in their lives, so all might be interested in the blog's material. This is what I meant in my last post. I hope they will be; maybe they'll also pass along whatever seems useful to their doctors, therapists, or whoever is assisting them.

Many people acting as caregivers for someone at home can use these principles to sustain themselves too. Dr. Hew Len and Mabel Katz frequently remind us to care for ourselves; only then can we be present for anyone else. Ho'oponopono includes all beings everywhere -- humans, other animals, plants, minerals, and probably substances and beings we've never even heard of.

Thank you again for writing to me, Kalea (Sunny), and showing me that I need to be clear. I do my best to clean, even though I know I don't know what all I'm cleaning in any moment. I will keep at it anyway.

Blessings and gratitude,

Peace Begins with Me

Friday, November 21, 2008

Who do you think you are?

This blog focuses on Self-Identity through Ho'oponopono as taught by Morrnah Simeona, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, Mabel Katz, and the Foundation of I. Though it especially reaches out to people in healing professions as they work with patients or clients, its information may interest others too.

Dr. Hew Len often reminds us that the essence of Self-Identity through Ho'oponopono is knowing who we really are. Without this knowledge, we're sunk.

So it was especially interesting to receive an email from someone asking (among other questions and assertions), "Who are you anyway?"

Many of us have been asked similar questions, perhaps by parents or others disturbed by our behavior. The tone suggests we are impertinent and uppity somehow. This "Who do you think you are?" [to be doing/thinking/saying whatever we're doing, thinking or saying] is meant to shame or silence us.

Such questions also present wonderful opportunities to remember who we really are: spiritual beings created in the exact likeness of God. But as Dr. Hew Len relates, we are also often "spiritual beings talking [and thinking and doing!] trash."

According to Ho'oponopono, we are -- all of us! -- perfect in spirit; nothing lacking, nothing that needs to be "fixed". We also come in with memories, data, or "garbage" covering Divinity's light in us. Our life's work is to let this garbage go; as we do, we again experience the peaceful "zero" state in which we were created.

Being our Selves first -- getting back to "zero" -- is extremely important. Only then do we experience the presence of God. As Dr. Hew Len says in the book Zero Limits (pg 51):

"You cannot be denied anything that is perfect, whole, complete, and right for you when you are your Self first. Being your Self first you automatically experience perfection in the way of Divine Thoughts, Words, Deeds, and Actions. Allowing your toxic thoughts to be first, you automatically experience imperfection in the way of disease, confusion, resentment, depression, judgement, and poverty."

So being asked "Who are you anyway?" opened a door for me. It allowed me to remember the prayer I read every morning on waking, and at the start of each day in the office. Part of the Ho'oponopono manual distributed by the Foundation of I, it's also available on internet, and is read at the beginning of all Mabel Katz's teleconference calls:

I am the I

"I" come forth from the void into light,

"I" am the breath that nurtures life,

"I" am that emptiness, that hollowness beyond all consciousness,

The "I", the Id, the All.

"I" draw my bow of rainbows across the waters,

The continuum of minds with matters

"I" am the incoming and outgoing of breath,

The invisible, untouchable breeze,

The undefinable atom of creation.

"I" am the "I".

For me, this says it all -- and yet, it does not encompass all we are. By their very nature, words can only describe concepts in a limited fashion. They are not the thing itself. It's a good start, though . . . . and I am grateful that Morrnah, through her meditations, was able to write it.

May we all become ever more facile at remembering our Self-Identity, Who We Really Are.

Peace Begins with Me,

Monday, November 17, 2008

From "Smoke Gets in your Eyes" to "You are My Sunshine"

I've just returned from a remarkable weekend in Woodland Hills, CA: attending one of Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len's ho'oponopono seminars as a "review" student. Though the photo above is NOT Dr. Hew Len, it does depict the joyful (and somewhat impish) spirit he shows.

Why would I attend a review session? Certain information remains the same, but each group and weekend experience is different. I always find new or deeper insights in what's shared. Even more importantly, I commit to the cleaning process itself -- again and again and again. It's a constant re-tuning for use in every moment.

All seemed normal enough this weekend, until I awoke early Saturday morning in my hotel room to the smell of . . . wood smoke! No such smell was present when I went to bed. Where could this be coming from?

I looked out the window: no flames or barbecue going on. I felt the door: no heat. All seemed eerily silent; no fire alarms were going off. And unlike earlier in the evening, even people in the neighboring rooms were quiet. The TV in my room wasn't working (alarming in that context!) so I called the front desk. People there assured me all was well in the neighborhood.

It turns out that several fires were raging in both Orange County and the Sylmar area -- fanned by record Santa Ana (aka "devil") winds gusting to 70 mph. People were losing their homes as burning embers hop-scotched across canyons and neighborhoods. Like the rest of Los Angeles, Woodland Hills received smoke, smell, and ash. Several freeways going through Orange County were closed, but our immediate area was safe.

Dr. Hew Len and others arrived on time as planned, and offered these events as yet another opportunity to take 100% responsibility. "When one of us is stuck, we're all stuck," said Dr. Hew Len. "Nobody can be at Zero [as Divinity originally created us] if you are not at Zero. The way to be at Zero is non-stop cleaning. It's not about the fire -- it's about memories replaying in us. The only purpose for coming into life is to get un-stuck, to let go of memories replaying."

Whatever "problem" we experience in the present is like a cloud -- or even like smoke -- obscuring something always present: the light of Divinity in us. Through repentance, forgiveness, and transmutation, ho'oponopono removes the smoke so the light comes through clearly again. Dr. Hew Len showed this over and over again.

Further, he insists that even when we choose to do the ho'oponopono process, we never know exactly "what" we're cleaning. Divinity knows, but our conscious minds are clueless. We're constantly making choices to hang onto the problem, or let go. Humans telling Divinity what to attend to seems pretty silly -- yet how often do we do exactly this with our "goals" and "intention" lists?

"When you're at Zero" [through moment-to-moment cleaning] that's where Inspiration is," he said. "You want the perfect relationship, money in the bank, or your perfect career? It's at Zero and nowhere else."

He offered ways to care for our inner child [our "unihipili"] so that it feels safe and loved. "If you train it well, it will do the cleaning for you," said Dr. Hew Len. "Your relationship with your inner child is the most important relationship you have."

How do "regular" people -- not just Dr. Hew Len -- use ho'oponopono? Do they notice effects in their lives?

A psychologist shared about her work with ho'oponopono in patient care. As people talk about their difficulties during their sessions, she inwardly says, "I love you" to whatever arises. Somehow people come to their own healing much more smoothly; also, anything she says while doing this process is more likely to be from Inspiration than from her own conflicts (or "memories"). Work seems easier, and people get well sooner. And though she didn't "intend" a busier practice when she initially started ho'oponopono 3 years ago, things have evolved this way.

Hers wasn't the only story. Another woman spoke about her husband's construction business growing from $50,000 a year to $6,000,000 per year -- as she did her "cleaning" even in a so-called "down" market.

Had I not been there, I would have missed meeting these people who use ho'oponopono in their everyday lives.

Also, I would have missed another wonderful treat not experienced in my previous seminars: Dr. Hew Len playing his ukulele and singing, "You are My Sunshine". Despite the economy, the war in Iraq, the nation's fears, and the LA fires, we all sang along with him. It was one way of caring for the inner child in each of us.

Ho'oponopono cleaning doesn't have to be somber, as Dr. Hew Len illustrated. Just like a ukulele is tuned before being played, we can tune ourselves through ho'oponopono before our daily activities. The metaphor rings true.

I'm so glad I made the trip -- and may Los Angeles and her people recover soon from those fires too.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ho'oponopono and Alcoholism: Peace in Every Moment

Families can be challenging and loving all at the same time. We may practice ho'oponopono for many months or years with no seeming "results". Perplexing behavior patterns may appear as enduring as granite.

And then change can blow through in an instant.

For example, my family has dealt with alcoholism for many years -- just not openly or effectively. Long-suppressed forces erupted on Election Day, leading to hospitalization for one family member and hopefully recovery for all. It started with someone driving erratically, scaring people enough to call police . . . leading to eventual commitment for evaluation and treatment.

It was as if something in this person demanded to be heard, manifesting enough craziness for people to finally "do something". Alcoholism often induces learned helplessness in family members; it had in mine until we were up against a wall.

The scenario was wrenching, and yet I am grateful. I had nearly lost hope. We are working through the aftermath, and planning for the future.

In Ho'oponopono, we also learn that patients often show doctors what needs healing or "cleaning" in themselves. They come to our offices in distress, also giving us another chance to make things right. So I marveled yesterday as a patient shared about a mother who, after countless years of alcoholism and self-absorption, recently got into recovery on her own. She's attending AA, making amends -- all at exactly the right time. Not only was I glad for her and the hope this gave my patient; I was also grateful for the hope it gave me.

I'm attending to my patient's needs, and also saying "thank you" for mine. We're cleaning generations of family pain in every moment.

Peace Begins with Me,