Thursday, December 24, 2009

Peace on Earth with Ho'oponopono

Christmas Eve is my favorite night of the year. It seems all things are possible, and all is well. Hope is present; goodwill glows in our hearts.

Even so, some are separated from families and loved ones by geography; some through misunderstanding; and others by choice. This is painful, because we heal and grow through our connections with others. Steeped in relationship, we learn what we need to know.

May all who feel estranged, alienated, or lonely find solace in this night. It celebrates when Divinity enfleshed in the form of a tiny child, loved and raised by humble parents doing the best they could. This is what we all seek to do, even as confused and confusing as we might be.

On this holy night, I remind us all of Morrnah's Prayer, which has been published on the internet and elsewhere in slightly different forms. Through it, we can re-establish harmony within ourselves, with Divinity, and with others. Thus it can create peace on earth. I feel special need to work with it myself tonight.

"DIVINE CREATOR, Father, Mother, Child as ONE: If I, my family, relatives, and ancestors have offended you, your family, relatives, and ancestors in thoughts, words, deeds, and actions from the beginning of our creation to the present, humbly, humbly, humbly we ask you all for forgiveness for all our fears, errors, resentments, guilts, offenses, blocks, and attachments we have created, accumulated, and accepted from the beginning of our creation to the present.

Let Divine Intelligence include all pertinent information we knowingly or unknowingly have omitted.

. . . . Cleanse, purify and transmute all these unwanted energies to pure light. Fill the spaces these unwanted energies occupied with Divine Light.

Let Divine Order, light, love, peace, balance, wisdom, understanding, and abundance be made manifest for us all in our affairs through the Divine Power of the Divine Creator, Father, Mother, Child as one, in whom we rest, abide, and have our being now and forever more. We are set free! And it is done!"

In hope and peace for all.

Peace begins with me,

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hafiz and Ho'oponopono on Forgiveness: Along the Way to Freedom

"Forgiveness is the cash you need.
All the other kinds of silver really buy just strange things.
Everything has its music.
Everything has genes of God inside.
But learn from those courageous addicted lovers
of glands and opium and gold --
Look, they cannot jump high or laugh long
when they are whirling.
And the moon and the stars become sad
when their tender light is used for night wars.
Forgiveness is part of the treasure you need
to craft your falcon wings
And return to your true realm
of Divine freedom."

~Hafiz, in The Subject Tonight is Love, translated by Daniel Ladinsky

Certain themes show up in cultures the world over. I love this poem from Hafiz, a 14th century Persian mystic whose work certainly predates what I have learned so far of Ho'oponopono, the Hawaiian method for making things right. It also seems fitting during a time of year when the conflict between commercialism and spirit can be so fevered.

Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len says that Ho'oponopono cleaning is also a method of "paying down the debt" or "mortgage" on our souls. As soon as we come into this world, we are laden with memories that run us, just as they do everything and everyone else . . . until we choose to ask Divinity for help and forgiveness. Then He can transmute whatever is up for release at that moment. So each time we choose to clean rather than engage in the day's drama, we're making a soul-mortgage payment too.

I don't know where all the "memories" come from, or how they get into us. But according to Ho'oponopono, our sharing them goes back to the dawn of creation.

The attitude we hold about this state makes a big difference. For instance, some religions speak of "original sin" -- a doctrine that humans all share the same fall from divine grace dating from Adam and Eve's eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Depending on our early experiences with church, feelings of shame, guilt, and unworthiness can be so overwhelming that we dare not poke our heads out into life. Or, we might be so frightened of -- or angry with -- God that we refuse to connect.

I haven't had this feeling with Ho'oponopono cleaning. Instead for me it's a more gentle, tender recognition of our connection with all of life, with forgiveness needed for our misperceptions of it and each other. Perhaps this did start with Adam and Eve, I don't know.

But if we're to pay down our "debt" and be free, we can only do this through Divine grace -- cleaning of some kind. Forgiveness can be a kind of "cash" in this work. We don't know what's in our bank balance, or how much more we need to pay. Will we compare ours to others', and feel indignation if they seem less "righteous" than we think we are? Will we feel so encumbered we can't even start?

Or will we feel peaceful enough to just keep doing it anyway? And will we be able to forgive ourselves for our own unconsciousness, so that we're willing to reach out to the world despite our imperfection? It's my practice to do the best I can with it, even when seemingly "bad" stuff happens.

By the way -- I enjoy the physical kinds of cash as much as anyone else. :-) As Hafiz says: "Everything has its music. Everything has genes of God inside." All I've learned of Ho'oponopono speaks this way also . . . . cash included. But just like us, it holds memories that we can choose to clean with. That $5 bill I found the other day? Well, $23 more came to join it yesterday -- completely unexpected. A friend wanted me to buy her some herbal remedies, so she insisted on handing me this cash. It's now basking in the under-glass-of-water cleaning "spa" in my kitchen while her order is in transit. When it's time, it will go back into circulation, and my friend will have what she asked for too.

May we remember the music and genes of God inside all things, including ourselves.

"Forgiveness is part of the treasure you need
to craft your falcon wings
And return to your true realm
of Divine freedom."

Peace begins with me,

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

We Clean; God Smiles and Winks

For many people including me, it's been a challenging year. At times I've felt discouraged -- due to family concerns, finances, and sometimes even my worth as a physician.

My specialty is classical homeopathy, a practice that differs from most other psychiatrists like myself. Sometimes this is isolating, and I feel overwhelmed. People who come to see me are often very exasperated with conventional medicine, and their suffering is longstanding and complicated. Some are willing to work with me to understand their problems deeply enough to prescribe remedies effectively; some are not. Initial sessions are 2-3 hours, and I study a lot on top of that. I've seen the kinds of healing possible through these methods, so even though it's difficult for me I keep at it.

Through all this occasional anxiety and discouragement, I've continued to practice Self-Identity Through Ho'oponopono -- sometimes more consistently than others. The times I feel best are when I DO remember to "just do it!" no matter what, as Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len so often reminds us.

Today was one of my low-ebb days; I had a cold, was coughing and sneezing, and had accidentally forgotten the power connection to my computer when coming to the office. There was no time to go back home and get it before my first patient, and so I just did the best I could. I realized that if I was disorganized enough to forget something like that, I needed to do more cleaning. "I'm sorry, please forgive me for neglecting the cleaning this morning," I said. "Thank you for this reminder of what I need to do."

Realizing my own inner energy supply was low, I breathed 7 rounds of "HA". This helped connect all three parts of me . . . with a solid link to Divinity too.

I gently ran my pencil eraser over my appointment list, saying "Peace of I" over each name. I thanked Divinity for these people, even though my laptop would be dead before lunch. (I cleaned, but it still went "off" -- no miracle there! For some reason it didn't bother me like it normally would, though.) I simply dashed out at lunch to buy another power supply for use whenever needed (including today).

The day brought more people into the office, and I cleaned while listening to them. Bills as well as checks arrived in the mail . . . and I said "Thank you!" for it all. I even said "Thank you!" every time I sneezed. :-)

As I was leaving, one of my homeopathic patients came to visit her therapist, who also works in the office. She's a hardworking, serious woman who's been through much trauma and abuse; her previous psychiatrist had treated her with medications alone. I had continued her medicines for the time being, but also recommended talk therapy with EMDR for processing painful emotions. Her therapist is dedicated and very effective; they've been working together well.

After some months, this patient also wanted to have her case taken homeopathically -- which we did. I gave her a remedy based on her unique kind of suffering. With this, she experienced relief from the depression quagmire she had been in for so many years despite her pharmaceuticals; it was a clear improvement even beyond the excellent psychotherapy she was receiving. But she'd had a relapse during a recent visit with certain family members. I gave her another dose of her remedy last week when we met.

"Dr. Pappas?" she peeped her head in the door today. "I've got to tell you! When you gave me that remedy again, I could sleep all the way through the night! I've never done that before! I feel so much better. It's amazing that those little white pills do anything, but they do -- they really do!" I thanked her for telling me, and she went in with her therapist.

I was grateful for these results of a process that can seem so strange to so many. Somehow, hearing about them just at that moment was replenishing for me, in exactly the way I needed. I thanked Divinity for this little reminder that maybe where I am is just right at this time, after all. I kept cleaning with "I love you" on my way out to the car.

Walking through the parking lot, I noticed it was nearly empty. It was a lovely evening, and I enjoyed the feel of the air. For some reason I looked down, though . . . and there at my feet, no other car or person anywhere near, was a $5.00 bill! Now, that was a first for me.

"THANK YOU!" I said, picking it up. I immediately felt it wanted to come with me, to be under my glass of water money-cleaning "spa" at home. What a lovely reminder that I am cared for, and that I can also care for money. I brought the bill in, and it basks happily under the glass as I write this.

Someone asked me a couple of weeks ago whether I had ever experienced any "objective" results of my cleaning. I believe these small, everyday things described above are definite effects. I also believe my forgetting my computer power cord was a distinct reminder that I was in a disconnected state, and needed to power-up my Unihipili with some "HA" breathing. There are other documented stories in this blog as well -- look at what happened in Thanksgiving 2008, for instance.

I believe that if we keep to the cleaning, little reminders and messages do come. Some people call them "God Winks"; I'm just grateful for them, whatever they're called. They keep me going.

And now we'll see if my Inner Child and I can let go of this cold! We'll keep you posted, in between the Echinacea doses.

Peace begins with me,

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ho'oponopono cleanup: is it REALLY my responsibility?

I was reviewing some events in my life recently and noticing certain patterns that recur over and over again. How easy it is to overlook my part in things, just like the regal cat above!

He looks so relaxed, and he's got a good story to explain the mess (those fighting paper towels, indeed!) -- as if there is no relation to him whatsoever.

Moments before, he might have been a tornado of flailing claws and kicking feet. Perhaps he was just playing, or practicing long-submerged hunting instincts. The result is shredded paper towels all over the floor. Just how did they get there, hmmmmm???? He surveys his tattered domain in seeming puzzlement.

Entire lives can be like that.

One of the fundamentals of Ho'oponopono, though, is taking 100% responsibility for everything that appears in our lives. Everything.

I don't know about you, but sometimes things show up in MY life that I'd rather not claim. Much easier to ignore them, or shuffle them over to somebody else's pile. Or, I can throw an adult tantrum with God, declaring it wasn't ME who brought that angry patient into my office, made a good friend stop talking to me, or blew a tree down in my yard.

The concept that these events DO, in fact, have something to do with me has taken some getting used to.

It is a tedious process, requiring gentleness at the same time. Without this, the call to take 100% responsibility can result in extreme guilt and shame for all the "stuff" that shows up. If I'm responsible for all THAT, I must be a pretty bad person . . . or so the memories try to make me think. This can be so painful it makes me want to stop cleaning, because I don't want to see all those shredded paper towels in my life as "mine."

I may want to look at them and complain that they're there, instead. That's my attempt at avoiding guilt and pain.

But what if the guilt and shame are unneccessary? What if these events and people are only showing up because it's now the perfect time to clean with them? Then each perturbing mess can be an opportunity to re-connect with Divinity -- more of a "woo-hoo!" than a "not again . . . . . "

At the moment my house is full of such opportunities, in the form of disorganized papers and messy items that can't seem to file themselves. I could get so severe and punitive with myself that I have to stay in bed and do nothing -- not even use my cleaning tools.

Or I could say, "I love you, dear messy papers and incompleted work! Thank you for mounding up so bountifully, reminding me the moment I come in my house! Please forgive me for neglecting you. I'm sorry for whatever memories in me have led to your accumulation right now." With this kind of attitude, it's just a mess that needs tending with love and care, rather than something so incriminating I need to avoid it.

This makes all the difference to me, because it allows emptiness enough ("zero" state) for inspiration to come through regarding the best way to do things.

So, step number one: I'm off to buy some new paper towels, all in one piece! Hopefully the cat will behave this time. :-)

Thank you, dear Divinity, for all these piles of blessings. They're mine, even the ones I think I don't want. I know nothing about it; thank you for reminding me they're simply here to clean. I love you.

Peace begins with me,

PS: Mabel Katz is offering a special Ho'oponopono Question and Answer session Thursday, 12/17/09 that you can listen to from anywhere. For more information, please click here.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ho'oponopono Healing: Does it Really Count?

Someone sent me an interesting email today:

I've been reading your blog for a while now. While I enjoy your blog, I've noticed one thing - you rarely talk about your personal experiences with ho'oponopono. I was wondering, why is that? Is it because you have not experienced anything tangible?

One thing I've noticed about ho'oponopono is this: 99% of people who practice it can talk about their intangible results (peace of mind, connection with God, etc) - all things that can be obtained through simple meditation or any religion. But very few can talk of tangible results, especially repeated tangible results that make a significant impact on life... from areas such as finance, health (cure diabetes? cancer?), family, friendships, etc. This leaves me feeling very skeptical about ho'oponopono.

I was wondering, why is this?

Anyway, I am not targeting you specifically, but I feel that you are a clear/concise writer that might be willing to explain this to me.

I thought about this message, saying many "thank you's". And then I found myself laughing with it. It was kind of this person to call my writing clear and concise. But the very things s/he dismisses (the "intangible" results of peace of mind, connection with God, etc) are the results most valuable to me in my life.

Perhaps the results one gains from Ho'oponopono are the ones most needed at the time? Regardless of our personal human judgments about that, I mean.

Certainly my life shows "tangible" results: warm, new friendships; increasing interest in my private practice; more and varied types of work coming in; new inspiration about books to write and programs to create; freedom from unhealthy family patterns, etc. I am exceedingly grateful for these things.

And yet, they pale in comparison to something else that's happened within me.

Most of my life, I'd felt alone and anxious that something was dreadfully wrong with me. I feared that nothing I could do would ever be "enough" to repair this inner sense of failure. I don't know where this came from, but it permeated me although I did my best to hide it. There was a desperateness to be right and to look smart -- to be on top of everything at all times. I wanted to heal everyone, including my own family (as if that is really up to me).

Many physicians and other health practitioners carry such feelings, which both drive us into medicine and prime us for burnout once there.

Ho'oponopono has given me a step-by-step process that keeps me steady as I go through my day. It allows me freedom to find the gifts in whatever happens, rather than drop back into a dungeon of self-lacerating shame when I make mistakes. When patients describe their suffering, I can be present with them -- rather than having to "fix" or deny it. I can be with my fellow physician colleagues in this way also. Authentic presence makes healing work possible.

It also makes one's entire life much more vibrant and enjoyable. :-)

I've never suggested that one can't experience these results with "simple meditation or any religion." I'm only describing what's come about in my own life. For me, there's a marked shift in the 3-4 years that I've been practicing Ho'oponopono. For some people, this would only be an "intangible" result that's of little importance.

Yet it's made a huge difference in how my life feels from the inside out; I needed exactly this kind of healing in order to feel whole. Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len often says that when we clean, Divinity gives us exactly what's right and perfect for us. In my personal case, this is true. This includes that peace of mind and feeling of connection with the Divine you mention too.

You, dear writer, might choose another pathway that feels better for you; it's absolutely perfect if you do. If you'd like other kinds of accounts about Ho'oponopono, Joe Vitale's book Zero Limits or his coaching programs could be helpful to you. People also share their experiences through Mabel Katz's Ho'oponopono Forum, and through the Hooponoponofriends group on Mabel's book, The Easiest Way, is another resource as well. Thank you for your comments, and many blessings on your way.

Peace (and wholeness) begins with me,

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Meister Eckhart, Gratitude, and Ho'oponopono

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was 'Thank you,' that would be enough." ~ Meister Eckhart (1260-1328)

I love these words of Meister Eckhart, the German philosopher, mystic, and theologian. He came from a culture far removed from Ho'oponopono, and yet what he says is completely in synch with it. "Thank you," after all, is a Ho'oponopono cleaning tool that invokes the whole process of repentance, forgiveness, and transmutation.

A Dominican priest, Meister Eckhart was also known for very down-to-earth sermons suggesting (among other things) that God is actually "in" man (and woman). This may have been too avant garde for the Catholic church of that time, which accused him of heresy. Finally summoned before the Pope, he walked 500 miles to his hearing -- and died before learning his verdict.

I'm grateful for many things this Thanksgiving, and one is surely the freedom to practice our spirituality however we're guided.

I've also come to appreciate the reluctance in some long-time Ho'oponopono people to answer questions directly. I didn't understand this at first, and sometimes felt put off. But now I imagine them cleaning rather than answering, allowing each person to receive his/her own "right answers" from Divinity instead. Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len has often said that's a much better Source. :-)

Would such peaceful allowing have been usual in Eckhart's medieval Europe? I think not. Eckhart heard and spoke his own answers, and you see where it got him. Is this allowing and open-heartedness even usual in 2009? Hmmm . . . .

And yet, I'm thankful for all the questions Dr. Hew Len and others -- especially Kamaile and Mabel Katz -- have answered of mine. They've been patient with me, even when I am impatient to "know"! But as Mabel says, we'll never understand Ho'oponopono with our minds. It's too simple for that. Elegantly so, in fact.

Mabel happens to be holding a special pre-Thanksgiving teleseminar call this Wednesday, 11/25/09 at 10am Pacific time. She's been in Europe teaching in Romania and Spain, and will call in along with all of us from all over the world. She'll share how we can be thankful for everyone and everything that crosses our path, even (maybe especially!) those who trigger our upset.

Now, that should be a good subject for most of us. I wonder what Meister Eckhart would say to this -- maybe "Thank you"? If we said that more often, it would be enough.

For more about Wednesday's call with Mabel, please click here. And yes, she'll be answering some questions.

From my heart to yours, Happy Thanksgiving (if you're in the USA and celebrate that.) If you live elsewhere, then still I say, "Thank you" -- for your presence, your cleaning, and reading this blog.

Peace begins with me,

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mana from Heaven: Dogs Need Love Too

I've been thinking a lot lately about "Mana," the Divine or Vital energy that accumulates when we do the "HA" breathing process in Ho'oponopono.

The Inner Child (Unihipili) part of us needs "Mana" in order to do its work, which includes maintaining our bodies and holding all memories we've carried since the beginning of time. So we breathe "HA" for our Inner Child several times a day -- and it can either use or store this Mana as needed. Without this, it suffers.

When we decide to clean in Ho'oponopono, our conscious mind (Uhane) sends the request to our subconscious (Inner Child, Unihipili), who in turn collects all that's needed from its memory banks and Mana supplies. It joins forces with the conscious (Uhane) and the superconscious (Aumakua), which has direct access to Divinity. The petition goes down into subconscious first, and then up through conscious and superconscious, all the way to Divinity. Optimally, all parts of our I-dentity link together in this way.

And then, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len has said, something beautiful happens.

"When I do my part, Divinity cannot help but do Its part," he relates. We decide to clean by saying "I love you", or using some other Ho'oponopono cleaning tool. Divinity's part is transmutation of memories into pure light -- and sending a return flow of Mana which ushers in the answer (Inspiration) to the prayer or request.

What a miraculous and loving process! We never know exactly "how" or when it will come -- and that's part of the joy (or worry, for some of us).

Another spelling of Mana, from Judeo-Christian culture, is "manna": the food miraculously supplied to the Israelites when lost in the wilderness (Exodus 16:14–36). It seemed to fall from the sky. "Manna" is a spiritual nourishment of divine origin, which often comes as a surprise -- just as it did in the Bible.

My dear friend, classical homeopath Bill Mann, had a strange experience recently. He lives with his family, including his large, vigorous, and sometimes obstinate dog Titan, in a hilltop home with a completely fenced in yard. Bill helped build the fence himself to contain Titan's explosive energy. Nothing can get in or out, without being seen. The hilltop view allows complete surveillance.

So imagine Bill working with clients one day, there from his perch on the hill. Suddenly he noticed a strange dog in the yard: a thin but beautiful brown female boxer with no collar. Oddly, no car had come up the drive, and no person had opened the gate.

Meek in demeanor, she looked like she hadn't eaten regularly in some time. Titan was overjoyed, in a male dog sort of way; the poor new visitor didn't have a chance to object. Out Bill dashed to break up the havoc.

How had this creature arrived so surreptitiously? Bill still can't figure it out. He tried to find her owner, asking all around. None came through. He fed her of course, and she ate hungrily. Titan had never been more satisfied.

Yet there was a stand-off -- a hesitancy -- for several days. Bill wasn't sure he wanted another dog, as wily and overwhelming as Titan could be. Yet this sweet-tempered visitor needed somewhere to stay.

Seeing her, Bill's daughter spontaneously named her Delilah, perfect for her humble origins yet powerful energy that so entranced Titan. She and Titan were lovers in every sense of the word. And she slept with the family by night, but separate from Titan so she could rest from his amorous frenzies.

It wasn't all honey and roses, though. Delilah didn't seem aware that urine and feces were for outside only. Some learning would have to come.

But Titan seemed to love her, and she seemed so sweet and shyly appreciative of any human kindness or food.

A few days later, her wiles won Bill over too. He bought her a collar, and placed it 'round her neck. The previously reserved and gentle Delilah sprang into his lap, licking him uproariously in thanks. Bill was hooked, and she had found her new home.

Eventually, as the photo above attests, Titan learned to express gentle affection as well as boundless eros. The two are true companions now, on more equal terms.

The Mana of Delilah's arrival is still a mystery; I joked with Bill that she came from the sky. He says there's no other way she could have come. Perhaps the full gifts of all this will gradually reveal themselves, just as Mana and Spirit do. I have to wonder if Titan hasn't been Ho'oponopono cleaning. He definitely breathes a lot of "HA." :-)

Peace begins with me,

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Why Attend Ho'oponopono Seminars, if I've Read the Book?

Every time I attend one of Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len's Ho'oponopono training seminars, my own practice deepens. While at this last one in Woodland Hills, someone asked what had changed for me -- and why I would keep attending.

After all, hadn't I gotten the information down yet? Haven't I read the books and articles, watched the DVD's, and listened to the teleseminars? Well, yes -- I have done those things.

I have also attended more Ho'oponopono trainings now than I can count. And if it truly was a matter of information alone, I could have stopped long ago.

But it isn't. The process goes much deeper than my conscious mind, where intellectual learning takes place. When I practice in a room with others, clean with all our questions, listen to Dr. Hew Len, and ask questions that come up in myself, my soul quiets further.

The Ho'oponopono process includes the subconscious mind, the Inner Child or Unihipili, which must be lovingly attended to. This is the part of me that suffers, and can also inflict suffering on others. For eons, this part of us has been brutalized and neglected. Repeated practice in loving and caring for my Inner Child helps calm its anguish. I learn gentler attitudes towards myself and others -- see them modeled -- through Dr. Hew Len's teaching and being. These are life-changing for me.

It isn't him alone who guides me, but something he is pointing to instead. Every time I steep myelf in this practice, I feel closer to Divinity within. The need for consistency in practice is also reinforced. If you're anything like me, this is useful.

This past weekend Dr. Hew Len pointed out repeatedly that "information -- data -- runs us." Regarding this, we have a choice: would we prefer to be open to this information coming from Divinity as inspiration, or to be full of age-old tangled memories that repeat ad infinitum instead?

If we choose the latter, he explained, our "inner child goes crazy -- just goes nuts!" I can imagine what this looks like, in all manner of pain and distress. I have felt plenty inside me, and seen this in others too.

Today, a fellow psychiatrist shot, injured, and killed many people on an Army base. It is a horrific tragedy; I hear the news and weep. I clean. I wonder, is this in me? An answer comes: of course it is. I ache for the wounded and dead. I ache for the pain in the person who did this. I know that all of us have this potential inside us. There is nothing out there, but us; we see the world as we are -- or rather, as the data runs us.

The same data that showed up as my colleague killing, is also in me. So I choose to clean and ask Divinity to transmute this to pure light.

And Divinity knows much better than I what's "really" going on, and what needs cleaning in me. What appeared in the news today is just a backdrop.

What a gift to have been with my fellow Ho'oponopono students and Dr. Hew Len this past weekend, especially before these events. My conscious mind has no idea "why" this shooting showed up in my colleague. But my 2 days' steeping in Ho'oponopono practice prepared me a little better, maybe, for how to clean with it. I know my pre-Ho'oponopono attitude about this would have been very different.

I am grateful to be shown a process for dealing with such pain and suffering. Perhaps my own Unihipili can let go of a few more layers now, so that less of it will need to show up tomorrow.

Thank you, Dr. Hew Len, for your presence and directness. I will keep showing up, cleaning, and practicing. Others can keep on asking me "why". I will simply smile, say thank you, and clean some more. :-)

Peace begins with me,

Friday, October 23, 2009

Spiritual Balance: A Dynamic, Precarious Dance

Thanks to cartoonist Leigh Rubin for so whimsically illustrating a common human struggle! "Maintaining Spiritual Balance" can be serious business, but laughter eases the journey.

Many hunger for spiritual connection and balance. Some find this through religious activities; others don't. Additional avenues include attending expensive seminars, reading spiritual books, taking online courses, and seeking advice from others who might seem more spiritually advanced than we are. Often, the training seminars come in packages and "levels" -- intimating that the higher the level, the farther along or more enlightened one is.

In recent years especially, I've questioned this. It seems our longing for spiritual balance can at times get us very UNbalanced.

I'm a veteran of many personal development trainings. My own search for self-understanding, growth, and spiritual communion has led me into all sorts of experiences, including standing atop telephone poles, doing ropes courses, and "bashing" old angers and behavior patterns. Most of this has served me well; especially sweat lodges and vision quests with Native American healers. Their attitudes have always been respectful and compassionate.

Some trainers, however, might borrow traditions from other cultures and -- possibly through misunderstanding their intended focus -- turn them into competitive events. Twisted in this way, the process becomes less about spiritual communion than exhibiting something to others.

Coming out of a sweat lodge "early", for instance, can be judged as a sign of weakness. People can be exhorted to continue despite individual needs for water or fresh air; desire to be part of the group (or to demonstrate stamina) can drive them past their own inner knowing.

Why? What is our need to prove ourselves to others, to have multiple "levels" under our belts, or to be designated "Masters" of this or that spiritual discipline? I'm sure there are many drivers for this, and that my understanding is limited.

Questions have been raised about some very tragic deaths at a recent sweat lodge in Sedona. I wasn't there, but some survivors' comments are alarming. How far do we need to go, in order to grow? To discover peace within? To become more solid, loving people? I'm grateful that Chief Arvol Looking Horse has written to educate those who might not understand the nature of Lakota "inikaga", or "life within" ceremonies. This has been misinterpreted as "sweat lodge," a term which does not encompass the entire [purification] rite. Chief Looking Horse describes the sacred manner in which this is traditionally carried out, differentiating it from the Sedona event.

My heart goes out to those who died, to their families, and all who experienced these events directly. In the tradition of Ho'oponopono, I offer indigo, emerald green, ice blue, and white.

I've always appreciated the fact that there are no "levels" in Ho'oponopono. There are no "better" cleaners, only possibly more consistent ones. There is room -- even encouragment -- to simply be what one is. Early on, I wondered about so-called "Advanced" Ho'oponopono trainings. Framed by my experiences elsewhere, I automatically expected additional trainings beyond "Basic" ones. But there weren't any, which initially seemed confusing.

And then it became a great relief! It meant that, after learning some basics from Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len and others, we could simply practice with ourselves -- not requiring a guru in order to develop further.

In fact, the whole Ho'oponopono training process involves connecting with our own inner child and Divinity within. Of course, there are helpful meditations and tools we can learn to use. Basic training seminars are available to share these. Also, long-time practitioners such as Dr. Hew Len, Mabel Katz, and Kamaile Rafaelovich do answer questions when asked. But they repeatedly point us back to ourselves, and Divinity within which inspires us.

I have grown to appreciate this more and more. It's a breath of fresh air amidst trainings that focus on achieving "personal power," or other things. Though we can always learn more, Ho'oponopono is more about consistent practice than additional techniques or knowledge. It helps us rely less on our conscious mind alone, because that part of us is so unaware of the depth and breadth of things. Instead we surrender to our spiritual nature, realizing that Divinity encompasses whole universes more than our human egos or minds ever can.

Ho'oponopono is one way of learning to appreciate who we already are, and to give thanks for all. Well-grounded in this, we are stable and balanced for whatever comes.

Peace begins with me,

Friday, October 16, 2009

Inspiration: What Does It Call Us to Do?

For the next several days, I'm in Vancouver BC studying classical homeopathy with Dr. Rajan Sankaran and other colleagues from all over the world. Practicing in Mumbai, India for almost 30 years now, he is well-known for being a keen observer, original thinker, and dedicated physician.

Dr. Sankaran's work has significantly deepened our case-taking in classical homeopathy, and our understanding of the medicines we use. His efforts have given us a more reliable system for tracing our patients' suffering down to its core. He argues for eliminating theory about patients, in favor of listening to them. If we do this, they show us directly what's out of balance and what can help.

What's more, Dr. Sankaran's video cases illustrate that we are complete beings whose parts are all connected (holism) -- even when we're ill. This is his method of teaching: direct from the patients themselves. And all this makes for much better treatment results.

Why mention this in a blog about Ho'oponopono?

I believe Dr. Sankaran is an inspired person.

But I don't mean that he arrived at all this by magic or fully-formed (many people's concept of "inspiration"). Instead his work has been a gradual process requiring years of hard work with thousands of patients. He also stands on the shoulders of his teachers who have guided him, plus over 200 years of homeopathic research and literature. He is always the first to acknowledge this.

Ho'oponopono teaches that by using the cleaning tools, we can let go of memories that prevent Divine Inspiration from coming through. This inspiration can come in all kinds of forms -- including ideas and work such as Dr. Sankaran's.

Making use of inspiration received doesn't happen automatically, though. How many of us have received original ideas but kept quiet about them -- possibly fearful of offending others, or maybe being criticized? Or maybe we thought following through would take too much work?

Dr. Sankaran articulates his understanding of classical homeopathy in a way that is very original, yet at the same time is firmly grounded in existing literature and clinical data. His daring to do this has challenged many who maintain that only certain homeopathic methods are worthy of study, and that any evolution in it is anathema.

So I asked Dr. Sankaran today what gave him the courage to break out and continue his work, when it has been so daunting? I seek courage myself, so I deeply wanted to hear from him.

He paused a long time before answering my question. But what he said sank into my heart. "I am not the only one who has brought this work forward," he said. "Many have been involved. And I have been used by something greater than me."

And how.

From his father (also a famous homeopath) on, he was always trained to do his work the very best he could -- and to always improve his results. A later mentor exhorted him to not merely read something in a book and accept it as true, but to PRACTICE it and see what is real in his own experience. Only then could he know he was on a useful path.

When he found his treatment results with previous methods so inconsistent, he could not accept this. He had to try to improve -- most of all, for his patients. So he and another colleague (Dr. Jayesh Shah) started examining the cases where people did not get well, as well as those who did. What was the difference? What were solid footholds, and what were not? They worked on this for years before uttering anything about it to the homeopathic community at large.

Testing revered theories can bring angry reactions from others, and this has happened in Dr. Sankaran's case. Some have even accused him of being paid by the allopathic medical community to create confusion in the homeopathic one.

So his has been a painful path at times. How driven -- burning, he said! -- one must be to keep on, in spite of this.

This led to the role of individualism in the human species: it is the way all real progress is made. A person discovers what s/he discovers, but the group usually resists the change. So the person moves away to investigate further, to test and refine whatever insights come. Then s/he brings the work back to the group, which may or may not carry it further. This is the theme of most tales of heroism in science, medicine, art, geography, literature, and more.

It is no different in homeopathy. And it means that any of us, if clear enough, can receive inspiration that is right and perfect for us. It could be concerning our individual fields of endeavor; our study and experience in these areas can prepare us to hear it. If we are courageous enough to move forward with it -- and to ACT on it -- this can advance things for everyone else too.

What is your area? What are you open to? Are you ready for the steps you might be inspired to take?

I've been on my own trajectory in this way, and it has not been easy. But through his example, Dr. Sankaran gives me hope.

I am grateful that he chose to work with his Inspiration, developing his insights as guided. He could have ignored it, but he didn't. Patients keep him honest: their results speak for his rigorousness or lack of it. His commitment to truth keeps him going, growing, testing, and being aware of what comes next. It seems to me Dr. Sankaran is cleaning in each moment, without calling it that.

May we all be worthy of whatever comes to us; if we are, good things come forward through us for all.

Peace begins with me,

Friday, September 25, 2009

Live from Ho'oponopono-land: Talking with Money

As Mabel Katz often remarks, there are a lot of "weird" things we do in Ho'oponopono. For instance, we say "thank you" when a problem shows up. Is that counter-intuitive or what?

We also talk to things: cars, computers, kitchen appliances, houses, sculpting tools, chairs, and more. This sounds extremely odd until you learn that in Ho'oponopono, so- called inanimate objects have three-part identities (subconscious, conscious, and superconscious, all linked to Divinity) just like people do.

In fact, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len says there's no such thing as an "inanimate" object. All things have spirit; they can respond to us and how we treat them. Since some of us routinely curse the machines we work with, this talking to things may not really be so alien after all.

But what if these "things" can feel when we're disgusted with them, or worse? What if they can also respond when we show them gratitude? Can they learn to do Ho'oponopono cleaning along with us?

In Ho'oponopono, one of the things we can talk to is money. The conversations many of us are having are fearful ones, though! I've been no different, lately.

In fact there were several nights last week when I couldn't sleep, and was waking up at 3 am. Self-employed people often stew this way. But on one of the awakenings, I remembered that I could clean with and speak to money -- maybe even hear it talk back to me.

So, deep in that restless night, I talked to the money in my business and personal accounts. "If I, my family, relatives, or ancestors have offended you in thought, word, deed or action, I am sorry. Please forgive me for whatever is going on in me that makes me worry about you so much." I also asked my inner child to help us let go of these fears. Saying "I love you," I fell back asleep.

The next morning I felt inspired to take a $20 bill out of my wallet and place it underneath a 3/4-full glass of water in my kitchen. "I want to take better care of you," I told the bill. "Ahhhhhh, thank you!" it said. "I needed that. If you let me rest here today, I'll go back in your wallet and clean the others. More will want to come."

My intellect found all of this a little goofy, but at the same time it seemed the right thing to do. As a child I had often talked to "things", before adults told me it was stupid to do so. It felt like something important coming alive in me again. So I got ready and went on to work, leaving the $20 at home to enjoy its "spa" day.

Greeting my office, I thanked it for holding my patients and me. I said the "I am the I" prayer with my "Self-Identity through Ho'oponopono" manual over my heart. It really felt like comfort and warmth were seeping into me. "Dear Creator," I prayed, "please help me keep you first in all that I do; please guide me as I work with my patients. I love you. Thank you. Help me let go of these worries about money; I'm sorry I have them. Thank you for taking care of me."

The day sped by, and the next.

But on the third day the bill for my malpractice insurance came. Fear rose as I looked at my business account; would there be enough? I asked the money what it needed from me. "We need you to love us!" it said. "We don't know if you want us or not." "I'm sorry," I told it. "I sometimes feel guilty accepting anything for myself." "Well, we want to be with you if you can make up your mind," it said.

Indeed! This comment completely shocked me. "Oh, yes!" I replied, "I DO want you with me." "Then love yourself too, and we'll come around." it said.

By now, I thought I must be completely looney. Money telling me I need to love myself? Sure, sure. But then my office-mate brought in more mail. It seems there was another envelope.

It was a check -- a nice-sized one, for teaching I'd forgotten I'd done.

I'd been deep into fear and self-criticism, thinking I wasn't producing "enough". Guilt about receiving was the other pole -- and this constant cycle, found in many physicians and other healers, felt horrible. This money out of the blue felt like a gift from Divinity, a reminder of being cared for. It was enough to help cover the insurance premium for that month. "Thank you!" I said. "I love you!"

Some will say this is all coincidence, but you'll never convince me of that. I gazed at that check with wonder and awe, deeply pondering the layers of meaning it held for me. With Ho'oponopono, my entire being is coming alive again -- including my inner child who got squashed so many years ago.

Only in Ho'oponopono-land can a psychiatrist talk to "things" and not get carted away. :-)

Peace begins with me,

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Is Ho'oponopono a "Therapy"?

Someone wrote me recently asking whether Ho'oponopono could be helpful in depression. I've been cleaning with this for several weeks.

While keeping the writer's confidentiality, I'm moved to share the [slightly abbreviated] note. Perhaps we can all clean with it while reading:

"Dear Dr. Pappas,

I see you are a psychiatrist who has also learned the art of ho'oponopono . . . I just wondered if you thought that ho'oponopono is able to help people recover from endogenous depression ?

As you are the only person I have found who is both a psychiatrist and aware of this hawaiian technique, I just wondered if you practiced ho'oponopono on your clients, or do you mainly practice it on yourself ? If you do not practice it on clients, have you heard (on the ho'oponopono grapevine) so to speak if ho'oponopono is curing people of depression and other serious illnesses.

It requires quite a lot of effort to practice this therapy every day and do the cleaning, and I get the impression it is important to clean for months maybe even years before the therapy really works, and so in order to help me stick it out, it would be really helpful to know that this technique really does work !

I wish there were more testimonials on the internet from people who are cleaning, and finding their illnesses and symptoms are clearing up. So far, I can only find websites that tells us why we need to clean.

I would be most grateful for any information you can share."

Thank you, dear writer, for this letter which raises so many important questions for us all. Your earnestness comes clearly through your words.

First, I do not consider Ho'oponopono to be a "therapy" to be practiced on anyone else. It's a way of life to practice with one's self only; it helps me feel peaceful in each moment. So I don't do it "on" my patients or others. I do work with my own reactions to patients all the time -- before, during, and after their visits. But unless they've heard elsewhere about my doing this, they never know it's going on.

Only Divinity really knows what happens as I clean, but sometimes people around me notice that they feel better. Perhaps as I let go of my own memories [and Divinity transmutes them], my patients can receive their own inspiration from Divinity too. That's got to be better than anything I could ever say!

I'm able to clean while with others because of my relationship with my inner child (subconscious, Unihipili). She cleans all the time, no matter what else I'm doing -- listening to someone, feeling fearful, getting mad, or even sleeping! I've had to regain contact with her, show her I appreciate and love her, and teach her about Ho'oponopono. We're a firm unit together now, and without her I'd be in dire straits.

Can Ho'oponopono help people recover from endogenous (or "major") depression? That's pretty complex! In my experience, practicing Ho'oponopono can temporarily increase feelings of sadness, guilt, shame, and depression as one begins the process -- especially if one is prone to these responses already. I found this in myself, and have also heard others comment about it as well.

One reason is that Ho'oponopono means taking 100% responsibility for all that comes into our awareness -- even if it seems distant from us. There truly is "no out there", and we share in all that occurs. This can feel overwhelming at first.

Also, for me there are some languaging problems in Ho'oponopono (please help me clean with this). I have heard some teachers say, "You're the problem, and you're responsible." This could certainly escalate feelings of depression in susceptible people. In contrast, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len often says, "Let's be very clear. You're perfect -- just as Divinity created you. We're all perfect. It's the [imperfect] memories and data running us that are the problem. And those can be erased."

This latter view provides a whole different scenario for me -- MUCH less depressing, even energizing. With this I can DO something, even if my conscious mind doesn't know what's going on. I'm no longer a victim, or a hopelessly awful person wallowing in perpetual guilt. For me, that's a natural antidepressant. :-)

Dr. Hew Len and Mabel Katz also teach that when we "clean" these memories that block Divinity's light in us, what comes off of us comes off of everyone else too. It's like a light switch: even if only one person in the room uses it, the lights come on for everyone. It's no accident that "light switch" is also a Ho'oponopono cleaning tool.

Others have also described lightening of depression through the use of other cleaning tools such as drinking Blue Solar Water, and keeping a 3/4-full glass of water that's emptied at least twice a day. I've used both of these myself, with positive results.

There have been some people who were suicidal and ready to be hospitalized before they started cleaning -- but who (sometimes through the glass of water method above) got well. You might ask Mabel about this in one of her teleseminars; she's shared that story and more.

Still, I would not recommend that anyone expect a full cure of major depression from Ho'oponopono alone. Why not? Because we can't know what we're really dealing with when cleaning. Our conscious minds are only aware of a very small part of the information that's active at any time. So how can we possibly expect to control the outcomes of our cleaning?

This doesn't mean that cure CAN'T happen though!! Dr. Hew Len comments on physical problems, and offers suggestions for responding to them:

“The physical is the expression of memories and inspirations taking place in the soul of self identity. Change the state of self identity and the state of the physical world changes.

When your soul experiences memories (replaying as problems), say to them mentally or silently: ‘I love you dear memories. I am grateful for the opportunity to free all of you and me.’ ‘I love you’ can be repeated quietly again and again. Memories never go on vacation or retire unless you retire them. ‘I love you’ can be used even if you are not conscious of problems.”

Dr. Kikikipa Kretzer at University of Colorado (Colorado Springs) is now conducting research with Ho'oponopono and various health conditions such as depression. Participants fill out questionnaires about their health, take the Health Ho'oponopono classes, and follow their progress over several months. She's already published a pilot study showing positive results with hypertensive patients.

In my own life and in the lives of my patients, I've seen that processes like Ho'oponopono help us experience a loving connection with something larger than ourselves. This connection helps us feel whole, attuned, and hopeful -- an antidote to depressive feelings such as brokenness, abandonment, guilt, and even apathy. For me, the idea that any pain I experience is an opportunity to let go is very hopeful.

It doesn't have to be Ho'oponopono for everyone, but we all need connection to something larger than us in our lives. Maybe for you it will be something else, whatever is exactly perfect for you. Thank you again for the opportunity to clean with depression, frustration, and all other pain -- which memories I of course share with you. But (thank heavens!) we can all be free.

Peace begins with me,

Saturday, September 12, 2009

It's Too Big For Me, God -- Ho'oponopono to the Rescue

"It's important to know that the subconscious -- whether yours or mine or anybody's -- holds all the collective memories of all of creation. So whatever's going on in the cosmos is really going on in you. There is no such thing as outside of you. We have come into this lifetime with all the collective memories of all of creation."
~Ihaleakala Hew Len, PhD

I was re-listening to a recorded call with Dr. Hew Len and Mabel Katz today; a caller asked about difficulties with certain others in her life. Dr. Hew Len responded as above.

Though I've been working with this concept for many years now (even before meeting Dr. Hew Len), it's still hard for me sometimes. The implications are enormous. So I simply allowed the words to pour over me, reach inside me. And as they did, I felt a deep quiet.

The way of Ho'oponopono is to recognize that we truly do share unconscious memories with all of creation, and that these manifest in our lives. People come to us as customers, real estate agents, patients, spouses -- all kinds of relationships and situations. We may think we're there to "help" them, or that they're there to "help" us in some unidimensional way. But life is not so simple.

As Mabel commented, it's more like the spider web above.

It means that we are not only connected, but we are 100% responsible for whatever we experience in this lifetime. Usually we all have questions about this, and want to make exceptions. What about starving children, or people who've been murdered, tortured, and raped? What about floods, earthquakes, and wars? How can those have any relation to us?

In my office, I see a lot of suffering people. When I first met Dr. Hew Len in 2007, he told me they were there not for me to "help" them, but so I could make amends. Huh? What had I done to make amends for? I had studied Jung's "collective unconscious", but still I had no room in my mind for the extent of what Dr. Hew Len was saying.

I asked questions galore. I got mad, felt guilty, ashamed, and depressed. There's SO much pain in the world -- I thought I would never be able to handle it all if I took 100% responsibility for it. My shoulders felt too small, my heart too shallow.

I was completely forgetting about Divinity, or that this had any connection with me. I thought I had been left behind long ago.

I thought "I" was all alone in my 100% responsibility, with no support or care. I thought if I really reached out to God, He would leave me stranded, just as important humans in my life had done. So you can imagine my journey with this has not been easy.

But Divinity is much larger than our conscious human selves, and we are much more than we think too.

Ho'oponopono is also about our Self-Identity -- which includes our conscious and unconscious mind, our superconscious, AND our Divinity within. As we come to know all these aspects of ourselves, we realize that although we know nothing about anything or anyone we meet in life, we do have resources. We can do the cleaning -- simple and direct -- no matter what shows up.

Dr. Hew Len reminds us that when we do the cleaning, Divinity automatically does Its part by transmuting (erasing) whatever is ready to be erased from us. Once we're at "zero" (painful data erased) Divinity can give us exactly what we need. This might be information, ideas, people we meet, money, or anything else at all. Mostly, our tiny minds can't imagine what all Divinity can do.

We can prepare for events by cleaning in advance -- such as on client lists, their addresses, and family connections too. We can recognize and appreciate our inner child (subconscious) which for eons has been carrying all these memories for us. Although it's the part of us that suffers, it's still willing to help us clean if we simply love and treat him/her with kindness.

On the call, Mabel also said something else that touched me deeply:

"When we go into the fear and the worry, we are telling God, 'I can handle it. I don't need your help.'"
Egad! I don't mean to do that! I need all the help I can get, even if I sometimes don't think I deserve it.

How many others of us might be in this same boat? I bet I've got company with the worry and the fear -- and with my sometimes non-trust of Divinity too. After all, down here on earth we have REAL problems, not something Spirit can make any headway with. :-) Or, how can our stuff possibly be of interest to Divinity -- S/He's so big, and we're so small???

What say we look into these feelings more deeply -- perhaps tell them, "I love you"? I am sorry, dear Divinity. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you, always, for being patient with me.

Peace begins with me,

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Traditional Ho'oponopono and Morrnah's Transformation

Ho'oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian method for restoring harmony, solving problems, and releasing stress.

Traditionally, extended families used Ho'oponopono to "set things right" when conflict arose.* Moderated by a family elder or Kahuna Lapa'au (healer), this was like a large family conference where all could speak their hearts. But as Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len often mentions, its success required all family members to be present.

Depending on the issues involved, the entire process could be lengthy. But the steps would be outlined for everyone beforehand: they include prayer, stating the problem, discussion, confession of wrongdoing, restitution when needed, forgiveness, and release.

The Ho'oponopono began with a "pule" (prayer) asking God to help and bless the proceedings. The family and leader together would seek out the cause of the problem or conflict, which might be very complex.

The leader focused the conversation, exploring these hurts so transgressions ("hala") could be stated. Perpetrator and person wronged were bound together in a negative entanglement called "hihia"; this could extend outward into a complex knot involving an entire net of relationships. Freeing everyone from this was needed so that the family could relate healthily again.

The mediator also kept individuals from directly confronting one another, so as to avoid emotional outbursts and further hurt. When speaking their feelings, the emphasis was to be on self-scrutiny: examining one's own part in the problem. People were encouraged to share honestly, yet in a way that avoided blame and recrimination.

Using these guidelines, layer upon layer of trouble could be discovered, explored, and resolved, until family relationships were free and clear. Everyone could both forgive and be forgiven; each could release the other from entanglement. The process ended with a prayer, and also a meal together. In this way, relationships could be restored.

What a helpful process, if families do it often enough! What happens when conflicted families are separated by geographic distance, though?

Kahuna Lapa'au Morrnah Simeona updated and simplified this process for modern times as "Self Identity through Ho'oponopono". Rather than bringing together all human parties in a conflict, this updated process brings together all inner aspects of a single individual who contains the "problem" (memories within and running us) in the first place!

It's interesting that traditional Ho'oponopono involved a lot of talking and communicating -- clearing the air, so to speak. But the updated model doesn't require us to speak to anyone, just work within ourselves.

When we're full of old grudges, hurts, and resentments, it's no wonder that hurtful words come out of our mouths. The "gunk" becomes a chronic fog surrounding and permeating us -- making things worse with each utterance. What if instead of rehashing all those, we can ask Divinity within to release us and them? What if we can cut ties with ("kala") these resentments and their accompanying entanglements?

Imagine what it might be like if the next words we speak to others are loving, as a result of dealing with ourselves first?

My own life would be much smoother, no doubt. :-)

Morrnah's personal gifts were many; her ability to reconfigure the complex traditional Ho'oponopono process into this simplifed form was definitely one. The lengthier version can still be practiced as desired, but I'm grateful for Morrnah's resourcefulness. It means those who are far away from their families -- and without access to trained Ho'oponopono facilitators -- can still deal with these issues on their own.

Mahalo nui loa, dear Morrnah, and to Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, Mabel Katz, and others for continuing to teach us.

Peace begins with me,

PS: Those interested in downloadable recordings of Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len and Mabel Katz's most recent teleseminar may click here for more info.

*Shook, EV. Ho'oponopono: Contemporary Uses of a Hawaiian Problem-Solving Process. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2002.

*Pukui, MK, Haertig EW, and Lee CA. Nana I Ke Kumu (Look to the Source). Honolulu: Queen Lili'uokalani Children's Center, 1972.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Letter to a Fellow Physician and Ho'oponopono Colleague

A fellow physician wrote in on a Ho'oponopono message board recently, commenting that patients never seen before were showing up in need of emergency treatment. S/he wondered how s/he could possibly be responsible for all this, since it seemed to be happening outside of his/her influence?

Moreover, how could s/he shift these emergent situations into healing ones?

I empathize, for sure. Daily medical work draws all kinds of people with all kinds of scary situations to us in our offices, clinics, hospitals, and emergency rooms. How can Ho'oponopono help with things like this, or even with something as big as health care reform?

I surely don't have all the answers, but I cleaned with the questions. Something is going on in me that my colleague has this pain, and these questions.

Then I responded on the same message board. After a little editing, I thought to share this here as well:

Dear Dr. X,

Your questions are good ones, and are reasonable for anyone who wants to see in the "outer" world, what we're doing in our inner one. Like you, I'm a physician who uses Ho'oponopono . . . but my focus is not to "change" anything. My focus, as I have learned from Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, is to be with God. I know this may sound hokey to you, but it's true nevertheless.

The way I can be with God is to let go of whatever shared memories I carry that might be fogging things up, even though Divinity's light is always "on". When those memories are in the way, it makes it appear as if things in the present are less than "perfect" [like patients with problems, a health care system needing reform, or even my computer going dead].

I can acknowledge that I know nothing about what's going on with anyone, including myself. The drive-by shootings, health care reform, people with cancer, anxiety attacks, post-traumatic stress, automobile accidents -- I know nothing about any of that. God knows everything, though, because S/He created all of us.

Patients come to us when we have shared memories to clean. Why arrive in front of you, or me, or some other physician at a particular time? Of course they present for treatment, but they also bring opportunities to clean shared memories we'd be unaware of otherwise. Their presence is a gift, even though we might not know what to do with that sometimes.

So I can accept 100% responsibility for all that appears within my witnessing -- even though I don't know how it got there. I can recognize that some shared memory WITHIN ME -- which could be ages old, carried by generations, or even present in the land or building I share -- is resulting in what I now think I see.

I can apologize to Divinity within for being unconscious in that way, and ask for forgiveness. I can say to Divinity within, "I'm sorry, please forgive me for whatever is going on in me that my patient is in pain. Thank you for showing me that this is present in me, so I can let it go. I love you".

In short, I can "clean". There are all kinds of tools for that.

If I clean (rather than get wound up in the seeming mess), what's right and perfect [Inspiration] can come through for me and everybody else too. For me, this means that whatever work I do in medicine is likely to be more helpful than it would be if I tried to be "in charge" by myself (without cleaning or without Divinity's help). I can do and say no end of stupid things if I try to be in charge that way.

Believe me, I have more than ample evidence to support that claim.

I don't know why or how things are as they are, but I simply know that by cleaning, I am taking care of what's in me to do. In that context, I practice my art and my science the best I know how.

Others can do this also, if they wish -- no matter what kind of medicine they practice. We clean, and Divinity transmutes the trash in our memory banks -- as only Divinity can do. Inspiration can then come through.

I don't know how to measure "outcomes" with this process, but I keep doing it anyway. It gives my heart some peace while I do what is before me to do in each moment. We physicians are portals for suffering in the world, and have endless opportunities to practice Ho'oponopono while we practice medicine.

Good luck to you, and I'm so glad to have a colleague doing this along with me.

Peace of I to you,