Ho'oponopono: A Chance to Un-do Our Collective Karmic Stew

Timothy Freke's book, Shamanic Wisdomkeepers, contains a very valuable interview with Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len. In it he discusses Hawaiian tradition and ways of understanding the world.

Ho'oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian process of repentance, forgiveness, and transmutation that allows us to relate directly with the Light, or Divinity, that created us. No clergy, gurus, or other intermediaries are required.

In one sense, this gives us great power to solve (or release) our own seeming problems, since it's all between us and Divinity anyway.

At the same time, all of us are interconnected -- and we share a collective stew of "stuff". So although we can take 100% responsibility for our perceptions and experiences and work with Divinity to clear our erroneous memories, we also profoundly affect each other.

What about these erroneous memories? How do they arise?

"For the Hawaiians it's very simple," explains Dr. Hew Len. "In the beginning you were created perfect. Do you know what it means to be perfect? Perfect means that the very thought of you by the Light was Light. Because you were a reflection of the Light you were perfect.

When you were this perfect being you were free. That's what love is. Love is to be free. You were born free and at that moment the Light said to you: 'I love you. And because I love you, you can stay with me or you can go.' Because that's what love is -- no attachment. You were able to choose to be this or be that. And you chose, like me, to be 'that.' That's how it all started. And so, for whatever reason, you and Haleakala decided to go and move out of the Light. This has happened over more lifetimes than all the stars in the heavens. This is why we're loaded. We're ill. We get confused. We're in chaos all the time."

He goes further.

"People ask: 'What is the basis of life? The scientists say it is DNA. For the Divinity the three aspects of your self is the essence of life. This 'Inner Family' is the key. Out of the Light comes the spiritual superconscious part of your being. It is always in connection with the Light. Why? Because it's perfect. At the next level is the mental part. The thinking part. What psychologists call 'conscious mind.' This is the part which manages. That can make choices. This is the important part because it can make the choice to be nurturing as opposed to being stuck in the intellect. And then there is the subsconscious or the child. In this child is all the thought forms and all the memories. So when someone gets sad or angry it's just a repeat of something that has happened before.

The only problem with human beings is that they are arrogant, because that's what thinking is. Thinking is in essence 'I know.' Wisdom is being in the void. To be thoughtless.

Only by being in the void can the Light come through. As long as I have something going on in my mind the Light can't come through. The light can only come in when the mind is cleared -- in a state of silence.

The intellect is always trying to take a position and say: 'Here's what I am.' It can't help it. But you really don't know. The intellect just talks a good story. But does it produce results? I'm results oriented. The intellect has a magical ability to dance you. You get impressed. But you have to ask a very fundamental question. 'Show me! Give me results!' You can choose to be 'right' or be peaceful. Being 'right' always leads to suffering."

Ho'oponopono is about rectifying these errors that have built up over eons, since we as arrogant humans decided to move away from the Light.

"The central point in Ho'oponopono," says Dr. Hew Len, "is that all of the problems, stresses, and diseases that one experiences begin as replays of old negative emotional memories. Being residents of the cosmos, we all share in a common pool of old negative memories. Using the cleansing process of Ho'oponopono, one is able to petition the Light within to transmute old woes and replace them with divine peace. The key to the beginning of the cleansing process is self introspection. The question to be asked is: 'What is going on inside of me that is manifesting the problems?'

If I'm angry that anger will manifest as cancer or something. If I want that cancer to go, all I have to do is shift my thought. And the way I do it is through a process of saying: 'I'm sorry. Forgive me for whatever is going on inside me that causes me to perceive that which is not working for anyone.' Once I say 'I'm sorry, please forgive me,' then the Light will actually shift that thought-form. Only the Light can do that. It will take anger and purify it and neutralize it. Then it will release it and there is nothing left there. The anger will disappear. And then it does something extra. Once there is release and an emptiness, the Light will then put in what is right for you.

Ho'oponopono is a path of repentance and forgiveness. Before I can be forgiven I have to be repentful. You don't find too many people around here being repentful, because the opposite of repentance is blame. The opposite of being repentful and forgiving is not being 100% responsible. And without that I cannot make this cancer disappear. This is a manifestation of my thought. But if I shift my thought and allow it to be transmuted into Light, this thing will go. And when this thing goes, some new creation will come in. Through just being responsible the Light immediately gives you what you need and you'll be inspired."

In Hawaiian and many other indigenous shamanic traditions, all of life is interconnected. Through Ho'oponopono we can heal ourselves -- but this activity also benefits others too.

Says Dr. Hew Len,

"We all have to move together. If you don't move, I can't move. If you don't go home, I can't go home. If you're not in the Light, I can't be in the Light. It's all for one and one for all. I can either go home with all of you, or I can't go home at all. It can't be done individually. But individual responsibility is important because it begins the process.

You are in me and I am within you. You and I share all the common memories since the beginning of creation. Why is that so? Because we are like everything in a pot of stew. We can't escape each other. If someone calls me with a hip problem, I know it's caused by a memory. Because I share a common memory with that person, when I do this process called Ho'oponopono the memory will be transmuted."

You never know what the Light will give you to do. The Light may say: 'OK the game's over.' I'm not here for the next lifetime. I'm here to get it over with. I see life as a process of being responsible and constantly cleaning away 'errors.' And then man is able to evolve along with Mother Earth, the planets, a speck of dust, your shoes, this jacket -- everything moves. I don't see myself as a kahuna. I see myself as a garbage collector. I'm only here to be responsible and it's often very hard to do that."

The chapter includes a Ho'oponopono cleaning tool that I have found extremely helpful: Mahiki -- the Indigo Bowl. It and many other tools are shared at Ho'oponopono training seminars, scheduled on the Foundation of I website.


The method called the "Indigo Bowl" can help solve problems of any kind. It is best performed twice a week before retiring at night. Imagine placing all of your problems -- to do with your self, your family, friends, ancestors, cars, pets, animate or inanimate things -- into an indigo bowl, which is suspended over the center of the crater of the Haleakala volcano in Hawaii. Allow whatever you have placed in the bowl to turn from indigo to ice blue, and finally to white. Then the Divinity will finish the treatment and the situation will change.

Thank you, Timothy Freke for your wonderful interview -- of which this is only a part. And thank you again, Dr. Hew Len, for sharing your wisdom with us. To me, you're a gem among "garbage collectors". :-)

Peace Begins with Me,


GregTamblyn said…
Great article and explanation Pam! Thanks for making it easy to understand.

There is so much here that resonates with other wisdom traditions, some of which we encountered at the recent Science and Consciousness conference.

Thanks again,
Greg Tamblyn
Anonymous said…
I cams across your blog 2 days ago and I am voraciously reading every post. You are an amazing representative of Ho'Oponopono. Your explanations and experiences are easily comprehended. You have a gift with words and clear thoughts. I say Thank You for your abilities and exciting me about this tradition. I feel a sense of purpose I have not felt in a long time. It is in thanks to you and Ho'Oponopono presenting itself to me 2 days ago. Much love to you.
Anonymous said…
I was brought to your blog 2 days ago, when the tradition of Ho'Oponopono presented itself to me. Your explanations and relayed experiences are easily comprehended and are full of wisdom. I am voraciously reading all of your blog posts.

In learning about Ho'Oponopono I have a sense of purpose that I have not experienced on a long time. The tradition resonates with me, to my core.

Thank you for your blog. Thank you for being a shining example of this tradition and of humanity.

Much love
Pam Pappas MD said…
Dear Sandra,

Thank you for your very kind words, and for your cleaning. Ho'oponopono is a path for me also. It can be applied anywhere, with anything, by anyone who chooses. Enjoy!


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