Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ho'oponopono and the Lesson of Dead Tomatoes

I have some planting beds in my backyard, and can grow tomatoes and other delightful treats. The lettuce and basil this year have been wonderful so far too.

Only I went away recently for a homeopathy meeting. During my few days' absence, our Arizona summer arrived with a vengeance.

Seriously, you might leave one day with temperatures in the 80's, and return a couple of days later to 100+. It happens that suddenly here. The air shifts from inviting and warm at noon, to searing the skin from your face.

Imagine you are a tomato plant, trapped in your spot . . . and the drip irrigation fails. Your human isn't there to know it, and the sun beats down full force too. You are toast in short order.

So that is what greeted me when I returned. Dead, brown, sad tomato plants -- yet still bearing some tomatoes. It was eerie; it was as if with their dying gasp, the plants gave up their last red, shiny progeny. "Go forth, make seeds, let us be remembered," they might have been saying.

Or so I imagined. :-)

Perhaps the same can happen with us, without Ho'oponopono or some other regular spiritual practice. For me, Ho'oponopono is like water. Blue solar water, in fact. It helps me connect with Divinity within.

Without that, I am toast.

Consistent practice and meditation are needed, especially the part about working with my inner child (unihipili). In Ho'oponopono, this is the part that contains our memory banks, runs our bodies, and houses our emotions. It is the connecting link between the mother (Uhane) part of us and our higher self (Aumakua), which is always in direct contact with Divinity.

No connection, no juice.

Unfortunately, sometimes I have neglected my inner child, and maybe she looks like the human form of a wilted, dry tomato plant or worse. The connection between us can grow very thin, and this puts us out of rhythm.

I don't know why I don't listen sometimes, or sometimes think I can't spare the time to take care of us.

I do come from a long line of people who lack good self care. Learning to do otherwise is coming only gradually. It doesn't help that I also trained into another group that collectively has poor self-care: physicians. So I slip back into these old patterns sometimes. I hope my unihipili is patient with me when that happens.

"The real Secret," Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len has said, "is that the most important relationship is between the mother and the child. The mother can choose to help them not suffer; she can engage in the data or can teach the child to let go."

"If you don't get the help of the child, the cleaning will not work," Dr. Hew Len continues. "The child holds all the problems, all the memories. It could clean all the time, even when you're sleeping. Encourage the child, say 'I love you.' If the child felt loved by you, it would work with you."

I love when Dr. Hew Len talks about caring for this inner child, and teaching it to let go of data or memories. "The data runs us," he says. "If I wake up with a backache, I can talk to my inner child. 'We're experiencing this backache now -- can we please let go? Let's say 'I love you'", he explains.

From Dr. Hew Len's article, "Who's in Charge?":

When your Soul experiences memories replaying 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. For example, it can be applied before engaging in any activity such as making or answering a telephone call or before getting into your car to go somewhere.

Our inner child can help us with this. But it won't happen unless -- through gentle acknowledgement, care, and concern -- we connect with him or her first. Without this connection, our sense of aliveness dries up -- like my tomato plants without their water in searing summer heat. Thank you, dear memories, for showing up in my self-neglect so I can let go of you. I love you.

I'm planting new tomato plants, with water that will nourish and sustain them.

Peace begins with me,

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ho'oponopono: Simplicity Accepts Us All

"I wish I could make it more complicated for you,
but I really cannot." ~Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len

I've often heard Dr. Hew Len say this to people, both in person and on teleseminar calls. A combination of laughter followed by silence usually results.

Many of us just can't fathom how saying "I love you" or mentally thinking a so-called cleaning tool such as "ice blue" can do anything in the outer world of effects.

Perhaps that is precisely the point -- it is beyond our human abilities to fathom.

Indeed, one of the things many like about Ho'oponopono is its simplicity. It excludes no one, requires no particular dogma, and can be practiced in all situations. Health issues, family discord, financial challenges, and career or life purpose dilemmas are only a few possible applications.

Soon after meeting Dr. Hew Len, I asked him about additional training beyond "Basic" Ho'oponopono. How he had developed his own understanding of it, over so many years? He worked with Morrnah Simeona from the early 1980's until her death in 1992, accompanying her during consultations and teaching. "She never said much," he commented. "There were some basics, but that's about it."

I can imagine that simply being around Morrnah might have provided countless lessons, even if not offered like a "class". "Whenever there was a problem, Morrnah would always say, 'Look at yourself,' Dr. Hew Len told me.

We are so well-trained to look for external causes of our problems, I personally know that incorporating this idea takes awhile!

In previous years there have been "advanced" Ho'oponopono classes, but these have not been offered for the last several years. Mabel Katz told me that Self-Identity Through Ho'oponopono has evolved; much of what used to be presented in the "advanced" classes is now shared in the "basic" one.

This probably confuses people who are used to multiple "levels" in spiritual and healing paths -- Reiki, Universal White Time Healing, and Healing Touch all provide examples.

But when you consider more deeply, the focus of these others is greatly on what you do "to" others (your clients, for instance). This may come through certain kinds of touch, meditations, use of mental symbols, or other aspects taught in classes. Clients come to the practitioner for some kind of "healing", and the practitioner offers his/her expertise.

Ho'oponopono is not like this at all. Instead it focuses on working with our own problematic memories rather than on doing something to, or "healing," others. It helps us find answers within ourselves. There may be positive ripples for those around us when we work in this way, though.

Through a combination of talks, experiential activities, and question-and-answer periods, the Basic Ho'oponopono training seminar answers several important questions:
  • Who am I?
  • What is a problem?
  • Where is the problem?
  • How can the problem be solved?
  • What is the purpose of existence?

As Dr. Hew Len is fond of asking, "Have you noticed that when there is a problem, you are always there?" Ho'oponopono posits that we are 100% responsible for all that appears in our lives. The only way to deal with this is to acknowledge it, and ask Divinity for help.

Morrnah once said:

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

Ho'oponopono is not a system which involves finding yet another guru to follow or worship, or endless "levels" of instruction to complete. It is, however, a process which requires practice, patience, and resolve as we learn to incorporate new attitudes towards ourselves and others.

When our basic response to anything or anyone is "I love you" rather than the abundance of other possibilities, it does change our outlook!

To me this attitude is mirrored also in the words of the Dalai Lama: "There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness."

New "live" Ho'oponopono seminars are being offered all over the country and world -- you can find your closest option by clicking here. Alternatively, Mabel Katz offers her related "Zero Frequency" teleseminars and also Ho'oponopono question and answer sessions.

Ho'oponopono is an inner practice, but connecting with others who are also developing in this way sure helps me keep up with it. I wish I had known Morrnah, but when she was living I probably would not have been prepared to listen. So I am grateful to know Dr. Hew Len, Mabel Katz, Kamaile, and so many others practicing Ho'oponopono. All in its own good time, no doubt.

Peace begins with me,