Sunday, July 26, 2009

From Being "Bugged" to Ho'oponopono Cleaning

It's been a rainy weekend in Colorado Springs, and Drs. Ihaleakala Hew Len and Kikikipa Kretzer have just finished a Health Ho'oponopono seminar. This offers the Basic Ho'oponopono material, with additional focus on cleaning with health conditions such as hypertension, cancer, arthritis, and many others.

I was grateful to help staff the seminar. What a gift to meet so many pure-hearted people from so many places, all wanting to learn how to practice Ho'oponopono in their own way!

This is one of the special delights of Ho'oponopono: it offers us methods of connecting with Divinity for ourselves, without need for go-betweens. To assist us, certain meditations, processes, and attitudes are shared.

Ho'oponopono also offers "cleaning tools" that are a particular curiosity for many, but their wide variety can seem mysterious and confusing. Our intellects want to know "what" each tool is used for, so we can "do it right".

In my case, it was many months before I realized that using a tool like "strawberry" (by eating one or even thinking of it) is simply another way to say "I love you" (an even more commonly known cleaning tool). The result of using any of these is to initiate the cleaning process of repentance, forgiveness, and transmutation by Divinity that makes things right ("pono").

Both Drs. Kretzer and Hew Len stressed that the tools offered in the manual are starting points only. The idea is to connect regularly with Divinity so that our own unique cleaning tools may reveal themselves. The tools in the manual came through others' inspiration and are certainly helpful -- but our own will be particularly adapted for us and our situations.

Some of these cleaning tools can be very surprising as they come thorough our lives. We can even discover these through being "bugged", as Dr. Hew Len likes to say.

For instance, over time I've noticed (and been "bugged" by) certain discrepancies between versions of Morrnah Simeona's healing prayer found in different places.

Widely through the internet and in the book Zero Limits by Drs. Joe Vitale and Hew Len we find:

"Divine Creator, father, mother, son 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, we ask your forgiveness ... Let this cleanse, purify, release, cut all the negative memories, blocks, energies and vibrations and transmute these unwanted energies to pure light ... And it is done."

I love the prayer, in principle. But every time I read it specifying only "son" and not including "daughter", my insides clench -- I am "bugged". I clean with this feeling, yet it recurs. My intellect wonders, could Morrnah possibly have meant to do this? Might it be a mis-quote, or possibly someone's approximation of her words? I don't know.

On the other hand, the Self-Identity Through Ho'oponopono Basic 1 Manual contains the same prayer. But here it states:

"DIVINE CREATOR, Father, Mother, Child as ONE: . . . " and continues as above.

This version feels more whole to me, as it includes children of both genders. Some will no doubt accuse me of being sexist for noticing. I apologize in advance for any offense.

So today, Dr. Hew Len spoke about the generations-deep hatred between men and women, suggesting that breast cancer in women was the result. "It is from what men have done to women for eons," he said. "We have [mistreated] them in many ways." Listening, I wondered if prostate cancer in men could be an equivalent result in the other direction?

Privately, I asked him about this and about the prayer. "You're cleaning with breast cancer and prostate cancer with this, Pam," he answered. "The prayer is an opportunity for you." I heard this and didn't quite get it.

Then he told us at lunch, "Morrnah was a very unusual person. Sometimes -- I don't know why -- she would say different things at different times, to different people. I would ask her about it, and she would say, 'Yes, because that is a different person!'" Was it possible that the two prayer versions could be an example? He smiled and said, "Could be. Sometimes she would just tell people things."

"You have an opportunity to clean with breast cancer every time you get bugged with that [prayer]. Maybe she even put the prayer those different ways just so people would clean with breast cancer." Whoa! Lights on, blinding flash.

Hmmm . . . . "bug" tool for me, and maybe for others too. I will imagine myself cleaning with breast cancer AND prostate cancer, because both men and women are suffering at each others' hands. Of course, what I'm really cleaning about is likely to be far more complex and far-reaching than my intellect can ever comprehend.

Thank you Morrnah, Dr. Kretzer, Dr. Hew Len, and Dr. Vitale. Being "bugged" offers a whole lot more opportunity now than it used to!

Peace begins with me,

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Apologize? What, who, me?

Self Identity Through Ho'oponopono is known as a process of "repentance, forgiveness, and transmutation" so that our errors in throught, word, and deed can be cleansed and made right. But the part about "repentance" stops some of us cold. Even the phrase "I'm sorry" can rankle.


For some of us, the word "repentance" churns up evangelical connotations: sin, guilt, fire, and eternal damnation, from earlier religious training. We may have struggled against such seemingly condemning viewpoints all our lives.

And understandably, we don't want any of that stuff. It leaves us feeling hopelessly bad about ourselves. Any implication of wrongdoing triggers our shame. That's why saying "I'm sorry" can stir up our resistance.

Is Ho'oponopono about hopelessness and focusing on how bad we are? Hardly. Most religions aren't either, although the people practicing them may get stuck there.

I ran across a helpful reference to this issue in a report Joe Vitale recently wrote, called "Zero Limits Answers." It's a collection of questions and answers about "zero" that Joe, who was once homeless, gathered to benefit a foundation to end poverty.

The pertinent question:

""I am sorry!"? Does this mean apology or sadness? What do I have to be sorry for when everything in the Universe is perfect? I don't like having to say it. "

Joe's answer:

"You need to say 'I'm sorry' and 'Please forgive me' for being unconscious. it has nothing to do with regret, guilt, shame, or blame, but everything to do with realizing you've been asleep. When you bump into someone in the store, you say 'I'm sorry.' Why? Because you made a mistake. You were unconscious and did something while you were unaware. When you address the Divine and say those phrases, you are letting the Divine know you were unconscious. Forgiveness is one of the most powerful transformative tools you have. If you aren't willing to ask for forgiveness for being unconscious, you are probably blocking the Divine's flow in your life in other areas, too.

Having said all that, I once asked Dr. Hew Len what to tell people who complained about saying 'I am sorry.' He said, 'Tell them they don't have to say it.'"

Although some people object to Joe Vitale, this is one of the clearest responses I have seen to this question. I really appreciate his making it available.

Most of us don't realize we've been unconscious, because we still are. :-)

I like the simple notion of acknowledging a "Woops!" (as I've often heard Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len say also) and going back to my cleaning. It's so easy to fall back asleep and forget that my inner responses to others are, in fact, MY responses, and not necessarily what is true about them or the situation. I'm glad for the possibility to note these responses as they arise, clean, and move on. No self-flagellation required. (although I've certainly gone through periods of that)

In recent years, Dr. Hew Len has indicated that the phrase "I love you" covers all the other 3 ("I'm sorry," "Please forgive me," and "Thank you"). That's why we don't "have" to say "I'm sorry" if it really doesn't feel right to us.

But it's true that we are responsible for our misperceptions. The issue is becoming aware that they are indeed misperceptions and not "facts". Saying "I'm sorry" is acknowledging to Divinity that we recognize this, that the process has been going on for eternity, and we are now stopping the buck. The entire conversation is between us and Divinity, and we are asking for help.

It's been a particular "wake-up" call for me when someone transposes the "Please forgive ME" phrase into "I forgive YOU." We have such difficulty acknowledging our own errors, but sniff out those of others like bloodhounds. When this happens in my presence, I know it is my own recalcitrant ego/intellect showing up yet again -- time for more cleaning. So thank you, dear people, for showing me where to apply the spiritual Lysol (or solar water, or blueberries)!

Peace begins with me,

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Ho'oponopono, Morrnah Simeona, and Our Lady of Freedom

"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."
~Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona, Kahuna Lapa'au

I grew up knowing July 4th for its fireworks, parades, and red, white, and blue. Before learning United States history, I understood it mostly as my father's birthday -- which somehow the entire nation was celebrating too. He's often said he's honored that there's such fanfare on "his" day.

He and I would go to one of the fireworks stands in our town to buy collections of sparklers, whirlers, roman candles, and firecrackers, which we'd later light in the backyard. I'm sure the neighbors appreciated this. :-) The sulphur smoke smell still lingers in my memory, along with visions of exploding colored lights. I especially loved holding the sparklers, despite the hot fiery prickles on my arm.

But besides being certain people's birthdays, July 4th more widely commemorates the United States' adopting the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776. We have the Statue of Liberty holding her beacon high, like the photo above.

There are freedoms even more enduring than these political ones, such as the kind Morrnah Simeona (quoted above) spoke of with Self-Identity Through Ho'oponopono. Starting right where she was, she showed ALL of us how we can truly be free. She was very clear in defining the alternatives we can choose in any moment, along with their possible outcomes.

If we can appeal to Divinity within to forgive and transmute our erroneous memories, we can free ourselves of past assumptions, conditioning, and more. Imagine! Rather than being tied down by chains of past guilt, shame, anger, and other kinds of suffering, we can let these go and breathe freely.

Or, we can engage in them ad infinitum -- bogging ourselves down more and more in each moment. The choice is ours.

Designated a Living Treasure of Hawaii in 1983, Morrnah also felt very drawn to Thomas Crawford's statue of "Our Lady of Freedom" atop the dome of the United States Capitol. Over 145 years old, the bronze statue is a stately woman wearing an eagle-feathered headdress and flowing robes. She holds both a sword and wreath, symbols of strength and victory. Morrnah apparently connected with her while sitting on the Capitol lawn in the 1960's.

No wonder she did! "Our Lady of Freedom" represents the United States' memory bank, which was already packed and tangled even at that time. Morrnah dedicated her life to showing how ALL of us can be truly free -- through an ongoing process of cleansing our memory banks. She traveled the world with her teachings, and was often accompanied by Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len.

In 1989, Morrnah helped author a bill to the Hawaiian House Committee in Intergovernmental Relations and International Affairs to recognize the statue as a symbol of world peace and freedom. Her organization, the Foundation of I (now known as IZI LLC), donated funds to restore the original plaster model of the statue, which had been disassembled into sections and stored at the Smithsonian for 25 years.

Our Lady of Freedom has now been refurbished and re-set both in bronze on the Capitol dome, and as her plaster cast in the Capitol Visitor Center (re-opened in December 2008). About her, the poet Rita Dove wrote:

" . . . don't think you can ever forget her
don't even try
she's not going to budge
no choice but to grant her space
crown her with sky
for she is one of the many
and she is each of us."

At every Ho'oponopono training seminar, a photograph of "Our Lady of Freedom" is present. As we clean, whatever comes off of us may come off of her too. Though the statue is here in the United States, Morrnah's vision of freedom and peace encompassed the entire world.

So Happy Independence Day to everyone -- not just in the United States. May all know true freedom, and the peace that passes understanding.

Peace begins with me,