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,