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.