Sunday, June 27, 2010

Being Kind and Being Ruthless, Through Ho'oponopono Cleaning

"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet

There are times when kindness is the only thing that makes sense. Perhaps this recognition dawns on us once we have lost enough in our lives -- relationships, jobs, pets, health, possessions, anything we value -- to connect with other beings experiencing the same.

Once there, life is never the same again.

It's like your heart is broken open, and no self-righteous stance holds any longer. There is only marveling at the diversity of life, the variety of human and other kinds of suffering, and offering of ourselves where we can.

As a doctor, I see and hear a lot. As a homeopath, I have the chance to listen even more deeply than I could when practicing conventional psychiatry alone. From this quiet place within, I simply allow the other to be as s/he is. We gently track and find what needs healing. It gradually shows itself.

I, too, have a homeopath who does this for me -- even when I'm talking absolute nonsense. Like most other humans, this is frequent. He simply observes, following the trail I leave. And although not pushing, he misses nothing. Sometimes what I find at the bottom embarrasses me. It's a state that is "not me", yet has been with me 24/7 for a very long time. How my homeopath stands me at times I do not know.

"It isn't really you I'm talking to anyway, Pam," he says. "Actually Pam can stay in the car, because she's just fine. It's your disease I need to hear from, and let it self-excavate itself so we can see how it is."

This attentiveness on his part is definitely kindness. But it's not the type that says, "Oh, you poor thing; let me make it all better."

Instead it says, "Let's understand your particular suffering and how it saps your life. I'm observing every gesture you make, and hearing every word you utter. It all comes together to show what's out of tune in you. Once we see this, can we encourage your own life force to take the reins once more -- rather than this mindless, reactionary thing inside that seems to live you you at times?"

He simply employs his skillful compassion -- and the remedies (homeopathic medicines) that come from this understanding -- the best that he can. I am responding by gradual -- yet to me amazing -- growth. There is also quieting of what was a hypersensitive, easily insulted or slighted, being inside.

Once we see that we're really run by information, data, "memories", etc rather than our conscious minds, we can also understand that everyone else is run by this also. A certain forgiveness comes; things said by others don't have to be experienced as personal attacks any longer. For me this has a deeply freeing and mitigating effect. Of course I will get out of the way where I need to, but my armor doesn't need to be "up" all the time. Relief.

Ho'oponopono helps me listen to others in the same unperturbable, focused way I have been listened to. In being heard that way, I somehow get quiet enough to heal myself. All of us can do this, when attended to carefully enough. I hope my patients experience this with me. As I become less scattered and more able to see and hear, the more I'm able to attend to others in a neutral yet ruthless way.

I want my homeopath to be ruthless with me too. This is the ultimate kindness he can offer -- by exposing the masks I wear but really do not "need". It seems to come naturally to him, and I'm grateful. Well, mostly. :-)

In my own practice with others, Ho'oponopono keeps me balanced, firm, and collected as I go about my life and work. It opens my heart to others, but also quiets me enough so my eyes can see. Perceiving clearly, I can ruthlessly follow the person's sensitivity trail to what is unbalanced or "stuck". Were I lost in my own delusional song, I would be befuddled and of no help to anyone.

It's curious that homeopathy posits an "other song" that runs our lives, and which can be quieted through skillful application of a remedy -- while Ho'oponopono posits "memories" or "data" which Divinity can transmute. They may be connected, I don't know. The attitude one needs to be effective is the same in both, though. Kamailelauli'I, President of IZI LLC
, once told me on a phone call that to be of service in Ho'oponopono cleaning, our attitude needs to be very firm. It isn't a place for pity or sympathy, no matter how the person suffers.

This sounded cold at first, and then I realized she and Morrnah were right. Unless we're very careful, it's easy to get lost in the agonizing stories humans tell. If we do this, we are completely lost -- the same way I have sometimes been in my homeopathy cases if I lose the trail.

Uncannily, this ruthless clear sightedness allows us to also see that we're all swimming in the same memory soup . . . leading directly back to simple compassion and kindness for us all.

I still marvel -- consistent Ho'oponopono cleaning is definitely not for wimps. And yet, it's the kindest, most compassionate thing we can do when anyone in our lives is suffering.

Peace begins with me,

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ho'oponopono for Mixed-Up, Addicted, or Otherwise Suffering Families -- and Beyond

Ho'oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian method of problem solving, stress release, and making things right. It can help us no matter how resentful, angry, hurt, frightened, or righteously indignant we might be feeling.

Historically, doing Ho'oponopono required all people involved in a conflict to be present -- along with a moderator (usually an elder) who would also offer prayers at appropriate times. The process was a ceremony aimed at resolving differences and restoring harmony.

Morrnah Simeona was a Kahuna Lapa'au (Hawaiian healer employing prayer, herbs, love [aloha] and touch to restore health to ailing people)
who updated this ancient process for modern times. This became Self-Identity Through Ho'oponopono (SITH), as now taught by Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len and others all over the world.

Morrnah's SITH process allows each of us to work with Divinity within, rather than physically bringing together everyone with whom we might be having trouble. Ho'oponopono sees any "problems" we might be experiencing as faulty memories or data anyway . . . and any of this can be cleared.

As Morrnah said, "We can appeal to Divinity who knows our personal blueprint, for healing of all thoughts and memories that are holding us back at this time."

I do not understand how this process "works" in terms of physics, principles of non-locality, or anything else. But over the last several years -- and particularly in the last few months with a most challenging situation -- I've had personal experience that it does.

I have previously written about my distress over a family member's long-term health and addiction problems. As these have progressed, the entire family has been through chaos and discord -- with the pain being so deep, some have refused to speak to each other. There have been excuses, lies, blame, loud cries of injustice, and real fear for the future. All in my family have been wounded by this person's behavior, as well as whoever has enabled it.

My own personal cauldron of fury and helplessness has seemed to continue bubbling, despite all the Ho'oponopono cleaning I could muster.

Many times over this period, I've been grateful for help from Dr. Hew Len and Mabel Katz. My voice is on many of Mabel's teleseminars, with both she and Dr. Hew Len offering cleaning suggestions. The calls themselves are opportunities to clean with ALL things raised by ANYONE, not just our own situations . . . . so hopefully others have benefited as well. As Dr. Hew Len and Mabel say, "Whatever comes off of us, comes off of everyone else too."

Back in February-March of this year, weird things started happening in my house. Lights and fans were going "on" without anyone hitting the switch to make them do that. Things started coming out of kitchen drawers and ending up on the floor, when I hadn't put them there. Really, I would be sitting in my family room and the ceiling fan would suddenly start whirring overhead. Or I would leave the room and come back, noticing that the ceiling light had come on in my absence.

It was spooky.

In fact, these events were eerie reminders of Dr. Hew Len's experience at Hawaii State Hospital -- when showers would go on and toilets would flush with no one in or on them.

Though he is very busy and I hesitated to bother him, I finally asked Dr. Hew Len for a cleaning tool I might use in this escalating situation with my family. He wrote back with one, which because it is unique to me, I will not share here. I thanked him profusely and have used it A LOT over the past few months, along with my other cleaning practices. (glass of water, drinking blue solar water, breathing HA, etc).

My family member got sicker and more addicted, with even more distress resulting in the one trying to take care of/control her. Many hospitalizations later, she was found to have a growing lung mass -- which she didn't want diagnosed fully or treated. This is her right, of course.

Whenever worry, anger, hurt, or whatever would rise up in me, I would keep cleaning with Ho'oponopono, especially my particular "tool". Any of us can ask Divinity for such tools on our own -- but I felt overwhelmed at the time. I cannot fully convey the depth of this suffering; I felt so torn about what I should "do" or "not do", it seemed like I was sinking.

But a couple of weeks ago I noticed a very strange thing. Where for years I had been so full of rage, shame, guilt, and a multitude of other painful emotions about and towards this family member, all of this was simply and inexplicably gone. Vanished. Poof!

I have no idea where it went -- but it's not in my experience anymore.

I was able to collect my wits, and connect with family members who had all seemed to go their separate ways. There was no longer need for drama, blame, righteousness, or reference to the past. My actively ill family member is now in Hospice, receiving the care she needs until the end. Where I was so contorted with my own misery before, I am able to respond in the moment and from the heart.

It's not that previous painful things did not happen -- but it's more that my emotional charge about them has left. I see the suffering, but am not wallowing in it. I feel compassion and care, but not pity or further need to self-justify.

I do what comes naturally in response to what seems needed -- and this to me feels like inspiration coming through. It feels authentic, unconflicted, and clear -- a huge difference from before.

I offer this follow-up in case anyone ever wonders whether Ho'oponopono "works". The biggest thing it has changed, though, is ME -- and this is exactly what needed changing the most.

"It's only about persistent nonstop cleaning," said Dr. Hew Len. "We don't experience [others] directly; we experience them as memories replaying. SITH is a simple process of petitioning Divine Creator to release the memories through repentance, forgiveness, and transmutation."

I am grateful.

Peace begins with me,

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ho'oponopono Cleaning: Divine Inspiration in the Gulf

Many people wonder what "inspiration" really is, even though Ho'oponopono mentions it frequently. When we allow Divinity to transmute to zero whatever we're experiencing as problems, Divine Inspiration can supposedly come through. This may show up in all kinds of ways.

I've often asked Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len about this myself, wondering how -- in the course of Ho'oponopono cleaning -- we can "know" when we're inspired. After all, we might experience peaceful feelings, urges to call certain people, or some other thing. How to differentiate our own inner ego (conscious mind) talking, from the urges of Divine Inspiration? Dr. Hew Len has often answered, "If you have to ask whether you're inspired, you're not." :-)

It sounds glib, but it's really not.

There's a big difference between trying to obsessively plan out an idea that sounds good, and moving forward with something that arises naturally from within. The first example can be full of anxiety, anguish, and "what ifs". There might be procrastination and paralyzing fear.

The second kind of "idea" stirs from within -- and as it bubbles to the surface, first steps towards its realization show up. There is no hesitation, worrying, or endlessly asking "should I?" More steps appear, and we simply do them. Dr. Hew Len has talked about things you just "do" automatically. Work is definitely involved, but it doesn't feel burdensome like the first type can. And you don't have to know all the steps -- or even the final outcome -- to begin.

In this way, he reminds me of a Hawaiian Yoda: "Do or do not. There is no try."

The brown pelican accompanying today's blog post was painted by an inspired 11-year-old girl, Olivia Bouler, from Long Island, New York. A bird lover and artist for many years, she was heartbroken when the recent BP oil spill polluted the Gulf of Mexico. She and her parents had often visited Orange Beach on the Alabama coast; Olivia learned about all the birds who live there. Long before the oil spill, she had already decided she wants to be an ornithologist. Pretty amazing for one so young.

Well, Olivia wanted to do something to help her feathered friends who were stuck in the oily mess. "A lot of people just want to sit there and say, 'Oh, it'll be fine, BP will do it,
" she said. "But that's not going to happen. BP made a huge mistake and I want to make up for that mistake."

So she started putting her talent to work: drawing pictures of birds that people might buy, and sending the donations to the National Audubon Society.

Things started out slow . . . but so far Olivia has created 150 bird paintings. The project quickly evolved into something much larger when AOL joined in the effort, giving Olivia her own AOL Artist page. If you donate to Audubon's Gulf oil spill cleanup efforts, you can receive one of Olivia's beautiful pieces. After she's drawn 500, donors will receive prints -- and she's well on her way.

Olivia and her paintings have raised $100,000 to help clean up oiled birds thus far. Who would ever have dreamed of this, starting out? She didn't think twice about it . . . she just did it. And she's still doing it. This evening she was even featured on Katie Couric's CBS News.

To me this is inspiration, and it touches my heart. It's also some major, major cleaning. Are YOU listening to your own inspirations, like Olivia did hers?

Thank you Olivia, for showing us your courage and your talent. And thank you for helping all our bird friends in your very special way.

Peace begins with me,