Saturday, September 18, 2010

Connection or Disconnection: Our Choice in Ho'oponopono

 "The rainbow is a sign from him who is in all things."
~ Hopi saying

A physician colleague wrote this past week asking about Ho'oponopono, as he had come across this blog.  He had also attended a recent Ho'oponopono training near his home. 

It was a blessing to hear from him.   Although Ho'oponopono is a way for all people to make amends for our misperceptions about others and life itself, I feel this is especially important for those of us in healing professions.  Not all are willing to consider these ideas, but I offer this blog from the part of me who is in all things.  

As far as healers go, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len often shares that as a psychologist he was trained to "help" other people.  But in practice, this doesn't work.  How many patients do my colleagues know, who are not "helped" by what we do in medicine?  Is this not uncanny, when we are trying so hard?

In Ho'oponopono, we are not really here to help others at all; they (and we) are already perfect.  Our perceptions, though -- which arise entirely within us -- are NOT perfect.  Our perceptions are made up of unconscious memories or data, rather than representing others as they actually are.

If you're asking, "Huh?" right now, I empathize.  This has been hard to get my mind around also -- especially when someone is suffering in my office, in an emergency room, or in a hospital. 

But when I remember that what I think I "see" actually starts out as simple neurological impulses that my brain/mind then interprets in some way, things get a little clearer.

After all, misperceptions can be shared with countless others, and be transmitted from generation to generation.  And again, they're unconscious -- also outnumbering our conscious thoughts by the billions.  In fact, these unconscious memories can run us by their sheer number and our lack of awareness. 

If we all have this going on, and it affects what happens in the present, how can Ho'oponopono help?

Ho'oponopono is a method of problem solving; it involves repentance, forgiveness, and transmutation of these problem-causing memories by Divinity. 

In this process, Ho'oponopono sees us as having 4 aspects of mind:  the Divine Creator, the Superconscious, the Conscious, and the Subconscious (or Inner Child).  All these can work together so that Divinity can solve the problem by erasing these memories, if we give permission. 

  • The Divine Creator can create mind, and is the only One who can transmute memories to zero.  When we are at zero, the Divine Creator can also provide us with inspiration or insight -- leading us to right and perfect action in the present (including right and perfect medical treatments or procedures, etc).
When we're embroiled in memories, we are not open to this inspiration at all.
  • The Superconscious within us is perfect, and is always perfectly connected and in tune with the Divine Creator.  It's the part of us which directly petitions the Divine Creator for help, once our Conscious mind initiates the process by using a cleaning tool.  This can be as simple as saying "Thank you."
  • The Conscious Mind can choose either to get upset, or to make amends for the erroneous memories within.  It is the part which initiates the "cleaning" process, using Ho'oponopono tools.  It is also the part which cares for the Inner Child; this is a vital role.
  • The Subconscious, or Inner Child, is extremely important in all this.  It's both a great ally, and is also where so-called "problems" occur.  It carries all memories and data for eons, and it suffers.  Unless we learn to embrace and care for it, its suffering causes havoc -- which according to Dr. Hew Len, includes everything from hurricanes in the Atlantic to a woman in Africa having trouble with labor.
From Dr. Hew Len's article, "Who's in Charge?":

"The Subconscious Mind experiences vicariously, mimicking, echoing memories replaying. It behaves, sees, feels, and decides exactly as memories dictate."

But the Inner Child is also our ally, because it is the part of us that, when lovingly cared for and taught, connects us to our Superconscious.  If we're NOT lovingly connected to our Inner Child, we're not connected with anything else either -- except memories.  We're unconscious, in chaos, and confused about who we are.  We're even disconnected from Source or Creator.  In a way, says Dr. Hew Len, we're dead.

I've learned that this isn't the best way for me to practice medicine! 

The very first step of the 12-step Ho'oponopono process (taught at live Ho'oponopono trainings) is connecting all parts of us:  Mother (Uhane, Conscious) with Inner Child (Unihipili, Subconscious);  Inner Child with the Father (Aumakua, Superconscious); and all three with the Divine Creator.

In this initial prayer, the Mother says to the Child: 
"Come and hold my hand and reverently, ask the Father, our Aumakua, to join us and hold our hands.  As a unit of two, please ask the Father to join us and make the three of us a unit of one."
When all is connected, the Divine Creator can embrace all in Divine Love.   

When we consciously decide to clean, we are repenting for our errors of perception -- for having been unconscious.   For instance:  "I'm sorry for whatever is going on in me that sees my patient as depressed, anxious, angry, stubborn, in pain, diabetic, hypertensive, having cancer," etc.

Once initiated, the cleaning process initially goes down into the subconscious where the "problem" is expressing.  From there it travels to the Superconscious, which can amend the petition as necessary -- and then present it to Divinity.   Only Divinity can respond with "mana" and forgiveness, transmuting our memories from the "thought forms" they are, into pure light.  But as Dr. Hew Len reminds us:  "When we do our part, Divinity always does Its part."

Physicians and other health care professionals may have trouble imagining that what we think we "see" in our patients, actually originates in us as these thought forms.  According to Ho'oponopono, these can materialize in physical form unless one consistently maintains the above kind of inner connection and constant cleaning with whatever presents itself. 

It's a very humble attitude one maintains -- a recognition that people only come to us when it is time to let go of particular memories.  When we do, the patient gets what s/he came for, too.  We never really know how far back the problem goes -- to our relatives and ancestors, or beyond.  Thankfully, we don't need to, because Divinity does. 

This doesn't mean we don't need to "treat" the problem the patient presents; we may need to do exactly that.  But I ask my professional colleagues: when treating your patients, would you rather be immersed in your own extraneous "stuff", or operating from a peaceful place that allows you to see what is, as clearly as possible? 

That is why I keep saying "thank you," no matter what shows up -- and why I want to be as open to Divine Inspiration as possible while working with those who come to me.

Thank you, dear colleague, for your interest in Ho'oponopono.  May more of us learn this humble way of being as we care for those in our offices, clinics, emergency rooms, and hospitals.

Peace begins with me,


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ho'oponopono: Power Lifting for the Soul

People's experiences with Ho'oponopono are very individual.  For instance, after practicing this for awhile some feel peace, some feel nothing at all, and some might notice that they feel worse -- at least temporarily.

Given our varying sensitivities, it's easy enough to understand the first two.  But feeling worse with a spiritual practice like Ho'oponopono?  How can this be?

It might even scare some people away from doing it.

My own experience has been all three (as well as others) at different times.  

In this practice, we're adopting a world view that differs from most other cultural norms: accepting 100% responsibility for everything that shows up in our lives.  For many, this is a deal breaker and they get no farther.  After all, how can we be responsible for things we've never even been involved with in this lifetime?  Afghanistan?  Iraq?  Massive oil spills?  Patients committing suicide, or dying of cancer?

We may not understand our personal connections with any of this, and yet Ho'oponopono suggests that our own faulty memories are fueling these events.  If that's so, how can we not feel absolutely crummy for bringing all this on?

Hence, that's one way people might feel "worse" as a result of practicing Ho'oponopono.  

It's interesting that Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len frequently says that when we're born, we "come in with it all."  Meaning, we are laden from the beginning with ancestral, possibly even universal, memories that it is our task (or opportunity) in life to clear or "clean."   The most recalcitrant and tedious memories are often our ancestral ones.  These may show up in our current, external experience -- or we painfully embody them ourselves in sick ways of responding to others, and to life. 

In his book A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, Eckhart Tolle expresses a similar concept that he calls the "pain body": an involuntary, automatic, and repetitive emotional response pattern that seems to take over our entire beings at times.  Often we're so immersed in this we don't realize what's happening at all.  It can be like a haze that permeates, surrounds, and even lives our lives for us.  

And "pain bodies" can interact:  they can collide or even fuel each other -- much the way Ho'oponopono memories (housed in and expressed by our "Inner Child" part) can do as well. 

Is it any wonder that becoming aware of such ancient and powerful things in ourselves might leave us feeling a little, um, puny?

Fortunately, Ho'oponopono does not leave us alone with this, though.  It also offers a method that brings us back to awareness of who we really are (NOT the memories or "pain bodies" masquerading as us).  Peace and pureness of heart come with the process too.

But the tension before feeling that can be intense.  

My friend and colleague Dr. Lucinda Sykes recently shared a beautiful metaphor with me.  An accomplished mindfulness meditation teacher in Toronto, she describes the results of meditation as being like a small green sprout pushing through concrete.  The concrete might be the "stuff" we feel we must do or accomplish -- or even masks we feel we must wear -- in order to get along in the world.  Or it could be our thinking and opinions, layer upon layer upon layer.

Burdening ourselves with all this takes us away from our natural, essential selves (the sprout).  Mindfulness -- paying attention to what we're experiencing, moment to moment and without judgment or expectation -- is one way of bringing us back to ourselves.  Our green sprout might seem small, but it's a life force with deep strength and resilience.  It can be fortified with consistent, patient mindfulness practice.

As she spoke, I couldn't help but think of Ho'oponopono cleaning -- especially for people new to the practice.  After all, we're invoking a whole new way of approaching life when we do this.  (Even though it may ultimately be "The Easiest Way", as Mabel Katz writes so well.)  

A question for you:  when something new is coming up in your garden, what do you see first?  

The green shoot?  No!   You see a little mound of dirt!  (See the photograph above, as the sprout's innate life-force heaves dirt off its back).

What must that sprout experience before breaking through the ground?  Pressure?  Pain?  Intense effort?  Is it like Atlas holding up the earth?  I can only guess.

To me, the practice of Ho'oponopono cleaning is like this.  Thank you, I love you, Dewdrop, Lightswitch, or applying myriad other cleaning tools.  Only, I have no concept of all the "dirt" (memories, data, crud, etc) my Divinity-within is lifting off as I do my moment-to-moment cleaning.  It can seem like hours, days, weeks, months, or even eons before I see the sun -- or relax into peace (break through the ground).  But eventually, this does come.

Dr. Hew Len has also said, "Once you do your part, Divinity has to do His part (transmute the memories into pure light)."  A loving father would have it no other way. 

I'm always amazed that little dry seeds can turn into such powerhouses of life force -- but they can.  I invite you to try this in your own yard.  Get some relatively big seeds, such as sunflower, squash, or cantaloupe.  (I suggest larger ones so you can really see the dirt mounds as they're coming up.)  Plant them in some soil, and water.  Observe daily.  You may get impatient, but don't dig them up.  :-)   Think of your Ho'oponopono cleaning process as liberating your own pure-hearted self . . . but there's some dirt to throw off first.
Even though we practice Ho'oponopono with no expectation, it can't hurt to have a little visual metaphor from time to time! 
Thank you, Dr. Sykes, for the tip.

Peace begins with me,