Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ho'oponopono, Talking, and Divine Gifts

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.  ~Plato

Sometimes life can feel very difficult, even when practicing Ho'oponopono.

Sometimes it seems like problems line up one after another, like legions of ants swarming in for a meal.

Sometimes there are no words for such situations.

I have been going through something like this for the last while.

Morrnah Simeona, the Kahuna Lapa'au who modernized the ancient Hawaiian practice of Ho'oponopono as Self-Identity Through Ho'oponopono, said that talking about such things doesn't help anyhow.

Being a psychiatrist trained in various kinds of "talk" therapy, I have struggled with this idea.  But in many ways I believe she was right. 

For instance, many of us are very stuck in human stories of hurt, blame, resentment, anger, and shame.  No matter what the venue, our "talk" remains endlessly mired in these themes, and we have no insight into our own contributions to painful events or our misperceptions of them.

Witness types of "talk" such as gossip, comparisons to others, or attempting to convince others to change.   Even in certain psychotherapies, the therapist tries to shift the patient's attitude -- judging himself/herself ineffective if s/he cannot.  Sometimes the therapist can focus more on personal performance than on what the patient actually came there for.

These are examples of "talk" that is unhelpful, or even harmful -- especially if we as health care practitioners do them.  We can inadvertently bring our own agendas into our consultation rooms, eclipsing patient needs.  It takes a conscious, humble, compassionate person not to fall into this mode when "talking" with others.

Mabel Katz often says, "If you're going to talk about your troubles, do it with someone who knows how to [Ho'oponopono] clean!"  By this she means recognizing the "100% responsibility for whatever shows up" part, and cleaning with all we hear.  Otherwise our "talk" is just more commotion and commiseration -- with no progress to a place of greater acceptance or wholeness. 

If we truly adopt a "100% responsibility" point of view, humility follows immediately.  We recognize that something is going on within us that we must respond to, confusing as it may be.  We comprehend that whatever we're experiencing has larger spiritual perspectives than our conscious minds can ever hold -- and we turn to Divinity within for help.

This has changed my entire view of the psychotherapy I do.  No longer am I the brilliant interpreter of unconscious motives that my patient cannot see.  I am just a compassionate listener,  gently allowing blocked inlets to open . . . and cleaning as I go.  I do not do this perfectly, though.

Back to my own life issues over the last several months.  During this time, 2 primary resources have helped me:  Divinity, of course . . . and Mabel Katz's new book, "The Easiest Way to Live."  Each chapter seems a Ho'oponopono meditation of its own, on different subjects such as forgiveness, judgments, erasing, the best time to talk to people (when they're asleep!), and money. 

I love the book.  I took it everywhere, reading from it every night while dealing with some recent family concerns.  It became a cleaning tool for me, keeping me on track rather than getting completely lost.  I could choose to get tangled in memories (which I certainly did at times), or say "thank you," "light switch," or "flypaper" in response to painful emails, phone calls, or in-person conversations.  

If interested, you can get your own copy by going here: The Easiest Way to Live.

Then, the other day, Divinity sent a complete surprise:  the flower you see pictured above.  It's the San Pedro cactus in my yard.  We planted this about 4 years ago now, and I have talked to it lovingly since.  (yes, talked to it, with "ice blue" and "I love you," etc.)  But this is the first time it's ever bloomed!  Such a lovely, Divine gift.  When you realize the cactus itself holds an entheogen (a spirit-facilitating substance), this gift becomes even more profound.   

Thank you, Morrnah, Mabel, and Divinity, for showing me what kind of "talk" my soul most needs. 

Peace begins with me,