Ho'oponopono is a spiritual practice and way of life. It incorporates an attitude of 100% responsibility, humility, and gratitude in every moment. It's a process of making things right, or "pono."
The idea is that Divinity created us in perfect alignment and rhythm with Itself, and our true nature is this state of "zero." At zero we can feel peace and receive divine inspiration, which guides us. When we then take inspired action, what's right and perfect for us comes into our lives.
Unfortunately we also hold unconscious memories (or data) inside us -- blocking our awareness of our true selves. These memories can also show up in our lives as problems, discord, fear, illness, war, and other unpleasant experiences.
Ho'oponopono is a method of solving these problems by recognizing what they are: manifestations of memories ready for release. This involves "cleaning" these memories from ourselves -- and as we do this, they're removed from everyone else too. It's important to realize that in doing this cleaning though, we're working with what's inside US -- not "on" anyone else.
Although all this may sound overwhelming, it really doesn't have to be!
According to Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, "Problems can be solved without knowing what the heck is going on! Realizing and appreciating this is sheer relief and joy for me."
This Ho'oponopono problem-solving process utilizes "cleaning tools."
Many people are familiar with the phrases: "I'm sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you, and I love you." These are certainly cleaning tools, and using them initiates the process of letting go so that Divinity can transmute problematic memories without our having to analyze them. All we need to do is recognize the fact that we have them, and that they're reminders to remain humble and work with Divinity for their release.
Cleaning tools aren't limited to words, though -- and this is wonderful for bypassing the intellect! Otherwise, our Inner Child (an innate part of us, and essential in the cleaning process) might be confused. In the photo I've shown blueberries, one example of these tools. Blueberries can be eaten physically, or in the imagination. They're said to be aligned with angelic kingdoms.
Other cleaning tools include hot chocolate, blue solar water, candy canes, light switch -- and many, many more. These tools are unique, and may appeal to different people in different situations. But they all accomplish the same overall result: initiating the cleaning process rather than getting embroiled in the seeming "problem." Our choosing to use them in the first place is a life-affirming choice -- as I shared on this blog last week.
I used to think we had to memorize the various cleaning tools in order to know "how" to use them correctly . . . as if the cleaning depended on intellectually getting it "right." Thank heavens it does not, or we'd all be even more burdened than we are already!
The delightful thing about blueberries (besides the delicious way they taste) is that simply choosing to use them signals Divinity that we're willing to let go. From here, Divinity transmutes as S/He sees fit -- and we can get back to Zero, our essential self. Drinking a cup of hot chocolate or blue solar water will do that too, just a little differently.
Kids love games, and these seemingly nonsensical "tools" are fun for our Inner Child. Through offering and using these visual tools, we can engage and teach our Inner Child to do the Ho'oponopono process, just as we grownups are learning to do. As the adult (or mothering one), we can play with our Inner Child in a loving way, while also modeling skillful ways of living.
When confronted with a problem, it's also possible to ask Divinity: "How do I clean with this?" An inner answer may come, perhaps in the form of an image (a cleaning tool). This may seem goofy to those of us who think of ourselves as scientific. But according to Dr. Hew Len, "the goofier it is, the more likely it is to be from Divinity. Divinity has a great sense of humor."
This is absolutely perfect for me -- it lets me bypass all the mental junk I can get so stuck in otherwise! Worrying, judging, and generally obsessing are only making things worse. Give me a nice handful of blueberries any day!
Even the poet Wendell Berry said,
In case you're wondering, strawberries (red berries) happen to also be Ho'oponopono cleaning tools.
“Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.”
You can learn much more about Ho'oponopono and all kinds of cleaning tools by attending a training seminar -- experienced teachers offer these all over the world. I'm looking forward to the upcoming one in Woodland Hills, CA in June! I've lost count of how many I've attended, but it always leads to more revelations. Hopefully I come home a little lighter in spirit too. :-)
Peace begins with me,