Saturday, January 6, 2018

Ho'oponopono or "Faux-o'ponopono"?

This is a very brief video conversation with Morrnah Simeona and Dr. Ihaleakala Lew Len. Morrnah passed into spirit in Germany, in 1992.

The sincerity in both of them comes through for me. Morrnah became known for "updating" the ancient Ho'oponopono process of correcting errors and making things right, for modern times. She termed her method "Self-I-dentity Through Ho'oponopono."

They speak of allowing Divinity to help each of us heal ourselves and our relationships through repentance, forgiveness, and transmutation -- the last of which, only Divinity can do. They point out that Divinity created us, not any other person. The traditional Ho'oponopono process involved an entire group of people, moderated by an elder who might make suggestions to dissipate family conflict. Here, Morrnah explains that her amendments rely on each person's bonding directly with Divinity, rather than relying on any other human to solve his or her problems. Further, she comments that she knew this process in "other lifetimes."

I am sure her teachings were and are controversial, as they diverge markedly from traditional Hawaiian Ho'oponopono practices where an elder (with prayer and deep listening) might determine what each person "should" do to heal family problems and relationship breaches.

Some have taken issue with certain phrases attributed to Morrnah, which may or may not have actually been part of her teaching ("I'm sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you, I love you" etc). She taught an at least 12-step process to use, and it involved quite a bit of preparation. This is what I have been shown in the many Self-I-dentity Through Ho'oponopono seminars I have attended and helped staff with IZI, LLC over the years. Many of these, Dr. Hew Len taught himself -- and his teachings were handed down from Morrnah. I do not know where the tradition of "cleaning tools" originated, but this is what the 4 phrases (and some other items) represent. They are said to condense the "cleaning" process into shorter segments that can be used as needed in everyday life. They are also ways to engage one's inner child to help with the cleaning, 24/7.

The challenge with this, though, is that some call this "Faux-o'oponopono." They feel this "all inside the self, between you and Divinity" method leaves out the mutual, interactive Ho'oponopono practices successfully used for generations.

Even more disturbingly, many non-Hawaiian trainers have jumped on the bandwagon, proclaiming the 4 phrases as "all you need to know" about Ho'oponopono to work with it effectively. Some also suggest it can be used to enhance financial wealth.  

 To me, this seems to cheapen and truncate a very rich and deep self-healing process. Some have read about this "mantra" in Joe Vitale's book, "Zero Limits." Dr. Hew Len is listed as a co-author, but he has commented publicly about never having even read this book.

I have recently received comments from associates of Michael Micklei, who for 5 years worked closely with Morrnah Simeona in Germany. In fact, she lived with Michael and his wife for the last year of her life. Michael expresses dismay at purported, inappropriate changes in the training -- specifically "the mantra" which he says Morrnah never taught in all his experience with her.
I cannot claim to know what she was teaching at that time, which overlaps with the 10 years she also worked with Dr. Hew Len. I only learned about Ho'oponopono for the first time in 2005, and took my first trainings with Dr. Hew Len in 2006-7.

The whole situation is painful for me, and I wish the 2 organizations could discuss and resolve their differences directly. Perhaps this is a situation where having all involved parties in the same room together, might really be helpful? It seems the technology available today could make this possible.

Another reason it's painful for me, is that I don't
want to come across as attempting to co-opt something from another culture. For sure I don't want to  promulgate incorrect information about it! If I have somehow done any of this through this blog, I sincerely apologize.

Over many years now, the spiritual practice of Self-I-dentity Through Ho'oponopono (SITH) has become a guide in my life. It is definitely more than uttering a few phrases, and then waiting for my "order" to be filled. :-) Eons of memories are in every single one of us -- and can show up as relationship conflict, illness, life problems, etc. I have also read much about traditional Hawaiian culture, and heard from Kanaka Maoli (indigenous Hawaiians) who regard non-Hawaiian involvement in these practices as harmful, arrogant cultural misappropriations. It breaks my heart to find myself placed in that category. I am deeply respectful of the Hawaiians I have met -- and while curious about their perspectives, I do not mean to intrude into areas that belong to them alone.

Ultimately, the truth of these practices can only be verified through one's personal experience. Some of SITH for sure is Hawaiian; some may have evolved over time and has other origins. Morrnah herself was certainly Hawaiian, and so is Dr. Hew Len and many other participants I have met through my SITH seminars. I am told that Morrnah was and is a controversial figure though, so I guess this will continue to be a flash point in some circles. I know I cannot solve it myself. I can only live my life, respect the rights and feelings of others, and practice in a way that feels authentic to me. I have been through much in the last year -- more on that, later.

Peace begins with me,