There is a legendary story of a man knowns as Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, who cured every patient (except one) in the criminally insane ward of a Hawaii`i State Hospital — without ever seeing a single patient. Now this may seem a little “insane,” but upon having a closer look, the story speaks for itself. Dr. Len set up an office within the hospital to review his patients’ files. While he looked at these files, he would work on himself, and over four years, the patients all healed. In addition, the staff who had been calling in sick or quit, eventually loved coming to work. He used the legendary Hawaiian healing and cleansing method Ho’oponopono to accomplish all of this. It is based on healing through loving oneself. Dr. Len repeated the words “I love you” and “I am sorry” over and over again while reviewing each file individually. After a few months, the patients who were shackled were allowed to walk freely, patients were taken off medications, and even the hopeless cases were eventually released back into society. Check the story out for yourself..
Now this beautiful Hawaiian Prayer for Forgiveness called “Ho’oponopono” is pronounced HO-oh-Po-no-Po-no, and roughly translates to “cause things to move back in balance” or to “make things right.” In native Hawaiian language, “pono” means balance, in the sense of “life.” When things are in balance, nothing is off, and people who continue to struggle with the concept of forgiveness, for both themselves and others will find comfort in this deeply healing age-old practice.
This ancient Hawaiian practice of forgiveness functions as both a communication concept for reconciliation and a tool for restoring self-love and balance and works like a mantra for self-love. And, even more surprisingly, it’s super simple.
Chanting this prayer over and over is a powerful way to cleanse the body of guilt, shame, haunting memories, ill will, or bad feelings that keep the mind fixated on negative thoughts. As a forgiveness practice, it is also deeply resonant, as it tends to penetrate our inner monologue over time.
Try it Now! Cleanse yourself of bad feelings, chant the following mantra repeatedly while sitting with your eyes closed, as a kind of meditation....
With regular practice, reciting these four simple phrases helps develop self-love and self-esteem at the times when we need it most. In this way, it’s both a lullaby to the self and a guaranteed insightful way to approach forgiving other people.
And why is this traditional Hawaiian forgiveness prayer so powerful!
Well first it requires you to acknowledge that wrong was done by saying you’re sorry. Having other people acknowledge our feelings is a universal need, but first, you must acknowledge that wrong doing exists, which is a way of acknowledging these feelings. Only then will it be possible to find it in your heart to forgive someone else, or yourself.
In the final step, you acknowledge love, for yourself, and others.
Most people, when attempting to forgive, make the mistake of thinking that forgiveness = total absolution, or an erasing of the wrongdoing. This is ultimately futile because it ignores any hurt feelings, which inevitably bubble back up later if they are not addressed and resolved.
True forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting, but first acknowledging the wrongdoing, ho’oponopono allows all parties to sit with and hold space for these feelings. And when we first acknowledge that a problem exists, then, when we are ready, we can make the conscious choice to move on. True forgiveness, moreover, requires both attention and intention. When done correctly, it is one of the most freeing sensations there is, like an invisible weight has been lifted.
Historically, the ho’oponopono prayer was a kind of shared reconciliation mantra for divided families, or Ohana. In the modern era, it remains a highly effective mediation practice for forgiveness, both in helping people navigate hurt feelings and feelings of resentment towards others. It’s also beneficial in healing the self.
There are also passive ways to experience the prayer. Some people play the ho’oponopono mantra over and over in the background while working or trying to fall asleep. You can find some amazing mantras on Youtube Ho'oponopono. This way, you get some good vibes by osmosis, which can be particularly helpful in cultivating more self-love and compassion. If you are someone who is very hard on yourself, it might be more moving than you anticipate.
One very valuable cleansing tool Dr. Len suggests is Blue Solar Water. He suggests to fill a blue glass bottle with the tap water. You can choose to use tap water or else fill the bottle with the purest water you have access to, and set in outdoor sunlight for 10 minutes to an hour, and up to 12 hours for a more potent effect, to charge the water with the healing blue light. If it is NOT sunny for a long period of time where you are, then you can use incandescent light, but not LED or fluorescent light.
He maintains it will remove recurring “memories” or programs that run in your subconscious, freeing you from their effects. In other words, it will allow you to “let go and let God.”.
Dr. Hew Len has retired now. He has a very important message for us all to hear and heed: