Ho'oponoponoThere’s a reason Hawaiians are some of the longest lived Americans and I’m pretty sure one of them is an ancient Hawaiian forgiveness practice called Ho’oponopono

It means: I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

Literally, it means to make amends, to put things right.  And it’s usually used as a mantra.

What some people find is that, even if they think they don’t have anything to be sorry for, use of the mantra brings up stuff. Old stuff. New stuff. Deep stuff. And the mantra helps soothe that stuff, settles the disharmony in the mind.

Of course, if we begin to dig, we do find stuff we can put right. Each of us. But this goes even deeper:

This beautiful practice recognizes the connection of all life and that by healing ourselves we begin to heal the world, too.

If we want to change what’s going on in the world (and God knows, we do), we must begin with what’s going on inside us. The practice of Ho’oponopono is one way to do that.

It’s not like we are personally responsible for all the wrongs in the world. But we ARE responsible for ourselves and setting ourselves right can begin to set the world right. What if we all did that? What kind of change would we see in the world?

Not too long ago I read that the focus in Hawaii these days is on using the practice of Ho’oponopono to help with reconciliation with family, both living and dead. But its tradition is far broader.

But I think it’s a practice whose time has come. Use of Ho’oponopono can help settle the mind and soul in this crazy time, a time when we feel assaulted both literally and physically. It’s a way of bringing peace and stillness to our lives.

I first came across the concept when a shaman friend brought it to my attention. I didn’t do anything with it, then, but it obviously resonated deeply because although I didn’t call it by its name, it was one of the things I thought about doing when faced with a challenging family situation.

I’m going to begin using it as a daily mantra and see what happens.

Maybe you want to do the same?


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