Recently I heard someone innocently sharing the story of Ho’oponopono as told in a book written by Joe Vitale. In December 2016 I wrote an article for the Australian Holistic Healer’s and Counsellors Association newsletter in which I made reference to Joe Vitale’s Forgiveness Process (that is what I am now calling it) about Ho’oponopono. I was contacted by Tracey Ha’aloakainapli and informed that what I had written did not reflect the true Hawaiian tradition of Ho’oponopono. I was mortified that I had contributed to the misrepresentation of this custom and equally disappointed to think that what I had been taught, and the story that went with Joe learning this technique, was not known by Hawaiian people. As part of my making right more right I asked Tracey if I could share her article about Ho’oponopono with you and she said YES! I thank Tracey for approaching me and correcting my misinformation. In that light I would like to share her article again in 2018 as I think it is important to re-remember truth. I hope if you too have believed Ho’oponopono to be something it is not that you will help others understand its true meaning.
Before you read Tracey’s article I want to say that the Forgiveness Process Joe Vitale has shared is valid in its own right. Let’s just let it be what it is – a wonderful way for us to let go of judgement and harshness in our minds through four simple lines that create a sense of forgiveness and flow in our lives. Please forgive me, I’m sorry, I love you and thank you.
Ho’oponopono: To Make Right More Right
Ho’oponopono is a Hawaiian word that has become well known worldwide. Unfortunately, as with many Hawaiian words, it is too often misrepresented, misinterpreted, misunderstood and exploited.
The important thing is to understand that the concept of Ho’oponopono is based on ancient Hawaiian traditions obviously prior to western influences. The word does not mean ‘forgiveness’. It means to ‘set things right’ in a morally correct way.
Hawaiians traditionally taught by mo’olelo (stories and parables). As shared in Tales From the Night Rainbow (Koko Willis & Pali Jae Lee 1987) and in Ho’opono (Pali Jae Lee 2006).
One of the earliest concepts taught to them was, “Each child born has at birth, a Bowl of perfect Light. If he tends his Light it will grow in strength and he can do all things – swim with the shark, fly with the birds, know and understand all things. If however he becomes envious or jealous he drops a stone into his Bowl of Light and some of the Light goes out. Light and the stone cannot hold the same space. If he continues to put stones in the Bowl of Light, the Light will go out and he will become a stone. A stone does not grow, nor does it move. If at any time he tires of being a stone, all he needs to do is turn the bowl upside down and the stones will fall away and the Light will grow once more.”
This story reflects the human journey and choices. We can choose to carry old hurts and be in pilikia (trauma and drama) or we can choose pono. To journey in excellence. Pono and Pilikia cannot reside in the same bowl at the same time.
The traditional concept of Ho’oponopono, as shared and taught by Anake’ Mahealani Kuamo-o Henry, (Kumu ‘Elele o Na Kupuna – Teacher and messenger for the spiritual voices of the Ancestors) …is Ho’oponopono Ke Ala: Making Right More Right the Path.
As written by Anake’ Mahealani and reprinted here with her permission:
“is the method based in the essence of traditional Hawaiian Spirituality, and within the ancient teachings identified as Ho’opono Pono Ke Ala – “making right, more right, the path.” Herein, the implication is the Aloha Spirit value for promoting the “wellness and rightness at the onset. In the Hawaiian aloha mind-set it was understood that one choosing to accept “wellness” at the onset, would receive it sooner than not, so the concept for “wellness,” suited the aloha Values and the practice was eagerly promoted and embraced. This form having existed prior to western and missionary influences, is virtually an unfamiliar practice by most Hawaiians today.”
“PONO TIME IS NOW! It is time to set the record straight; HO’OPONO PONO literally means making right/excellence, perfection more right/excellence, perfection and nowhere in this sacred translation does it address “FORGIVENESS, SORRIES, ETC.” The concept and psychology for FORGIVENESS & SORRIES are concepts that addresses a MISTAKE, AN ERROR(s), failings, faults, deemed negative behaviour(s) and thereby does not fit in the belief system, HO’OPONO PONO as was engineered by our ancestors, (prior to western influences) and rooted in the ALOHA SPIRIT values promoting “rightness, perfection and more of its same likeness.”
LAWA – ENOUGH already that our Hawaiian culture was suppressed and damned for so long by those of Western religious callings, monies and influences. It is time to stop this use (marketing tool) and abuse of our sacred and valued programs. It is time for those teachers and their followers to return the psychological western and religious concepts back to its own value system, “in-the-west.” www.alohaspiritaunty.com
Final note from Tracey: There are many Westernised, modernised versions of Ho’oponopono as there are with all sacred Hawaiian teachings. The information contained here is in no way intended to diminish the value of these techniques nor the potential for healing and self-empowerment. I have certainly utilised, and shared with clients and students, some of these Westernised versions myself over the years and found their results to be very profound. I am however, always clear in my sharing of these modern Non-Hawaiian adaptations that is exactly what they are, and clearly differentiate between these and the ancient traditions.
As with any teaching that claims to have a Hawaiian basis, I urge everyone to simply Nānā I Ke Kumu: Look to the Source.
Ho’omau I kai mi na’auao
Persist in the search for knowledge