This article on practicing the four phrases of Ho’Oponopono covers the following:
Forgiveness is a word that we have all heard of, and most would agree that it is an extremely powerful concept. But what is this mystical experience and how do we truly practice or participate in it? I have always believed that forgiveness is a spiritual act that seems to wash suffering away by acknowledging your wrongs or your part in the conflict, and then releasing it back to the divine and asking to be cleansed. This all sounds nice, but when I learned about the four phrases of the Ho’Oponopono prayer, I was truly able to put this forgiveness approach into practice.
What Is Ho’Oponopono
Ho’Oponopono is a traditional Hawaiian prayer to help heal your body and mind.
Ho’Oponopono has been used in the Kahuna Community to not only heal an individual but also to resolve conflicts between its members. In the Hawaiian language, “Ho’O” stands for healing, and “ponopono” means to mend, to reform or to fix something.
Modern Ho’Oponopono was brought to our awareness by a psychologist in Hawaii named Dr. Hew Len, who claimed to have healed an entire insane asylum in Hawaii by practicing this system. I am not going to write about his story, although it is powerful and can look it up online. Instead, I am going to talk to you about how I have internalized this practice and the difference it has made in my life.
How Does Ho’Oponopono Work
Ho’Oponopono works primarily at two levels:
1. Clearing your subconscious mind of the negative emotions and thoughts that it has gathered during the course of daily life;
2. By identifying the triggers of your negative emotions so that you can transmute them into positive ones.
1. Unclogging your subconscious
We live from one of two spaces:
- Memory—where past information is constantly replaying in your subconscious, or
- Inspiration—where divine ideas are placed within and rise to the surface.
This comes from the understanding that all ideas are sent to you through the divine, they sink deep into our subconscious and slowly rise to our conscious mind. The more memory or data that is stuck in your subconscious and replaying, the longer it takes for you to realize these ideas.
We can tell if we are living from memory by the amount of triggers that we have in our day. Triggers are usually the replaying of old memory that has clogged us up. This means that if we are clogged with memories, it becomes hard to be free and clear in the moment, staining the perspective of the world we are currently living in. Therefore, most events become a trigger to our old wounds and make us react or participate in the drama.
2. Identifying the trigger
Forgiveness allows us to shift into a different energy zone. The whole concept begins around the idea that suffering exists because of lack of responsibility. When any party takes responsibility for the suffering, asks for forgiveness, and releases it back to the divine, all is cleansed.
This is a hard pill to swallow for many, but most life-changing techniques are. So yes, the man that cut you off in traffic, that murderer on the news, or the problems going on at work—they all exist inside of you too. Now this is not a tit-for-tat concept. I am not saying you are a murderer, but when you look a little deeper to see how that event triggers you, you will get an answer. Maybe when you think about that murderer, you initially get upset, but with a little introspection and asking yourself what this makes you feel within, you get a sense of the energy of destruction and aggression. These are within you. The murderer on the news may have triggered this energy, but the energy exists within you.
This is great news, because the only thing you can change is yourself. Once you see that you too have participated in thoughts of destruction, or an attitude of aggression, you also see that this space needs the healing work. This is where your work begins. No one can tell you what is being triggered in you. You have to ask yourself that question. Whenever you notice an inner disturbance created by something going on outside of yourself, it becomes an opportunity to practice this new approach.
The Four Phrases of Ho’Oponopono and How to Use Them
The four phrases of Ho’Oponopono are:
I Am Sorry
Please Forgive Me
I Thank You
I Love You
That’s all. Repeat them like a mantra, over and over again in that space that you discovered where you had that destructive thought or aggressive attitude. Go to that inner place, close your eyes, and inwardly repeat these four phrases. You can say them to yourself, to the divine, or even to another.
This is your conversation with the divine, so honor it, and know that there is no wrong way to practice. Repeat, “I am sorry for my participating in the energy of destruction. Please forgive me and clean this space inside of me. I thank you for bringing this information to my awareness so I can clean and clear it. And I surround you with love. I love you.”
These four phrases: “I am sorry, Please forgive me, I thank you and I love you”, have been known to have the same frequency as that created by monks meditating. The result from this practice is amazing. It is simple, you don’t ask for forgiveness to get, or to change, anything. Your sole purpose with forgiveness is to cleanse yourself. It’s like taking a shower. Showering works and does its job, but we have to do it every day to remain clean. The same is true of forgiveness. We practice Ho’Oponopono to become—and stay—clean.
You may also like » A 4-step guide on how to forgive someone (anyone!)
The Key Takeaway
Becoming aware of everything that disturbs you and looking for your role in it is a challenging process, but it will grow your spirit and change the way you see your world. Once you find your triggers, and own them, you are empowered to become a part of the healing. If you can own and stand in that space for a moment long enough to repeat these Ho’Oponopono phrases, you will begin to clean and clear your past gunk that is getting in the way of your future. These four phrases put a powerful application process to that age old saying: “Forgive and forget”.
This is an updated version of the article that first appeared in the March 2015 issue of Complete Wellbeing magazine.
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