Discovering the Healing Power of Ho’oponopono: A Practice of Forgiveness

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Written By

Rhea Dali

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Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Ho'Oponopono - Girl Stand Feel Freedom With Arms Stretched

Have you tried the Ho’oponopono technique? Are you familiar with it?

Forgiveness is a challenging concept for many individuals, as it involves letting go of resentment and finding peace within ourselves. In times when forgiveness seems elusive, a profound and ancient Hawaiian practice called Ho’oponopono offers solace and healing. This practice serves as a tool for restoring self-love, balance, and reconciliation, making it an invaluable practice for those seeking forgiveness.

Ho’oponopono 101

Ho'Oponopono - Woman Meditating Relaxing Alone

The term Ho’oponopono translates to “cause things to move back in balance” or “make things right” in the native Hawaiian language. This practice embodies a zen-like concept centered around restoring balance and harmony in one’s life. When negative thoughts, guilt, shame, haunting memories, or ill will consume our minds, Ho’oponopono acts as a powerful way to cleanse our bodies and free ourselves from these burdens.

The practice is remarkably simple and can be incorporated into daily life as a form of self-love mantra or meditation. To begin, find a quiet space and close your eyes. Then, chant the following mantra repeatedly: “I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you, I love you.”

These four simple phrases hold immense power and resonate deeply within us. Through regular practice, reciting these words nurtures self-love, self-esteem, and forgiveness when we need it most. It becomes both a lullaby to the self and an enlightening path towards forgiving others.

Ho'Oponopono - Woman Breathing And Holding A Coffee Mug At Home

One of the reasons why Ho’oponopono is so impactful is its initial step of acknowledging wrongdoing by saying “I’m sorry.” Acknowledging our own mistakes and the pain they may have caused is essential for forgiveness. By recognizing the existence of wrongdoing, we pave the way for true healing and the ability to forgive others and ourselves.

It is crucial to understand that true forgiveness does not mean forgetting. Ho’oponopono allows all parties involved to acknowledge their feelings by sitting with and holding space for them. Through this practice, we consciously choose to move forward with understanding and compassion.

Historically, Ho’oponopono was a ritual used to reconcile divided families, known as Ohana. In the modern era, it remains a potent practice for forgiveness, aiding individuals in navigating hurt feelings and resentment towards others. Moreover, it can be applied abstractly to facilitate self-healing and self-forgiveness.

Ho’oponopono: How to Do It

Ho'Oponopono - Young Woman Praying And Meditating Alone At Sunset With Beautiful Ocean

To practice Ho’oponopono for self-forgiveness, find a quiet and comfortable space. Take a few deep breaths, close your eyes, and slowly repeat the phrases to yourself approximately 7 or 8 times: “I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you, I love you.” Allow the message to resonate within you, and embrace a few moments of silence. When you open your eyes, observe how you feel.

By incorporating Ho’oponopono into your life, you invite forgiveness and healing. Remember that forgiveness requires attention and intention. When practiced genuinely, forgiveness becomes liberating, relieving you of the weight you may have carried. Embrace the essence of Ho’oponopono and experience the transformative power of forgiveness in your life.

Practical Action Steps for Ho’oponopono:

  1. Find a quiet and comfortable space where you can practice Ho’oponopono without distractions.
  2. Take a few deep breaths to center yourself and close your eyes.
  3. Repeat the phrases “I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you, I love you” slowly and intentionally, approximately 7 or 8 times.
  4. Allow the words to sink in and resonate within you.
  5. Embrace a few moments of silence after the practice to reflect on your experience.
  6. Open your eyes and observe how you feel. Notice any shifts in your emotions

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