The simplicity of healing : Ho’oponopono

I have often felt like sharing some processes that have touched me deeply. Ho’oponopono is one of them and I am sure many of you who will read this would have heard about it. But I also come across many who have not so I thought let me put in here.

Have you noticed how it is difficult to teach and learn things which are obvious?  Edward de bono had an interesting insight about this. He said, ‘It is difficult to teach things that are obvious because the mind takes them for granted and wants to move on to something more complicated which is presumed to be more valuable. An attention to the obvious, a deliberate effort to use that which is obvious can be effective’

But there is more to this than meets the eye. What is simple and ordinary has subtlety and nuance in what is obvious and simple which is revealed as one goes deeper than the surface. A wise soul (forget who this was!) said, ‘Understanding evolves from the simplistic to the complex to the profoundly simple’.

So, dont be fooled by the simplicity of  Ho’oponopono. Its simple, not simplistic.

This note by Joe Vitale is how I first found out about Ho’oponopono.

He later wrote a book,

Zero Limits: The Secret Hawaaiian System for Wealth Health, Peace and more


“Two years ago, I heard about a therapist in
Hawaii who cured a complete ward of criminally insane patients–without
ever seeing any of them. The psychologist would study an inmate’s chart
and then look
within himself to see how he created that person’s
illness. As he
improved himself, the patient improved.
“When I first heard this story, I thought it
was an urban legend.
How could anyone heal anyone else by healing
himself? How could even
the best self-improvement master cure the criminally
insane? It didn’t
make any sense. It wasn’t logical, so I dismissed
the story.
“However, I heard it again a year later. I
heard that the therapist
had used a Hawaiian healing process called ho
‘oponopono. I had never
heard of it, yet I couldn’t let it leave my mind. If
the story was at
all true, I had to know more. I had always
understood “total
responsibility” to mean that I am responsible for
what I think and do.
Beyond that, it’s out of my hands. I think that most
people think of
total responsibility that way. We’re responsible for
what we do, not
what anyone else does–but that’s wrong.
“The Hawaiian therapist who healed those
mentally ill people would
teach me an advanced new perspective about total
responsibility. His
name is Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len. We probably spent an
hour talking on
our first phone call. I asked him to tell me the
complete story of his
work as a therapist.
He explained that he worked at Hawaii State
Hospital for four years.
That ward where they kept the criminally insane
was dangerous.
Psychologists quit on a monthly basis. The
staff called in sick a
lot or simply quit. People would walk through that
ward with their
backs against the wall, afraid of being attacked by
patients. It was
not a pleasant place to live, work, or visit.
“Dr. Len told me that he never saw patients. He
agreed to have an
office and to review their files. While he looked at
those files, he
would work on himself. As he worked on himself,
patients began to heal.
“‘After a few months, patients that had to be
shackled were being
allowed to walk freely,’ he told me. ‘Others who had
to be heavily
medicated were getting off their medications. And
those who had no
chance of ever being released were being freed.’ I
was in awe.’Not only
that,’ he went on, ‘but the staff began to enjoy
coming to work.
Absenteeism and turnover disappeared. We ended
up with more staff
than we needed because patients were being released,
and all the staff
was showing up to work. Today, that ward is closed.’
“This is where I had to ask the million dollar
question: ‘What were
you doing within yourself that caused those people
to change?’
“‘I was simply healing the part of me that
created them,’ he said.
I didn’t understand. Dr. Len explained that total
responsibility for
your life means that everything in your life- simply
because it is in
your life–is your responsibility. In a literal
sense the entire world
is your creation.
“Whew. This is tough to swallow. Being
responsible for what I say
or do is one thing. Being responsible for what
everyone in my life says
or does is quite another. Yet, the truth is this: if
you take complete
responsibility for your life, then everything you
see, hear, taste,
touch, or in any way experience is your
responsibility because it is in
your life. This means that terrorist activity, the
president, the
economy or anything you experience and don’t
like–is up for you to
heal. They don’t exist, in a manner of speaking,
except as projections
from inside you. The problem isn’t with them, it’s
with you, and to
change them, you have to change you.
“I know this is tough to grasp, let alone
accept or actually live.
Blame is far easier than total responsibility, but
as I spoke with Dr.
Len, I began to realize that healing for him and in
ho ‘oponopono means
loving yourself.
“If you want to improve your life, you have to
heal your life. If
you want to cure anyone, even a mentally ill
criminal you do it by
healing you.
“I asked Dr. Len how he went about healing
himself. What was he
doing, exactly, when he looked at those patients’
“‘I just kept saying, ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I love
you’ over and over
again,’ he explained.
“That’s it?
“That’s it.
“Turns out that loving yourself is the greatest
way to improve
yourself, and as you improve yourself, you improve
your world.
“Let me give you a quick example of how this
works: one day,
someone sent me an email that upset me. In the past
I would have
handled it by working on my emotional hot buttons or
by trying to
reason with the person who sent the nasty message.
“This time, I decided to try Dr. Len’s method.
I kept silently
saying, ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I love you,’ I didn’t say
it to anyone in
particular. I was simply evoking the spirit of love
to heal within me
what was creating the outer circumstance.
“Within an hour I got an e-mail from the same
person. He apologized
for his previous message. Keep in mind that I didn’t
take any outward
action to get that apology. I didn’t even write him
back. Yet, by
saying ‘I love you,’ I somehow healed within me what
was creating him.
“I later attended a ho ‘oponopono workshop run
by Dr. Len. He’s now
70 years old, considered a grandfatherly shaman, and
is somewhat
He praised my book, The Attractor Factor. He
told me that as I
improve myself, my book’s vibration will raise, and
everyone will feel
it when they read it. In short, as I improve, my
readers will improve.
“‘What about the books that are already sold
and out there?’ I asked.
“‘They aren’t out there,’ he explained, once
again blowing my mind
with his mystic wisdom. ‘They are still in you.’ In
short, there is no
out there. It would take a whole book to explain this advanced
technique with the depth it deserves.
“Suffice It to say that whenever you want to
improve anything in your life, there’s only one place to look: inside
you. When you look,
do it with love.”

“Love is not something to merely feel. It is
something to be chosen, to
make a stand for, to lay claim to, to incarnate fully.” – Marianne

– Joe Vitale

Part A
1. I take complete responsibility for this movie in my life.
2. It is the result of some subconscious memory. I don’t need to know what it is.
3. I am willing to let go and let God.

Part B (In any sequence that ‘feels’ right a few times till there you enter into a loving state and then that does the work) – Repeat it as many times as required.

1. I love you (You includes yourself, the other, the situation etc)
2. I am sorry
3. Please forgive me
4. Thank you

Ritual for someone who has acted irresponsibly

In the Babemba tribe of South Africa, when a person acts irresponsibly or unjustly, he is placed in the centre of the village, alone and unfettered.

All work ceases, and every man, woman, and child in the village gathers in a large circle around the accused individual.

Then each person in the tribe speaks to the accused, one at a time, each recalling the good things the person in the centre of the circle has done in his lifetime. Every incident, every experience that can be recalled with any detail and accuracy, is recounted. All his positive attributes, good deeds, strengths, and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length. This tribal ceremony often lasts for several days.

At the end, the tribal circle is broken, a joyous celebration takes place, and the person is symbolically and literally welcomed back into the tribe.

Afterword (12 Sept 14)

I just discovered this beautiful video on youtube thanks to Rhea and Sorabh.


Ho’oponopono- Feel it : A Song (click this link!)

5 thoughts on “The simplicity of healing : Ho’oponopono

  1. Kiran,
    Thanks so much for this. I used something similar to this when my estranged sister was in a coma the day before she died. She answered back in a similar fashion and it has brought me great peace. I believe that experience has lead to this. We have been to Hawaii every year since 2000, the culture is so beautiful.
    I am launching a deeper version of my work XLR8YOU!!! Evolutionary Leadership on October 20 – 24. It is bringing all of Richard’s work into one process for those truly interested in a conscious capitalism journey. I wish you could come – you would get/add so much to the experience.
    I have found some beautiful ho’oponopono meditations that will fit beautifully into a new segment entitled The Big Leap – Upper Limit Breakthrough: Love Your Shadows.
    All my love to you.

  2. Dearest Tom,

    I have goose bumps as I read this and cant believe the synchronicity of this. Ho’oponopono, Conscious Capitalism, Barrett Work, The Big Leap- Hendricks work, loving our shadows- our meeting, my writing this blog. And our reconnecting! This is incredible.

    Tom, I think we must speak- lets skype. And there are some very cheap plans to call from US to India. My brother in the US uses them.

    I still remember the resonance we felt. And also with your son- how is he?

    Have you seen the work of Human Design and “Gene keys” – RIchard Rudd? Do pick up the book. And lets talk.
    And who knows I may be able to come Oct 20-24th. Evolutionary Leadership. My life work is Co-evolutionary Leadership! The Tao.
    Have you read the book, ‘Tao of Leadership’ – John Heider- pick it up today if you have not.

    Are you on facebook? Lets connect on email. (

    Consciousness wants to wake up Now.
    So much love,
    Skype: kiran.gulrajani

  3. Bingo, Kiran..truly mind-blowing article.Will practice and report too…and get hold of the Joe Vitale book/s…loved the wise soul quote..understanding evolves…thanks for sharing.

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