from my own life
mau ke ea o ka 'aina i ka pono.
very life, breath &
spirit of the land
endures in right relationship
between people, nature & Spirit.
Resolving difficult emotional
situations within a family or community certainly supports healing.
Feeling harmonious - free of emotional stress - we breath
our blood flows and nourishes our tissues more easily, we rest more
digest our food more easily, and the list goes on.
Our bodies can focus full attention on
Traditionally in Hawaii
when a person was ill or injured and
the family sought the help of a healer, the first step in the healing process was to hold
prayful, family hooponopono session led by a
respected family elder. Some
hooponopono sessions were
done quickly and others may have gone on
In these structured hooponopono sessions, prayer began and
ended the ceremony and was woven throughout the process. Feelings such as
fear, guilt and so
forth held by any
member of the family were brought
to the light, restitution for harmful actions was
necessary, and forgiveness was both directly asked for and directly
hooponopono session, each family member was invited to share
their feelings, thoughts and actions related to the issue at hand. This was done with
guidance. When feelings
ran hot, comments were directed to the leader, rather than directly to
leader would ask
helpful questions, make
sure all had a chance to speak and be
heard, call for prayer and/or ho'omalu
(time out to restore calm) when needed, and guide the agreements for
a series of directly and or indirectly
related issues were
resolved one by one before
the ho'oponopono session was considered complete. The closing
prayer was then spoken
the shared, closing meal was served.
resolution of multiple issues was referred to as peeling the onion.
resolving an issue, don't speak of it again
One particular aspect of
traditional ho'oponopono sessions that I have come to respect is the expectation and
agreement that after a situation is
resolved in a
ho'oponopono session, it is complete and is not to be spoken of
practice prevents the
issue from being repeatedly reopened the same way that a person
prolongs healing by picking at a scab.
The genuine focused
healing intent of all
participants in the ho'oponopono session combined with the passing of
after the session is complete supports full healing.
The practice of disciplining
not to reopen already resolved, painful emotional issues - at least
until ALL the
juice in these issues has COMPLETELY dissipated - serves me well. And following this
practice certainly does
requires discipline on my part!!!
I've twice participated in
ho'oponopono sessions such as the one described here.
The first time was in a
class setting and the problem involved miscommunication about money
teacher, the site host and the students.
The teacher led the
The second group ho'oponopono
session I participated in occurred in a year long Hawaiian healing
Ka 'Imi Pono
that I team taught. During
a circle sharing
session which I
personally facilitated one of the students snapped at another student
and heated words followed. As
the group leader, I ended this incident as
quickly and gracefully as I could.
following time we met as a group I led a
ho'oponopono session involving the entire group.
of the group ho'oponopono
sessions mentioned above the
issues were resolved and laid to rest, yet I was left
with less than a sense of full peace. In the session that I lead, two
students chose to leave the group the following month.
I wish it could have gone differently.
both cases, the person who led the
were parties to the trouble which led to the need for the
session. As such we
played double roles
- we both led the hooponopono session and participated as a member of
the group. This is
& them, no winners & loosers
Playing double roles is tricky
do and I feel grateful that we were as successful as we were. Functioning as an
egalitarian group while
simultaneously respecting and working with leadership requires skillful
leadership and an open mind and heart by all participants. There can be no winners
with leadership in an egalitarian setting is a good skill to have in
today. Doing so
all parties involved prioritize their desire to fully resolve the
hand and to come to peace with each other over their desire to be right
For more information about
traditional family style ho'oponopono see
- Nana i
ke Kumu (Look to the Source) by Pukui, Haertig and Lee
by Victoria Shook
read ho'oponopono part 1: what is hooponopono
to read ho'oponopono part 2: concepts embedded in
to read ho'oponopono part 3: traditional family
to read ho'oponopono part 4: contemporary
hooponopono, cutting cords
to read ho'oponopono part 5 on being Hawaiian
to read ho'oponopono part 6: making amends
to read ho'oponopono part 7: radiating Light
to read ho'oponopono part 8: we live in an
to read ho'oponopono part 9: appendix - SITH®
2010 Barbara Helynn
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