I came across Ho’oponopono a while back after my grandmothers death. I was having a difficult time coping with my grief and anxiety and wound up in the hospital with stress induced bronchitis. At that point in time, the only way I could sleep at night was either with the use of medication or by listening to guided meditations. I don’t particularly like medication, so I turned to the mentally soothing meditations instead.
But, I could only listen to the same meditation so many times before it no longer helped. One night I decided to google stress relieving meditations. I can’t recall the site now, but I found one with a number of meditations focused on the chakras and one that was related to releasing anger toward divorced parents. There were a mixture of things in this meditation, but the basis was Ho’oponopono.
Ho’oponopono, as I understand it, is a method of healing. It allows you to heal all aspects of your experience by turning your attention inward in a loving way. There is a pretty popular story about a therapist named Dr. Hew Len who cured an entire criminal psychiatric ward in Hawaii using this philosophy. The most common matra or meditation associated with this is “I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.”
Although I haven’t delved into the practice further, I have often used this idea in my own meditation and fairly often in my everyday life. I used to curse like a sailor when driving. I live in a huge city, massive amounts of traffic and I always seemed to be surrounded by idiot drivers. I stopped myself from doing that some time ago, from recognizing bad driving but instead projecting love at other drivers and acknowledging that they’re in the same situation that I am. I don’t have nearly as many problems on the roads these days. I can’t remember the last time I was cut off or blocked from being able to change lanes on the freeway (which is such a common thing here that my mother refuses to use her blinker because it makes most drivers speed up and get in the way).
Aside from its practical applications, it dawned on me tonight just how wonderful this little mantra is at raising ones vibration. Tonight, I’ve found it a little difficult to sleep. I’m focusing too much on contrast that is occurring in my life and worrying about things that I need to finish soon. I stopped and apologized to myself. I started the mantra, beginning at “I’m sorry” and cycling it through, repeating each line three times so that I could actually feel the words I was saying.
I’m sorry. This is a powerful statement. In two words you’re taking responsibility. This isn’t about blame. It isn’t about placating anyone. It is in one fell swoop acknowledging that you are responsible for your current situation, but that you’re also sincerely apologetic for not doing so sooner. When truly felt, this is a sobering statement. It is easily placed on the lower end of the vibrational spectrum, but the intent to raise higher is clear.
Please forgive me. Saying “I’m sorry” takes strength, but asking for forgiveness is something else entirely. Although in our society, saying sorry is a way to indirectly ask for forgiveness, it isn’t clear. Indirect sums it up completely. “Please forgive me” is such a vulnerable state. But here, you are asking yourself for forgiveness. You are laying it all out on the table, accepting responsibility and leaving yourself open to yourself. In this act, you release the lingering shame often associated with saying “I’m sorry.” You move slightly higher up the vibrational ladder.
Thank you. Instant relief. At this point you should be rocketing off. Did you receive an answer? Probably not directly, unless you thought yes or no to yourself to the previous statement, but by saying thank you the mind can only assume that it is a yes. Thank you for understanding, thank you for being accepting, thank you for caring. We are thankful for the good. Thank you, I feel so much better.
I love you. A place of bliss. Some may be able to start here, but I can’t just yet. But by the time I reach this, by the time I’ve apologized, forgiven and shown gratitude, I am in a state that I can feel the joy of love. It is an elevated love that reassures me it would be there whether or not I had sought out forgiveness.
The mantra doesn’t end there, for me. I’m sorry, please forgive me, Thank you, I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you. And on and on until my mind it at peace, and often times after simply because I enjoy the feeling these words carry. I enjoy the conversation that I feel myself carrying out. In the first set I am pleading with myself, in the second I am apologizing for feeling the need to apologize, by the third it is becoming a bit redundant but in that high school romance sort of way until it feels like giggles saying “I love you more” “no, I love you more!” “uh-uh, I love you more!!”
For me, that level of adolescent playfulness is exactly where my bliss hides. This is one of the highest vibrations that I can achieve, although, unfortunately, it isn’t something I fall into often or easily. But having such a simple tool to lead me there helps.