Working Within Ourselves


 A good way to begin exploring and understanding  Ho’Oponopono is by watching my all-time favorite YouTube video: “Kindness Boomerang”.  Lyrics at This video perfectly captures the “What we sow, we harvest” principle of Karma! Once I got this basic joke of how the Universe is organized, I subsequently was blessed with being taught a modernized version of a practice that comes from the Hawaiian “Huna” tradition – “Ho’Oponopono”. I use variations on this practice (if I am awake enough to be thinking clearly) to put my own consciousness back into Right Mindedness whenever I stumble into thinking that somehow I am the victim of anything but my own thoughts and words and actions.

Ho’Oponopono – like Buddhism, and like Authentic Christianity – is centered around the mastery of forgiveness. Initially, one learns the benefits of forgiveness by applying Ho’Oponopono in relation to those we have a clear sense of having injured, including ourselves.  As the practice deepens though, we begin to apply it to all those toward whom we harbor grievances, the people we think hurt us. And finally we use it to take total responsibility for having organized our own experience exactly as it has been – our karmic harvest.  This unequivocal embrace of forgiveness, which arises out of the realization that there is nothing to forgive, is the ultimate ground of liberation – what the Bodhisattva comes back to share again and again until all beings are Awake!

What follows here is an introduction to Ho’Oponopono – and the various ways in which the practice can be applied – that I have put together in the hope that others may find it as helpful as I have.

working without ourselves


Two thousand years ago a humble spiritual teacher and true freedom fighter – whose birth and teachings many pause to meditate upon each year as our annual trip around the sun draws to another close – encouraged us with these words:

You have heard that it was said:
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you,
love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” .

This great teacher offered his message far and wide until finally, even at the moment of his brutal execution, he implored “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”

To this, I would only add that the “Them”, referred to in the quote above, is also “Us”.  When we screw up and act out of fear instead of love, we simply “know not what we do”.  In order for forgiveness to be authentic and complete therefore, as integral parts of our effort to forgive others, we need to heal our own self injury by acknowledging the impact of our errors while simultaneously releasing ourselves from self-condemnation as we move toward reconciliation.

Embracing the decision to forgive others – and asking others to forgive us – is the pathway to finally forgiving ourselves.  Here is a video which elaborates on this by explaining that “To forgive, is to set a prisoner free…and discover the prisoner was you!”


Forgiveness Awakening (5:37)


With this truth in mind, here is a simple practice for fostering both Forgiveness of Others as well as Self-Forgiveness:


working within ourselves


– Slowly, one at a time, contemplate the various times and ways you realize you have hurt others directly. As these memories arise, begin to notice how you have also hurt yourself indirectly by the injury you have inflicted on others.

As each recollection of harm done to another comes to mind, speak with that person as you look upon them in your mind, and say simply

I am truly sorry for this harm that I have done.”

Please forgive me for the ways in which I was unkind to you.”

“The Deepest Truth inside me, underneath all my hurtful thoughts and words and actions, is that I loved you then, and I love you still”…

Thank-you! Thank-you for waiting until now for my heartfelt apology.”


Now we are in a position to speak with the one whom it is so often the hardest to forgive – our self!  As each memory arises once again of harm you have done to another, contemplate how you also hurt yourself in that process. Additionally recollect the moments when you harmed yourself where only you were involved directly. Look with love upon the child, the teenager, the adult or the elder who you were then.
– With commitment to sincerity, offer that person (i.e.  your earlier self), these four sentiments:

I am truly sorry for this harm that I have done to you

Please forgive me for this harm that I have done to you.”

“The Deepest Truth, hidden underneath all my self-condemnation, is that I Love You.”

Thank-you! Thank-you for staying inside me, all these many years, waiting so patiently until now for my heartfelt apology. Thank-you.”

Rest peacefully, doing your best, at this very moment, to trust – whether or not you can feel it or believe it – that All is Forgiven”.


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This particular approach to the empowering practice of forgiveness is a variation on an element of “Ho’Oponopono” practice.  Ho’Oponopono – is a Hawaiian word which means “to correct or make right, to come to balance”. In traditional Hawaiian culture, this also refers to a process of setting things right by bringing a person, or an ohana (one’s extended family), into proper, healthy balance.  Each individual within the ohana strives to stay in balance, in service to the larger goal of maintaining collective health and unity with all others in the extended family unit.

Much like Buddhism, Ho’Oponopono invites the practitioner to accept 100% responsibility for all of one’s personal experience as well as for our part in co-creating our collective experience.

Ho’Oponopono teaches that by taking complete responsibility for our lives we can shift from feeling like victims to having confidence that we are the creators of our own personal lives as well as the life we have created collectively with our fellow beings on this planet.  With this concept in mind here is the link to a lesson from the “Insight Course”, offered as a service of PEERS, which you may find supportive: Taking Responsibility for Our LivesIf you find this lesson intriguing, I would encourage you to take this entire free course.

Working at the level of taking 100% (total) responsibility for all of your experience, now try experimenting with Ho’Oponopono in this way….

1) Think of someone against whom you are holding a grievance.
2) Imagine that this person has simply come into your life – painful as it has been – as the natural cause and effect result of all your previous thoughts and words and actions.
3) Accept that somehow this person has been invited – by you – to teach you that when you function without love you bring only suffering into your life.
4) Though you may not initially see the karmic trail that lead to the moment of painful encounter between you two, posit that the trail does indeed exist and affirm your intention to create a very different kind of future for yourself by following the path of kindhearted thoughts and words and actions.
5) In other words as you continue on in this amazing ride we call “life in the material plane” determine that from here on in you will always choose Love over fear.
6) Finally, thank this person – who has been a teacher to you – for being in your life in exactly the way you requested them to be.

With the above in mind then, the next level of Ho’Oponopono practice goes like this:


Bring to mind an individual against whom you are holding a grievance.  Contemplate for a moment how you want to blame that person for hurting you in some way. Then apply Ho’Oponopono as follows.  Your belief in the following statements is not necessary.  But your wish that these statements could be true will definitely facilitate your liberation!

I’m sorry for asking you to be in my life in a way that provoked my anger toward you.”
Please forgive me for generating an experience that was so painful for both of us.”
I love you because I realize now that you are actually a part of me.”
Thank-you for being in my life story in exactly the way I asked you to be.”

The Pay Off of this practice is that once you settle into routinely working with Ho’Oponono you will find that you are able to extricate yourself from both guilt and grievance almost instantly! With each passing day you will find your life is less and less about resentment and fear as it becomes more and more about love and appreciation!


Now, finally, as to our collective predicament, if you feel ready to accept your part in having co-created one hell of a mess here on Planet Earth and if you are eager to open up to new energies inside yourself that can now be applied to working with others to bring Heaven to Earth, I invite you to experiment with the meditative practice offered in the following video.

A Ho’Oponopono Meditation for Planetary Healing (6:19)


Once we agree to take 100% responsibility for our experience, setting free the central prisoner of our anger – our own self – becomes relatively easy!  Simply work with the basic Ho’Oponopono script, with the intention to fully embrace it, and watch all disempowering resentments make way for creative peace building!


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If you are ready now to apply the energies unleashed through our work in this section with forgiveness practices, journey on to the “Working With Others” section by linking here