Ho’oponopono – A Simple but Powerful Energy Clearing and Healing Technique

by Anne Reith, Ph.D.
Hooponopono phrase I love you is written in beach sand
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Ho'oponopono phrase I love you is written in beach sand

What is Ho’oponopono?

The word Ho’oponopono is often translated to mean “cause things to move back into balance” or “to make things right.” It is a simple but powerful ancient Hawaiian spiritual practice that is sometimes described as “a practice of reconciliation and forgiveness.”

Anyone can use Ho’oponopono. There is no need for specialized training or an initiation.

The technique involves repeating short 4 phrases (see directions below). It’s basic goal is to clear energetic blocks. The catalyst for this clearing is our acceptance of “total responsibility” for everything that we attract into our lives.

Benefits of using Ho’oponopono

Ho’oponopono cannot do any harm, so use it anytime and any place. The worst that can happen is that nothing happens. But many people report that shifts in energy occur when it’s used.

Some of the reported uses and benefits include:

  • Healing yourself or others (e.g., physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually)
  • Healing relationships
  • Improving any situation
  • Clearing energy in a space/area
  • Clearing known or unknown blocks that hinder progress toward a goal

Ho’oponopono and The Law of Attraction

Some of you may remember Joe Vitale who appeared in the movie The Secret.  His approach to The Law of Attraction is consistent with many of us who have worked with and taught the Law of Attraction, like myself.  We firmly believe that this Law exists.  However, we also find that there are times when the Law doesn’t seem to work.

One reason why the Law of Attraction may not work is when someone needs to heal, remove, or clear psychological issues within themselves. This can include belief systems that are in opposition to what you want to manifest.

For example, let’s say that your childhood experience includes severe poverty, and this resulted in a deeply ingrained “scarcity mentality” (i.e., the belief that resources are limited). If you want to successfully use the Law of Attraction to create a wealthy life, a belief in scarcity will block the manifestation of your dreams.

Once these blocks are removed, then the Law of Attraction can work more effectively in our lives. There are many ways to remove blocks. Ho’oponopono is believed to be one of these techniques.

Directions for Ho’oponopono

DIRECTIONS: The technique is very simple.  When you encounter something around you that makes you feel uncomfortable (e.g., boss/employee, salesperson, family member) OR when you feel uncomfortable about something within yourself (e.g., your reaction to someone/a situation, a medical issue, an emotional state), you simply:

  1. Focus on the situation/issue.
  2. Say the following 4 phrases as if you were talking/praying to God/Source/Spirit. 

I’m sorry.
Please forgive me.
Thank you.
I love you.

Here are some additional directions to help you feel comfortable using this technique:

  • If you feel uncomfortable with the phrases “I’m sorry” or “Please forgive me,” be sure to read the next 2 sections of this Blog post.
  • The 4 phrases can be said in any order.
  • You can say the 4 phrases only once, or you can repeat them over and over again.
  • What I have found is that if the situation is long-standing or highly charged emotionally, then I often have to repeat the process several times and over a period of time. But keep at it. You may find that the results are worth the effort.
  • Many people have observed something very magical: As you clear blocks within yourself, you may find that there is a positive healing impact on another person/situation. It’s a win-win situation! I’ve personally seen some profound changes in those around me when I use this technique, even when I wasn’t expecting others to change.

That’s it!  By doing this, you are asking the Divine to help you erase, cleanse, or clear whatever it is within you that is drawing this situation/issue to you. 

Explanation for “I’m sorry” and “Please forgive me” statements

Many of my students have used Ho’oponopono.  Often they report subtle and yet profound changes in their lives when they use it.

HOWEVER, there are some who react negatively to the statements “I’m sorry” and “Please forgive me.”  The most common reasons for this reaction include:

  • Feeling that you have nothing to be sorry about regarding the situation.
  • Feeling that you do not need to ask forgiveness of God, because God is all loving.

I have found that it is often helpful to hear Joe Vitale’s response when asked about this during a workshop:

  • Statement from Workshop Attendee: “I don’t think the Divine has to forgive me for anything.”
  • Response from Joe Vitale: “You aren’t saying those statements to be forgiven by the Divinity.  You’re saying them to clean yourself.  In other words, the Divine is already showering love on you.  It never stops.  You are being asked to be returned to a state of pure love. That state of pure love is there, but you’re not connected with it when you are frustrated, in pain, confused, angry, etc.  So by saying, “I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you,” you’re cleaning the programs in you that are preventing you from being at that pure state of love.  Again, the Divine doesn’t need you to do Ho’oponopono, but you need to do it.”

A possible compromise regarding the statements “I’m sorry” and “Please forgive me”

If you are uncomfortable with the statements “I’m sorry” and/or “Please forgive me,” don’t give up on Ho’oponopono. 

A compromise is to leave out the phrases “I’m sorry” and/or “Please forgive me.”  Instead, when you encounter something that you would like to clear, you can focus on the person/situation that you want to clear and repeat EITHER of the following:

  • Repeat the phrases “Thank you” and “I love you.”
  • Repeat the phrase “I love you” over and over again.

Joe Vitale feels that:

  • “Thank you” is showing appreciation to God/Source/Spirit (and the other side loves to hear our appreciation).
  • “I love you” is the most powerful of the 4 phrases.

For more information

As with anything else, Ho’oponopono is a technique that will be a fit for some people and not others.  If you are interested in learning more:

  • There are many websites and YouTube videos that provide information and discuss the effectiveness of Ho’oponopono.
  • There is a beautiful song available on YouTube that you might want to listen to: Ho’oponopono by Aman Ryuseke Seto). 

For those who feel drawn to work with Ho’oponopono, may it bring you healing and peace!

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By Anne Reith, Ph.D.

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