Ho’oponpono – A simple but powerful healing and clearing technique

Some of you may remember Joe Vitale who appeared in the movie “The Secret.”  Since that ground-breaking movie, he has continued to lecture on the Law of Attraction and has created a series of CD’s called “The Missing Secret.”

Joe Vitale’s approach to the Law of Attraction is consistent with many of us who have worked with and taught about the Law of Attraction.  We firmly believe that this Law exists.  However, we also find that there are reasons why the Law doesn’t work sometimes.


Why doesn’t the Law of Attraction work all the time?

One reason why the Law of Attraction may not work is when someone needs to heal, remove, or clear psychological issues within themselves (AKA blocks, programs, negative thought forms).  Once these blocks are removed, then the Law of Attraction can work effectively in our lives.


What is Ho’oponopono?

Ho’oponopono is a well-known technique that is designed to help you clear these blocks. It is simple but powerful an ancient Hawaiian spiritual practice that involves accepting “Total Responsibility” for everything that surrounds us.

The technique is incredibly simple and involves repeating 4 phrases (see directions below). By clearing energetic blocks, it can also help you manifest your heart’s desires, including healing yourself (e.g., body, mind, spirit), heal your relationships, improving a situation, and much more!

Simply defined, Ho’oponopono is a healing/clearing technique that is very simple and can be used by anyone at any time.


Directions for Ho’oponopono

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 issues, an emotional state), you simply:

  1. Focus on the situation/issue.
  2. Say the following 4 phrases (in any order) to the Divine/God/Source/All That Is.  You can say the phrases only once or you can say them over and over again.

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

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. 

The beauty of this healing technique is that as you clear blocks within yourself, you may find that there is a positive healing impact on the other person/situation.  It’s a win-win situation!  I’ve seen some profound changes in those around me when I use this technique, even when I wasn’t expecting others to change!

NOTE:  With emotionally charged topics, you may have to repeat the phrases many times and over a period of time.  But keep at it.  The result will be worth the effort.


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

Many of my students have been using Ho’oponopono for a while.  They are reporting 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 reason for this is feeling that (a) you have nothing to be sorry about and (b) 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.  It was forwarded to me by Rev. Margaret McCormick, who first introduced me to Ho’oponopono:

Statement from workshop attendee: “I can’t imagine a loving God or Divinity who needs my forgiveness.  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.  You’re saying them to Divinity, but they are to clean you.  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

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 (and the other side loves to hear our appreciation), but he also feels that “I love you” is the most powerful of the 4 phrases.


For more information

As with anything else, this technique will be a fit for some people and not others.  I will abstain from trying to explain it further and will simply encourage you to explore the topic online to learn more about how Ho’oponopono works and why it is effective.

There is also a beautiful song available on YouTube that you might want to listen to (Ho’oponopono by Aman Ryuseke Seto).  Also on YouTube, you will find various videos about the Ho’oponopono technique. 

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




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By Anne Reith, Ph.D.