I have recently been made aware of a practice known as Ho’ponopono. Ho’ponopono is an ancient Hawaiian healing practice, based on universal forgiveness, that was rediscovered and popularised in the 80s. A man called Joe Vitale(Hawaiian I think)  became enchanted by the practice after his daughter was healed from an otherwise, seemingly hopeless and very painful case of shingles. Which miraculously lifted after Ho’ponopono was performed for her by a native practitioner.  

Joe was so impressed and moved by the power of Ho’ponopono that he researched the history of it and heard about the case of a therapist, Dr Len, who worked at Hawaii State Hospital in the criminally insane wing, where the patients were very dangerous and mostly restrained around the clock. Dr Len took an office in the wing but never came Into contact with any of the patients. Instead he examined their files and looked deeply into himself and imagined how his existence had contributed to the sickness of the men and the crimes that they had commited.  

He felt deeply that he should take responsibility for everything that came into his life, even mentally ill criminals, as they were all projections of his own psyche and therefore subject to the effects of his eternal transgressions.  

Dr Len practiced Ho’ponopono for all of the patients and within months was seeing incredible results. After 3 years restraints were no longer used on the ward, patients were coming off their meds and some, previously considered hopeless cases, were being released from detention altogether. 

The practice: 

Holding the person, people, situation, object, etc, in mind, repeat as many times as you like... 


I love you. 

I’m sorry. 

Please forgive me. 

Thank you. 


I don’t claim to understand how it works, my Buddhist take on it, after practicing it for a number of weeks and feeling very moved and inspired by it, is that we are all, in effect, metaphysically related as a result of our journeying together in Samsara since beginningless time and therefore have caused untold harm to one another. Harm that is obviously healed by the energetic, interpersonal amend inherent in the Ho’ponopono practice. I recently found myself doing Ho’ponopono for Hitler at 3am when I was struggling to sleep. It felt obvious to me that, since I consider myself to be partly a product of the catastrophic consequences and subsequent causes and conditions resulting from the Nazi reign, I must be karmically entwined in it all and therefore somehow responsible. I felt very good afterwards and knew that, somehow the practice had been effective.

For me, this practice has unlimited potential for healing and feels like it is well aligned with my overall healing process and religious life.

I hope it brings you and all beings joy, happiness and freedom. 


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