Ho’oponopono

HO’OPONOPONO

HO’OPONOPONO is the Game of Total Responsibility

Here is the game as it is told by Joe Vitale. Personally, I use it when faced with unpleasant and difficult contrasts. I immediately feel more serene and into the Unconditional Love.


A Hawaiian therapist uses a healing process called « ho ‘oponopono » to cure his mentally ill patients. His name is Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len.

He was working at the Hawaii State Hospital. The wing in which mentally ill criminals were locked up was dangerous. The psychologists could only bear it for a month. The staff often went off sick or simply handed in their notice. In this wing, people would walk with their backs to the wall in fear of being attacked by patients. It was not a good place to live, work or visit.

Dr. Len never met his patients. He was given an office and studied their files. While he was reading through the files, he started to work upon himself. While he was working upon himself, the patients were beginning to get better.

After a few months, the patients who had to be shackled were allowed to wander freely. Others who had to be strongly sedated no longer required medication. And those who had no hope of ever being freed were released. Besides, the staff started to enjoy working in this wing.

Absenteeism and high staff turnover ended. The ward ended up having more staff than needed, because patients were being released and the whole staff was turning up for work. Today, this wing has been closed.

Of course, everyone is asking the one-million dollar question: “What inner work was he doing to change people in such a way?”

He was simply healing the part of himself that was creating them. The “total responsibility of our life” means that everything in our life – simply because it is part of our life – is our responsibility. In a literal sense, the entire world is our creation.

To be responsible of what I say or do, is one thing. To be responsible for what each person in my life says or does, is quite another. However this is the truth: if you take total responsibility of your life, then everything you see, hear, taste, touch or experience, by its only presence in your life, you are responsible for it. This means that terrorism, the government, the economy, or everything you experience or do not like, it is up to you to heal. They don’t exist, in a manner of speaking, except as projections from inside you. The problem isn’t with them, it’s with you, and to change them, you have to change you.

It is obviously much easier to blame the world rather than to take total responsibility for it, but for Dr. Len and in ho’oponopono, healing comes from “loving oneself”.

If you want to improve your life, you have to heal your life. If you want to heal anyone, even a mentally ill criminal, you do it by healing yourself.
But what was Dr. Len doing to heal himself? What was he doing precisely when he was reviewing these patients’ files?

He was simply saying “I am sorry” and “I love you”, again and again.

Loving oneself is therefore the best way to improve oneself because, as you improve yourself, you improve your world.

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