Sunday, November 08, 2009

Ho'oponopono – The problem is never out there

(By Lena Chen)

Have you heard of Ho'oponopono? Ok... it's quite a mouthful, but this is by far the most powerful teaching I have heard, and it's literally transformed the way I look at everything.

Here is the story written by Joe Vitale who was featured in The Secret, which introduced me to Ho'oponopono.

"Two years ago, I heard about a therapist in Hawaii who cured a complete ward of criminally insane patients--without ever seeing any of them. The psychologist would study an inmate's chart and then look within himself to see how he created that person's illness. As he improved himself, the patient improved.

"When I first heard this story, I thought it was an urban legend. How could anyone heal anyone else by healing himself? How could even the best self-improvement master cure the criminally insane? It didn't make any sense. It wasn't logical, so I dismissed the story.

"However, I heard it again a year later. I heard that the therapist had used a Hawaiian healing process called Ho’oponopono. I had never heard of it, yet I couldn't let it leave my mind. If the story was at all true, I had to know more. I had always understood "total responsibility" to mean that I am responsible for what I think and do. Beyond that, it's out of my hands. I think that most people think of total responsibility that way. We're responsible for what we do, not what anyone else does--but that's wrong.

"The Hawaiian therapist who healed those mentally ill people would teach me an advanced new perspective about total responsibility. His name is Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len. We probably spent an hour talking on our first phone call. I asked him to tell me the complete story of his work as a therapist. He explained that he worked at Hawaii State Hospital for four years. That ward where they kept the criminally insane was dangerous.

Psychologists quit on a monthly basis. The staff called in sick a lot or simply quit. People would walk through that ward with their backs against the wall, afraid of being attacked by patients. It was not a pleasant place to live, work, or visit.

"Dr. Len told me that he never saw patients. He agreed to have an office and to review their files. While he looked at those files, he would work on himself. As he worked on himself, patients began to heal.

"'After a few months, patients that had to be shackled were being allowed to walk freely,' he told me. 'Others who had to be heavily medicated were getting off their medications. And those who had no chance of ever being released were being freed.' I was in awe. 'Not only that,' he went on, 'but the staff began to enjoy coming to work. Absenteeism and turnover disappeared. We ended up with more staff than we needed because patients were being released, and all the staff was showing up to work. Today, that ward is closed.'

"This is where I had to ask the million dollar question: 'What were you doing within yourself that caused those people to change?'

"I was simply healing the part of me that created them,' he said. I didn't understand. Dr. Len explained that total responsibility for your life means that everything in your life - simply because it is in your life--is your responsibility. In a literal sense the entire world is your creation.

"Whew. This is tough to swallow. Being responsible for what I say or do is one thing. Being responsible for what everyone in my life says or does is quite another. Yet, the truth is this: if you take complete responsibility for your life, then everything you see, hear, taste, touch, or in any way experience is your responsibility because it is in your life. This means that terrorist activity, the president, the economy or anything you experience and don't like--is up for 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.

"I know this is tough to grasp, let alone accept or actually live. Blame is far easier than total responsibility, but as I spoke with Dr. Len, I began to realize that healing for him and in Ho'oponopono means loving yourself.

"If you want to improve your life, you have to heal your life. If you want to cure anyone, even a mentally ill criminal you do it by healing you.

"I asked Dr. Len how he went about healing himself. What was he doing, exactly, when he looked at those patients' files?

"'I just kept saying, 'I'm sorry' and 'I love you' over and over again,' he explained.

"That's it?

"That's it.

"Turns out that loving yourself is the greatest way to improve yourself, and as you improve yourself, you improve your world.

"Let me give you a quick example of how this works: one day, someone sent me an email that upset me. In the past I would have handled it by working on my emotional hot buttons or by trying to reason with the person who sent the nasty message.

"This time, I decided to try Dr. Len's method. I kept silently saying, 'I'm sorry' and 'I love you,' I didn't say it to anyone in particular. I was simply evoking the spirit of love to heal within me what was creating the outer circumstance.

"Within an hour I got an e-mail from the same person. He apologized for his previous message. Keep in mind that I didn't take any outward action to get that apology. I didn't even write him back. Yet, by saying 'I love you,' I somehow healed within me what was creating him.

"I later attended a Ho’oponopono workshop run by Dr. Len. He's now 70 years old, considered a grandfatherly shaman, and is somewhat reclusive.

He praised my book, The Attractor Factor. He told me that as I improve myself, my book's vibration will raise, and everyone will feel it when they read it. In short, as I improve, my readers will improve.

"'What about the books that are already sold and out there?' I asked.

"'They aren't out there,' he explained, once again blowing my mind with his mystic wisdom. 'They are still in you.' In short, there is no out there. It would take a whole book to explain this advanced technique with the depth it deserves.

"Suffice It to say that whenever you want to improve anything in your life, there's only one place to look: inside you. When you look, do it with love.

Cool huh?

I have practised Ho'oponopono in my life many times, and often, the shifts that result are very noticeable. Here is one instance. There was a client who hung up on me when I asked him how come he needed to reschedule his session with me a second time. Needless to say, I was quite irked by his rude response. So I did EFT on my feelings of annoyance, and then I said "I'm sorry, please forgive, I love you, thank you" which are the four main phrases in the practice of Ho'oponopono, addressing the part of me who was offended by that client.

Since I was at work, I only did it for a few minutes and by then, I felt totally peaceful.

End of story? Nope!

Less than an hour later, the same client called me back. He apologised for his rude behaviour and told me that his appointment that clashed with our counselling session just got cancelled. In the end, he managed to make it for our original appointment and we had a really great session.

Apparently Ho’oponopono doesn't just work on human beings. A friend's friend did Ho’oponopono on a computer problem - and it got fixed within minutes!

If you understand that everything is energy, then you might somehow be able to grasp that it's all about shifting our energies from a state of conflict and chaos into a state of harmony and synchronization. Ho'oponono is a profoundly simple and effective way to do it, and so is EFT. There are many other ways in this world too, but Ho’oponopono and EFT are by far the easiest and fastest methods that I know of for now.

And guess what? You can do EFT and Ho’oponopono combined. This is also a good alternative for those of you who never seem to know what words to say while tapping. You can simply think of the issue, and tap on the EFT points as you repeat the 4 phrases "I'm sorry, please forgive, I love you, thank you."

Today's tapping exercise? It's a really simple and enjoyable one. :) Click on this link: and tap as you view the video, with the intention of healing a certain issue.

Do this daily, and I'm pretty sure that you will see transformations happening within you AND in your surroundings.

And here's some Ho’oponopono to end this article off with... I'm sorry, please forgive me, I love you and THANK YOU!

N.B. Lena Chen is a practicing holistic therapist who specialises in Emotional Freedom Techniques (“EFT”) as well as Past Life Regression. Other than being a certified Emotional Freedom Techniques (“EFT”) Practitioner, Lena is also the author of a book entitled “Emotional Freedom At Your Fingertips”. Lena also conducts EFT Level I and II workshops as one of her life purposes is to empower other people and helping others to learn EFT definitely empowers them to manage their emotions and challenges more effectively. Lena has a natural gift and passion for counselling, writing and teaching. She has been interested in spirituality and self-development as a young teenager and while she has strong Buddhist roots, she also sees parallel teachings in other religions and feels that all religions ultimately lead us to the same place. She listens to her very strong intuition which helps her to facilitate healing for her clients to bring about deep and powerful transformations. She is constantly learning from those around her and strives to gain greater self-awareness and self-acceptance, which she believes is the key to breaking through negative patterns and achieving enlightenment.

Personal note: For me, this is also by far the most powerful teaching I have learned to date. It too has transformed the way I look at everything. To tell you the truth, I would have never known Lena at all if the normal circumstances prevail. I used to subscribe at my workplace to a newsletter on the various types of training programs available for corporate purposes. I have never read any of them despite the convenience of them having sent periodically into my inbox at my email address. For some unknown reason, I decided to clean up my subscriptions one particular day and being a person who constantly seeks to persevere equity in all aspects, I opened just one of the many newsletters randomly to see what it is all about before unsubscribing it (I had obviously forgotten why I had subscribed to this newsletter in the first place!). As expected, I did not find the content particularly compelling or informative and just before clicked on the unsubscribe link, I saw an article on a review of Lena’s EFT workshop. At that juncture, I did not know what EFT was (and of course had always wanted to understand the concepts behind EFT) and was therefore instantly gravitated towards the article. To cut the long story short, I ended up subscribing for Lena’s newsletter, and yes, I also unsubscribed the other newsletter. And if you were to ask me why I had subscribed to Lena’s newsletter, I would then encourage you to read any one of her newsletters and you will know why. Lena is genuine and sincere in whatever she says and those are more than adequately conveyed through her writings.

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