Ho’oponopono is a Hawaiian healing modality. The name means, “to set right.” The ho’oponopono healing session is traditionally led by a family elder, head of the family, or “kupuna” — a spiritual leader. Any calm and objective family member can serve as the facilitator. Alternately, you enlist the help of a clergy person from your house of worship, who is willing to facilitate.
1. Ho’oponopono begins with a prayer or blessing for healing. You can write your own or use an existing prayer or blessing.
2. The dialogue begins with identifying the problem.
3. The facilitator focuses on the hurt, pain and consequences of the transgression that is voiced.
4. Each participant is given equal time to share their feelings, while the others actively listen without interruption.
5. The facilitator helps the participants to work through the problem. If tempers flare during the discussion, the facilitator declares a cooling-off period of silence.
6. When the air is all cleared and everyone has had their say, the discussion proceeds to the stage of apologizing and asking for forgiveness. If restitution is necessary the terms are arranged and agreed upon.
7. The healing session closes with a prayer or blessing that is an affirmation of the enduring bond of the participants and their united strengths. Complete healing and closure may take more than one session.
8. After the session, the participants sit down to break bread together, sharing food each person has contributed to the meal as an expression of love, caring and good-will.
Making this practice a tradition in your home is an effective way for spouses, partners and family members to resolve relationship issues, open up channels of communication and keep resentments from building up. When we don’t have safe space to give voice to what’s eating away at us, it manifests in any number of toxic ways.
Can you imagine how different our lives would be if we all adopted the Ho’oponopono tradition as a way of life?