In Hawaii past and present, it is common to be dedicated with one Kumu (teacher) for the majority of your training and to be sent away to study a specialization for awhile. We are grateful to Kaleolani, our primary Kumu, who gave his blessings for us to pursue the study of Ho’oponopono, which has a different perspective in our main lineage. These teachings have been passed through 50 generations spanning 2,000 years of family teachings of the people of Halawa. With this, the knowledge of our lineage expands.
On Tuesday, we completed our training in Ho’oponopono, and yesterday we left the Island of Molokai to land in Kona on the Big Island. With this brief time off to rest and reflect, we wanted to share with you a bit of what it is all about, and why it is so impactful in our lives.
How much life do we waste invested in drama, in holding on to anger, living in regret, and feeling abused or less than whole? How much better could we be without all the unnecessary conflicts (disagreements that are allowed to fester and grow)?
What if there was a way of living that could enable all of that waste to fall away, to find real and lasting forgiveness, and let it go? In today’s post, we want to share with you some ancient wisdom and a way of living that opens that healing. It is a tradition called Ho’oponopono.
Ho’oponopono is a Hawaiian word that means “to make right”, and it is a system of personal and group counseling that helps us put conflicts, disagreements, held emotions, and dishonesty to final and complete resolution.
It is one of those “simple, but not easy” practices that creates life-changing results.
Ho’oponopono is still practiced in many families on either a daily or weekly basis. All the members of the family are gathered together and use this method to resolve issues that they face.
The idea of this practice is that we all have an open connection with all life on the planet, called the aka cords. When disputes arise or hurt is caused and not corrected, we develop stones or “baggage” in our aka cords. The more baggage, the more closed our connection with life.
Since the Hawaiians see humanity and all life as descendants of the Divine, and since this is a sort of family counseling, the session always includes prayer and an invitation for the Divine and the ancestors to be present.
Then step-by-step, the facilitator and the participant(s) work to identify the specific baggage and resolutions needed to be freed from the past. Kumu Lawrence teaches that the past plus the present equals the future. In other words, if we stay stuck in the past, we will be stuck in those repeating patterns into the future. It is only what you do and heal today that enables an opportunity for a new future.
Kumu Lawrence calls the facilitator the “executioner” and it actually is an effective description. He told his four hand-selected students, “Your job is to find the baggage people carry, help them identify it, and then kill the baggage dead. It has to be gone and never come back.”
He also was quite clear that to be a practitioner, you first have to do this work for yourself in order to create a clear connection to see the truth for those who come for help. Having an executioner as a witness and as a clear vision to not get trapped in the story, but to cut to the source, is essential. It is far too easy to rationalize and therefore, stop the healing process from happening.
But most of all, action is what creates healing. We must take action to right the wrongs and heal the wounds. Intentions ands words are lovely, but only action solidifies the healing into reality in the eyes of the Gods. The last step of Ho’oponopono is to identify the actions to bring resolution to fullness.
~ Pono and Ha’awi