There’s a lot of discussion these days among new-agers, weekend workshops to attend, videos to watch, articles to read, about the Hawai’ian tradition of Ho’oponopono. Most of these offerings have nothing at all to do with the real, authentic practice of Ho’oponopono.
Finally, here is a good succinct summary of what Ho’oponopono really is. It’s not being uncomfortable with a situation, blurting out “I’m sorry, please forgive me, I love you, thank you” and thinking you’re good and all is well. That may be a process that works well for some people, but it is not Ho’oponopono, and shouldn’t be called Ho’oponopono. To those on the receiving end, who find out they’ve been Ho’oponopono’ed by another person, the person doing the Ho-oponoponoing “to” them seems smug and small and self-righteous.
Ho’oponopono, as described in the link above, is a practice that is hours long, days long, or even longer. It is a process that brings together family members in conflict, with an elder who serves as the mediator and facilitator of the process. There is an expression of the conflict from all perspectives. There is a working out of what would be the solution. There is an emotional release. There is prayer and ceremony and connection with the young and old in this world, with the ancestors in the spirit world, and food at the conclusion of the event, and then the subject is not raised again by any of the participants; we’re done with that now.
I understand how people are attached to the quickie instant fix of the four phrases. I understand that people are taught that this came from a Huna practitioner long ago. I’ve seen the videos from the one who promotes this and says he used it in his practice and how it just resolved every one of his cases. I get that.
Huna, as the Facebook page says, is not Hawai’ian. There is no such thing as Huna. Huna is not a derivative of “kahuna.” As we say in 2017, this is all “fake news.” The easy one-minute approach to Ho’oponopono is just simply fake. Even worse, it’s cultural appropriation.
So again, if this process helps you, great. If “listening to your small inner child” and saying these four phrases helps you, great. Just don’t call it Ho’oponopono, and do take the time to understand what real Ho’oponopono really is.
Start by pronouncing it correctly, too: the word that is repeated is “pono” (POE-noe) which means “rightness” or “goodness.” The word at the beginning is “Ho’o” (HOE-oh) which means “make it happen!” So the word is pronounced “HOE-oh-POE-noe-POE-noe” and means basically “rightness or goodness, make it happen!”