The Ho’oponopono prayer could be exactly what you're looking for in your relationships -- with others, with the earth, with yourself.
First things first, I just had to make a print of this prayer, I love it so much. Click here to see the Ho’oponopono prayer print I made! It's a unique gift, even if it's staying in your own home. :)
What Is Ho’oponopono?
Ho’oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian practice for forgiveness and reconciliation. It’s more than the prayer alone; it's a process of making things right in your relationships -- with others, ancestors, deities, the earth, yourself.
The family ritual focuses on working through problems together, openly expressing feelings, and releasing each other. It’s the act and intention of holding a space for reflection, repentance, forgiveness, and gratitude.
Special words are exchanged, emotions are revealed, and forgiveness flows both ways. A ceremonial feast might follow, symbolizing the release.
The philosophy behind this practice is that we’re each responsible for what shows up in our reality. We own our feelings and our experiences. So even if someone else has wronged us, we're the ones saying "I am sorry. Forgive me..."
The foundation of this practice is unity: an unbreakable bond connects you to everyone else, even though we seem so separate.
When errors are corrected externally, errors are corrected internally. When you “cleanse” your consciousness, you contribute to the cleansing of the “collective consciousness.” When you forgive others, you, too, are forgiven because...
As within, so without.
Loving each other and loving yourself is kind of the same thing.
When you focus on healing the past, you help heal your life right here, right now. When you right any wrongs in your thinking, you adjust and amend problems in the physical realm.
As above, so below.
The practice of Ho’oponopono helps you understand and heal the experiences in your life that you’ve “attracted” or participated in, or have been affected by.
“In common with other shamanic traditions, the Hawaiian tradition teaches that all life is connected. Ho’oponopono is, therefore, not only a way of healing ourselves, but others and our world as well.” – Timothy Freke, Shamanic Wisdomkeepers
While the Ho’oponopono Prayer is by no means a complete training in the Hawaiian practice, it can be profoundly healing for all you’ve gone through and are still trying to move through.
I recommend it!
It’s helped me identify underlying currents of resentment and self-loathing in my life (from childhood, school, and surrounding my brother’s suicide) so I can “give them up.” So I can be free, and move forward.
You're allowed to move forward. Small rituals like this one can help.
The Ho’oponopono Prayer
There are four forces at work in this prayer: repentance, forgiveness, gratitude, and love. These are reflected in the four phrases that make up the prayer.
The phrases, which you can repeat in any order, silently to yourself or out loud, are:
- I am sorry.
- (Please) Forgive me.
- Thank you.
- I love you.
It’s natural to resist this practice at first, especially if you've got a lot of healing to do. I was! After a few times, it gets easier.
You might feel better right away, or feel your evolution like a slow melt into love.
This prayer has a lot of power in it.
It’s why I made a Ho'oponopono prayer print!
How You Pray Is Your Decision Entirely
You can chant these four phrases to address a specific problem in your life (regardless of whose fault it is), your past, your ancestral lineage, or your relationship with the earth.
You could also practice for no reason at all.
You can meditate quietly in a state of peace and gentleness. You can repeat this out loud in front of the mirror.
You can even play with the order of the phrases and see if you notice any subtle differences in how you feel.
(This is why in my book, Sleep Rituals, on page 241 in the Mirror Gazing ritual, I included a different version of the Ho’oponopono prayer. To see it, and 99 other rituals for better sleep, get a copy of the book.)
It’s neat to see what questions arise as you keep up with the practice, like:
- “What am I sorry for?”
- “Where do I still need forgiveness?
- "Where am I still seeking forgiveness?
- “What am I thankful for?”
- “Do I really feel loved?” “Why am I worthy of love?” “Where do I want to feel more love?”
And sometimes, the questions can be just as enlightening as the answers.
Don’t be afraid to let the words, and the questions that come up, ferment with time. You don’t need answers right away. Let them come without forcing them.
Give the healing, reconciliation and release time to sink into your cells and seep through your life.
Then again, you might feel better right away... a lightening, a wave of peace, a shower of clarity, a freedom like no other.
. . .
Have you tried the Ho’oponopono prayer ritual? If not, do you think you’d like to make it part of your life now?
If you have or do, tell me in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
P.S. To strengthen your practice, get the special handwritten Ho’oponopono prayer print I made. Place it where you’ll see it, where you most need it. Bring on the healing.