Ho'oponopono in Action

Achieving a truly clear mind requires skill and patience, which is why I'm looking more closely at ho'oponopono in action to see how it achieves its goals.

As I already alluded to in a previous post on mental cleansing, the Hawaiian practice of ho'oponopono can be used as a simple yet powerful mental cleaning tool.

Let's look at how and why it does what it does for the user.

How Ho'oponopono Works

ho'oponopono worksThe technique is relatively simple in action, yet still requires some practice to make it really effective at cleaning the mind.

What are we cleaning, exactly?

Good question. Here is a brief explanation, taken from my experience as a psychotherapist and seeing the outward effects of mental, emotional blockages.

Throughout our lives we have many experiences, all of which are committed to memory. Some experiences are good and some are bad.


The good ones are remembered as happy memories that make us feel happy when we dwell on them. The bad ones make us feel sad, angry or whatever negative emotion was prevalent at the time of the experience.

There are other memories that we don't actually remember. These are of experiences that were so traumatic and cause us so much anguish, our mental fail-safe mechanism was triggered at the time and the memory became effectively buried.

These are known as repressions, or repressed memories in psychological circles. They are real, but not remembered by their owner.

However, these buried memories have a habit of finding their way to the surface, their actual nature obscured and outwardly represented as behavioural anomalies. These can be displayed as anxiety, depression and the manifestation of certain phobias, for example.

What is really going on is the traumatic nature of each memory finds its way out through negative behaviour related to the negative emotion experienced at the time. The most seriously debilitating of these is guilt, followed by shame, fear and inadequacy/helplessness.

Medical science prescribes drugs to dampen the symptoms, but the underlying cause remains until it is identified, come to terms with and released. Psychotherapy is one tool that can result in the release of certain repressions. Hypno-analysis (hypnotherapy) is another, arguably more potent technique.

A gentler and surprisingly effective technique for releasing repressions is ho'oponopono.

By the repetition of the four phrase mantra directed at the self, the deeply lodged emotionally-charged memories reveal themselves to be dealt with and released.

Why Ho'oponopono Works

One of the reasons why ho'oponopono works is by allowing the mind to reach a zero state.

It is not necessarily linked with its psychotherapeutic alternative of going after repressed memories through a series of regressions to locate and identify the experiences in younger life. While this technique has its own merits and successes, it is quite different to the gentler ho'oponopono method.

Through the mindful repetition of the mantra, the person's emotional mind is acted upon in a positive way. The four short phrases of the manta are:

I love you, I'm sorry, please forgive me, thank you.

The Mantra Explained

Telling yourself ″I love you″ is a powerful statement that forms the basis of much of essence of life itself. You must first love yourself before you can love anything else.

By apologising and asking forgiveness to nothing specific, the subconscious finds those specifics from within. You are sorry for what happened and ask to be forgiven for being the victim of the experience, even though it wasn't your fault, allowing healing to occur.

Offering gratitude symbolises the belief that the healing has been accomplished and for that you are thankful.

The mind learns best by repetition, so when consciously repeating this affirmation, the normally inaccessible subconscious is accessed, affected and caused to find a solution. The solution is the cleaning process that detaches repressions from their hidden status and allows their release.


By spending several minutes each day in a quiet place where you can repeat the ho'oponopono mantra to yourself, in meditation, you are allowing the process to act upon yourself.

Hawaiian therapist Dr Hew Len was adamant that all healing begins with the self, even if it is directed at another person. Therefore, by cleaning the self, you also clean the person to which the healing is directed.

If that person is you, the process heals you by bringing your mind to a zero state where nothing exists but the healing spiritual energy that brings about enlightenment.

Try it for yourself in your own time. Prepare to be amazed!

Posted: March 4, 2024