This story is about Dr Ihaleakala Hew Len and some extraordinary experiences he’s had using ho’oponopono – an ancient Hawaiian practice which means to clean or clear, to make right, and be aligned. He uses a modern, simplified version of this practice which I have found to be incredibly helpful.
For facilitated, in-depth work with ho’oponopono, I highly recommend a session with Zelie Kuliaikanu’u Duvauchelle. Her sessions are unique, extremely powerful and transformative. She does sessions in person on Maui and Moloka’i, Hawaii, as well as from a distance, working by phone.
by Joe Vitale
“Two years ago, I heard about a therapist in Hawaii who cured a
complete ward of criminally insane patients–without ever seeing any
of them. The psychologist would study an inmate’s chart and then look
within himself to see how he created that person’s illness. As he
improved himself, the patient improved.
“When I first heard this story, I thought it was an urban legend. How
could anyone heal anyone else by healing himself? How could even the
best self-improvement master cure the criminally insane? It didn’t
make any sense. It wasn’t logical, so I dismissed the story.
“However, I heard it again a year later. I heard that the therapist
had used a Hawaiian healing process called ho ‘oponopono. I had never
heard of it, yet I couldn’t let it leave my mind. If the story was at
all true, I had to know more. I had always understood “total
responsibility” to mean that I am responsible for what I think and do.
Beyond that, it’s out of my hands. I think that most people think of total
responsibility that way. We’re responsible for what we do, not what
anyone else does–but that’s wrong.
“The Hawaiian therapist who healed those mentally ill people would
teach me an advanced new perspective about total responsibility. His
name is Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len. We probably spent an hour talking on
our first phone call. I asked him to tell me the complete story of his
work as a therapist.
He explained that he worked at Hawaii State Hospital for four years.
That ward where they kept the criminally insane was dangerous.
Psychologists quit on a monthly basis. The staff called in sick a lot
or simply quit. People would walk through that ward with their backs
against the wall, afraid of being attacked by patients. It was not a
pleasant place to live, work, or visit.
“Dr. Len told me that he never saw patients. He agreed to have an
office and to review their files. While he looked at those files, he
would work on himself. As he worked on himself, patients began to heal.
“‘After a few months, patients that had to be shackled were being
allowed to walk freely,’ he told me. ‘Others who had to be heavily
medicated were getting off their medications. And those who had no
chance of ever being released were being freed.’ I was in awe.’Not
only that,’ he went on, ‘but the staff began to enjoy coming to work.
Absenteeism and turnover disappeared. We ended up with more staff than
we needed because patients were being released, and all the staff was
showing up to work. Today, that ward is closed.’
“This is where I had to ask the million dollar question: ‘What were
you doing within yourself that caused those people to change?’
“‘I was simply healing the part of me that created them,’ he said. I
didn’t understand. Dr. Len explained that total responsibility for
your life means that everything in your life- simply because it is in
your life–is your responsibility. In a literal sense the entire world
is your creation.
“Whew. This is tough to swallow. Being responsible for what I say or
do is one thing. Being responsible for what everyone in my life says
or does is quite another. Yet, the truth is this: if you take complete
responsibility for your life, then everything you see, hear, taste,
touch, or in any way experience is your responsibility because it is
in your life. This means that terrorist activity, the president, the
economy or anything you experience and don’t like–is up for you to
heal. They don’t exist, in a manner of speaking, except as projections
from inside you. The problem isn’t with them, it’s with you, and to
change them, you have to change you.
“I know this is tough to grasp, let alone accept or actually live.
Blame is far easier than total responsibility, but as I spoke with Dr.
Len, I began to realize that healing for him and in ho ‘oponopono
means loving yourself.
“If you want to improve your life, you have to heal your life. If you
want to cure anyone, even a mentally ill criminal you do it by healing
“I asked Dr. Len how he went about healing himself. What was he doing,
exactly, when he looked at those patients’ files?
“‘I just kept saying, ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I love you’ over and over again,’
“Turns out that loving yourself is the greatest way to improve
yourself, and as you improve yourself, you improve your world.
“Let me give you a quick example of how this works: one day, someone
sent me an email that upset me. In the past I would have handled it by
working on my emotional hot buttons or by trying to reason with the
person who sent the nasty message.
“This time, I decided to try Dr. Len’s method. I kept silently saying,
‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I love you,’ I didn’t say it to anyone in particular.
I was simply evoking the spirit of love to heal within me what was
creating the outer circumstance.
“Within an hour I got an e-mail from the same person. He apologized
for his previous message. Keep in mind that I didn’t take any outward
action to get that apology. I didn’t even write him back. Yet, by
saying ‘I love you,’ I somehow healed within me what was creating him.
“I later attended a ho ‘oponopono workshop run by Dr. Len. He’s now 70
years old, considered a grandfatherly shaman, and is somewhat reclusive.
He praised my book, The Attractor Factor. He told me that as I improve
myself, my book’s vibration will raise, and everyone will feel it when
they read it. In short, as I improve, my readers will improve.
“‘What about the books that are already sold and out there?’ I asked.
“‘They aren’t out there,’ he explained, once again blowing my mind
with his mystic wisdom. ‘They are still in you.’ In short, there is no
out there. It would take a whole book to explain this advanced
technique with the depth it deserves.
“Suffice It to say that whenever you want to improve anything in your
life, there’s only one place to look: inside you. When you look, do it
Joe Vitale and Dr Ihaleakala Hew Len co-wrote a wonderful book called Zero Limits, which goes into this process in greater depth.
I love you, I’m sorry, Thank you, Please forgive me.