What is Ho’oponopono and where does it come from?

Ho’oponopono (ho-o-pono-pono) comes from Hawaii. It is the ancient practice of forgiveness. Ho’oponopono is taking total responsibility for everything in your life. That sounds easy, but it’s not, it goes against the way most of us think. Ho’oponopono says the problems you experience in life, all of them, start inside of you, and will only go away by working on yourself. This all happens below conscious thought, at the subconscious level, but we have to start the process at the conscious level.

Modern Ho’oponopono is about forgiveness, love, and acceptance and does not conflict with religious beliefs such as Christianity.


Traditional Ho’oponopono is the act of mental cleaning. It took place in family meetings where relationships were set right through prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, restitution, and forgiveness.

The Ponopono part means for making things right.

Early beliefs were that sickness was brought on by breaking kapu, or spiritual laws. Beliefs were the condition could not be healed until the person rectified their offense. Forgiveness was sought from the gods, or, from the person with whom you’re having a dispute.

“I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you”.

Modern or New Ho’oponopono

Morrnah Simeona was a kahuna lapa’au (healing priest). In 1976 she changed the traditional Ho’oponopono methods and created a more modern version that fits the social realities of the present day. The modern version is a general problem-solving process that goes beyond the family and creates a psycho-spiritual self-help process as opposed to the group process.

Morrnah’s modern version was influenced greatly by her Protestant and Catholic Christian education as well as her philosophical studies about India, China, and Edgar Cayce. Like the ancient Hawaiian Ho’oponopono, her modern version focuses on prayer. However, unlike traditional Ho’oponopono, she says problems are the results of negative Karma, stating that “you have to experience by yourself what you have done to others,” and “you are the creator of your life situation”. Any improper action, activity, or “doing” is memorized within yourself and reflected in each and every entity and thing that was present when the “doing” took place. The purpose is “to release unhappy, negative experiences in past Reincarnations, and to resolve and remove traumas from the ‘memory banks’.”

Removing the Power from a Problem

According to Morrnah: a Divine Creator (God in my view) exists who attends to altruistic pleas of Men (Prayer); “when the saying ‘And it is done’ is used following a prayer, it indicates Man’s work ends and God’s begins.” “Self-Identity” signifies, that by doing ho’oponopono, the three selves or facets of consciousness are balanced and in touch with the Divine Creator. Through this transmutation inside the mind, the problems will shed, or give up, their power, and recovery or balancing can begin.

Creating the state of Zero

Morrnah Simeona passed away in 1992. Her student Dr. Ihalekala Hew Len co-wrote a book titled Zero Limits with Joe Vitale. The book tells the story of Vitale learning about Dr. Len and Ho’oponopono. Zero Limits gives the primary purpose of ho’oponopono as reaching “the state of Zero, where we would have zero limits. No memories. No identity.” To achieve this state, referred to as ‘Self-IDentity’, you have to repeat continuously the motto:

“I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you, I love you.”

It is based on the principle of total responsibility, taking 100% responsibility for everyone’s actions, not just our own. If a person takes full responsibility for everything he or she sees, hears, tastes, touches, or experiences any problems wouldn’t be with our external reality (out there), rather the problems are inside us. To improve our reality, and solve our problems, we must transform ourselves. Complete Responsibility, as outlined by Dr. Hew Len, states that everything exists as a projection from inside a person, any error, or “data” as he calls it, which a person clears in their own consciousness, is cleared for everyone. To borrow a phrase from the stock market, “all ships rise with the tide”!

Blue Solar Water

You’re probably wondering how the Blue Solar Water Bottles fit into all this. It is an ancient Hawaiian practice to place water in blue glass containers and put them in the sun to sterilize the water. However, that’s not where this practice comes from. Dr. Len states that God told him to drink lots of water from blue bottles he’d placed in the sun to help remove recurring memories, or programming (data), that cause problems. What’s so beautiful about this is that it clears problems we’re not aware of… these memories, or programs, are constantly replaying in our subconscious and we’re not even aware of.