Ho’oponopono – The Hawaiian Art of Forgiveness

hawaiian forgiveness mantras

Ho’oponopono means “to put to right; to put in order or shape, correct, revise, adjust, amend, regulate, arrange, rectify, tidy up, make orderly or neat.”

Ho’oponopono forgiveness mantra: ‘I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you’

This powerful forgiveness tool enables us to clear and cleanse any discord or disharmony.  We are able to “make right” with those we have an issue with and this in turn allows us to “make right” with our ancestors.  We can heal issues within our family and heal those traits within our ancestral line.  Of course when we forgive others we are ultimately forgiving ourselves.

Historically Ho’oponopono healing system was conducted in the presence of Hawaiian elders who facilitated the healing process for those with a dispute or misunderstanding.  This would frequently be in family circles whereby the whole family had to be present, nobody could be absent.  The group present would interact to enable the clearing process to take place and each member had the chance to ask for and receive forgiveness from the others.

The process begins with prayer. A statement of the problem is made, and the transgression discussed. Family members are expected to work problems through and cooperate, not “hold fast to the fault”. One or more periods of silence may be taken for reflection on the entanglement of emotions and injuries. Everyone’s feelings are acknowledged. Then confession, repentance and forgiveness take place. Everyone releases (kala) each other, letting go. They cut off the past (ʻoki), and together they close the event with a ceremonial feast, called pani, which often included eating limu kala or kala seaweed, symbolic of the release” – Nana I Ke Kumu (Look To The Source) by Mary K. Pukui, E.W Haertig, Catharine Lee.

Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona, a renouned kahuna lapaʻau (healer), updated the Ho’oponopono process in the 1970s so that it was no longer a requirement to have the elder or healer present.

Morrnah developed “Self I-dentity through Ho’oponopono” which uses techniques to create a working partnership among the three parts of the mind or self; subconscious, conscious and superconscious.  She taught and promoted this updated technique around the world.

The main purpose of this process is to discover the Divinity within oneself. The Ho’oponopono is a profound gift which allows one to develop a working relationship with the Divinity within and learn to ask that in each moment, our errors in thought, word, deed or action be cleansed. The process is essentially about freedom, complete freedom from the past– Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona

Ho’oponopono allows us to reclaim our personal inner connection with Love, our Divine Source, resulting in Peace, Harmony and Freedom.

The process was further updated by Dr. Ihaleakala who worked closely with Morrnah for many years.  These updates made the process easier for our modern times and changing needs.

Ho’oponopono can be seen as a mantra where the individual repeats the words  ‘I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you’ as a form of mental and spiritual clearing.  The practice goes to a deeper level than maybe initially perceived.  The reciting of the mantra acts as a forgiveness practice and cleanses the origin of the problem.   We can also understand that there is no “out there” to heal and we are ultimately healing what is inside of us and all of our memories.

Try not to overcomplicate this process and do not get stuck in trying to understand it all.  Trust in the process and try it in your life for deep personal healing.

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

You may find questions arising such as “Why should I be sorry? Why do I need forgiveness? Do I really love them? What am I thankful for?”  Stick with the practice and the intention.  You may find your thoughts are churned as you start this practice but be patient and learn to observe.  Try not to overthink.  Let the practice take you to a place of calmness and stillness.

You are aligning, clearing and healing the issues on a profound level.  Ultimately you are developing personal power and responsibility to heal the situation.  By doing this practice you tap into unity consciousness and the wider awareness that ‘you are in me and I am in you’.  You will heal both yourself and the wider world.

This stuff works for everybody!  Try using it in your personal and professional life.

Clean, erase, erase and find your own Shangri-La. Where? Within yourself– Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona

Find out more:

The Foundation of I, Freedom of the Cosmos

Discover Ho’oponopono – Mabel Katz

Try it now:


Ho’oponopono healing technique