Ho’oponopono is a powerful meditation practice, based in Hawaiian spiritual tradition.

As humans with active minds, we can be extremely harsh with our self-talk and inner dialogue. We may say cruel or hurtful things to ourselves, or we may think negatively about others

As a species, our brains have become more efficient over time by learning to categorize and label.

However, inadvertently we have also become trained to judge and compare. It’s a natural reflex.

It’s a tendency that has been helpful in our survival, but it can do great damage to our psyches. Being overly judgmental is a corrosive stance that can eat away at you over time.

Just as we blame ourselves for not being better or doing better, we blame others for not doing better or being better.

Often, if a client is having a hard time practicing mindfulness and becoming aware of his or her thoughts, I will teach them the Ho’oponopono Meditation Practice.

This practice provides a concrete “protocol” for becoming aware of negative, hurtful, or judgmental thoughts and then shifting your thinking.

Generally with mindfulness, the idea is to notice the thought, acknowledge it, and then let it go.

However, this meditation takes it a step further by offering an opportunity for healing the thought or thoughts.

It works on the mental, emotional and energetic levels.

There are 4 simple steps to this Ho’oponopono practice. If you find yourself having a negative or judgmental thought (about yourself or others), then give this a try.

It goes like this:

In your own mind, say to yourself:

  1. I’m Sorry
  2. Please Forgive Me
  3. Thank You
  4. I Love You

This is powerful stuff! First of all, just saying “I’m sorry” (even to yourself) can help you shift away from blaming yourself, trying to justify your actions, or looking for evidence about how others may have caused your actions. When you say, “I’m sorry,” you are acknowledging and accepting responsibility for your part, without judgment.

“Please forgive me,” helps solidify the apology into a concrete act. It’s a direct request to move on from it.

“Thank you,” is an acknowledgment and acceptance of the previous steps. It allows you to move forward in gratitude.

“I love you,” is setting the path for the new direction. It sets a tone of a peaceful, happy heart. This energy undoubtedly radiates out to others, and generally is received and reciprocated.

Doing these 4 steps in the Ho’oponopono can work wonders in your life. The key is to practice it very regularly (as much as possible!).

Blaming yourself or judging others does not make us feel good deep down. Even though many people do it in an attempt to feel better in the moment, it usually has a negative effect over time.

This meditation practice has the power to help you develop self-compassion and forgiveness.

Thoughts have the power that you give them. Why not use your thoughts to build yourself and others up, instead of tearing down.

I also want to note that this meditation is not intended to shame you for having negative or judgmental thoughts. We all do — it’s okay! It’s normal and natural, and it happens to everyone.

This meditation is also not intended to “push away” the so-called bad thoughts or feelings. Instead, it is a spiritual process of noticing, acknowledging and attending to the thoughts in a mindful way.

Want to learn more practices like this one? Contact me about individual work. I offer a free 15-minute phone consultation to see if mindfulness-based therapy is right for you.