Ho’oponopono Meditation: Love, Forgive, Forget

The beauty of the ancient Hawaiin technique, Ho’oponopono meditation (Ho’oh-po-noh-po-noh), is the intentional healing that the practice brings us internally. When our worlds are shaken up and disturbed by a variety of outside circumstances it is easy to feel overwhelmed and alone. Sometimes when we become emotionally disturbed in such a way we suddenly begin acting outrageously and perhaps cause more problems then what were really there before. Have you experienced this? Maybe somebody in your day to day life has been energetically battling you? Or simply putting you off?

Ho’oponopono meditation will aid you in relaxing and forgiving the world around you. It will set your consciousness on an intentional track to love, apologize, and forgive those around you, as opposed to being set up for emotional disarray and resistance.

ho'oponopono meditation

Right now you will learn a detailed history of Ho’oponopono meditation and how to practice it. You will also learn of the story of Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len who was responsible for curing all patients within a criminally insane psych ward …without meeting with any of them. Ho’oponopono meditation revolves around the shamanic concept of working within yourself to grow, evolve, and improve the events happening around you.

So, what’s the big deal?

Ho’oponopono meditation is regarded in Hawaii as an ancient healing technique. The idea is to essentially heal those around you through healing yourself, similar to forgiveness meditation. Even the word, ho’oponopono, means “make amends”. It is a very strong mental concoction to be able to manifest forgiveness and release toxicity that is held within you. Doing this practice allows you to remove subconscious obstacles and create space for desire and destiny to flow through.

A man by the name of Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len is considered a master practitioner of Ho’oponopono meditation. This man is known for curing an entire psych ward of criminally insane patients without even seeing a single patient. It sounds a little crazy, maybe. But the great minds of our times, like Masaru Emoto who spent decades studying the effect that our words have on the molecular structure of water, have found that our thoughts and words are, in fact, very powerful.

Honestly, even at this stage of humanity, we are still but babies to the universe. So, although we are just now finding the power that resides within our minds, thoughts, and words we still do not entirely understand it. But, we have observed it, we have experienced it, and we have seen that it does work.

How do I do it?

The practice of Ho’oponopono meditation is fulfilled through the silent repetition of a mantra. You can learn specifically about mantra meditation through our Beginner’s Meditation Handbook to obtain a deeper understanding of the practice. The basic idea is to find positive, healthy words that you repeat in your mind while meditating. It is simply called Ho’oponopono meditation when you use the Ho’oponopono mantra during meditation.

“I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.”

You will begin by sitting in your preferred meditation position, either sitting or lying down. It is good to first focus on your breathing and develop a synchronized vibration with the “spirit realm” if you will. Most teachers recommend spending about 5 minutes in this space so we will talk about the steps to bring your mental state into this calm space. However, in shamanism, shamans will spend about 20 minutes working towards this space before they begin in any ceremony or practice.

You can also follow this guided meditation with Jason Stephenson to gain a better understanding during your first experience:

Jason helps exemplify the family aspect of the Ho’oponopono practice and how it can be used to heal and reconstruct potentially broken bonds within your own family.


Let us begin in the breathing practice now, to settle your heart and calm your mind. If you are finding sitting for long periods to be difficult, be sure that you are sitting up straight on your meditation cushion (or you might create your own if you don’t have one already) with your shoulders back and your chin up. Imagine a string being pulled out of the tippy top of your head that goes all the way down through your spine and deep into the earth.

Simply sit, and breathe. Don’t try to breathe harder or lighter. Just allow your breath to naturally fill your lungs, and then release into a natural exhale when your lungs are full.

Do this for a while. Don’t worry if your mind wanders for awhile – you may begin thinking of a myriad of things. This can be things like the laundry you need to do, a person that offended you today, perhaps an intimate person in your life comes to mind, or any adverse situation. The key here is that every thought in your mind that is happening that is NOT breathing is a past or projected future situation. So just let go of these things.

You are learning to focus.

Do you see? To focus on your breath and release all thoughts will bring you fully present in this moment and this will free you. Free of anxiety, fear, stress, or depression. You are alive. This is important to recognize and feel.


Now that you are settled and centered we can move into the intentional self-healing of Ho’oponopono meditation. Remember the mantra:

“I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.”

There is no difficulty here. Simply breathe and repeat the mantra. Spend time doing this. Time is our most valuable asset and our universe tends to respond more extravagantly towards our most valuable assets when we choose to spend them. Spend your time here in this space. Loving, apologizing, forgiving, and appreciating.

You must know that if you are having hard times that the hard times will not simply “disappear.” However, as you spend more time in this loving and forgiving space you will have less difficult times. It is a very literal, logical thing. If your day consists of 24 hours of negativity and hate but you spend 20 minutes focusing on love and appreciation then you have just created real change in your life. So let us practice. And let us heal!

The Void

To enter into the void through meditation is to release all that keeps you grounded to this earthly realm. The Ho’oponopono mantra allows the mind to reprogram or maybe“tune” to the frequencies of love and forgiveness. In the state of absolute Nothing, you shall find Truth.

Perhaps Dr. Hew Len can deliver the message more efficiently through his words:

“The only problem with human beings is that they are arrogant because that’s what thinking is. This is in essence ‘I know’. Wisdom is being in the void. To be thoughtless. Only by being in the void can the Light come through. As long as I have something going on in my mind the Light can’t come through. The Light can only come in when the mind is cleared–in a state of silence.”

This is speaking absolutely towards mindfulness, I would say, which is known as a fundamental concept of meditation. Understanding mindfulness will allow you to truly advance within your meditation practice. Mindfulness is literally the basis of everything.

The two key concepts to embolden and strengthen your meditation practice include both mindfulness and breath. Combine them. You will find almost all meditation practices, across all cultures, will begin by focusing on these two key fundamentals. 

The Power of Ho’oponopono

A concept I’ve come to understand about the universe is this: when I know that I know something for sure, the universe will unscrupulously prove me wrong. So we may choose to oppose the ideas presented, but to be honest, what do we actually do if we oppose this ideology? Do we instead chant the mantra that is the opposite of “I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.”?

I would say no. There is an intrinsic value within each human of knowing that their mind, consciousness, and their energy are important. They are valued. And I believe it is paramount to channel this energy into love, humility, forgiveness, and appreciation. To take my energy and channel it in such a way brings such an energetic euphoria into my life that is above all other elements that exist in this world.

The power of Ho’oponopono can be said to rest in the message of the meditation. The words “I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.” are considered to carry the same intentions across all cultures and languages. As a human race, it seems that we see value and importance in these words.

The World Around You

The power to change the world around you resides inside you. When learning of shamanic and Buddhist tradition you will normally stumble upon the ancient concept of universal Oneness. The idea that we are all the same, we are all One, that we all come from the same Source, has permeated through the different religions and cultures of humanity throughout history.

This implies a whisper of Truth to me. That perhaps we are all connected through an ancient and divine energy field that exists all around us. Dr. Hew Len explains this by expressing how he believes that our discordance we find in others is directly related to our negative thought patterns.

Similar to the idea that our consciousness is like a mirror.

Ho’oponopono Today

Dr. Hew Len practiced Ho’oponopono in the criminally insane psych ward during the 1980s. Today, Hawaii uses Ho’oponopono as a way to strengthen family ties and improve family relationships. The meditation practice is still used in the same way, I am sure, but it is taken more in a way of a life than just a daily practice.

This is only what I can assume. Research through a computer will only show so much. It is through experience and traveling to the Big Island and asking for answers from those who live by these ways where you will truly learn. This is always the best way.

The Rest Will Come

All that you need to know to fully embrace and experience Ho’oponopono Meditation will become clear as you continue to practice. But that is just it! Continue to practice and become familiar with your buckwheat meditation cushion and your meditation space while channeling the mantra:

“I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.”

As you allow these words to resonate within you and vibrate through you daily then you will begin to see the results. The more time you spend with this mantra the more it will become you. It will start to affect you…psychologically.

Keep learning. Keep practicing and make amends. Ho’oponopono.

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