Ho'oponopono is a Hawaiian word defined in the Pukui and Elbert "Hawaiian Dictionary" as "Mental cleansing: family conferences in which relationships were set right through prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, and mutual restitution and forgiveness."
The term has been popularized as a form of family or personal therapy.
Some practitioners believe it is an ancient Hawaiian practice. To date, the earliest documentation of a practice called ho'oponopono is from
Mary Kawena Pukui, who recorded her experiences and observations from her childhood (born 1895) in her 1958 book. (Handy & Pukui), as well as her scholarly study Nana i ke Kumu [volumes 1 and 2] with psychiatrist Dr. Haertig.
Pukui described it as a practice of extended family members meeting to try to "make right" broken family relations ("making right" is the literal translation of the Hawaiian term). Traditional ho’oponopono sessions include "
prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, mutual restitution, and forgiveness." (Cody)
In the 1980s,
Morrnah Simeonadeveloped what she called an updated and streamlined version of ho'oponopono that is practiced by the individual alone and called Self I-Dentity Ho'oponopono. Her practice continues to be taught by her students in Hawai'i. According to Morrnah Simeona, ho'oponopono is a Hawaiian healing process based on the principles of total responsibility, taking responsibility for everyone's actions. She taught if one would take complete responsibility for one's life, then everything one would see, hear, taste, touch, or in any way experience is one's responsibility because it is in one's life. Total Responsibility advocates that everything exists as a projection from inside the human being. The problem isn't with our external reality, it is with ourselves and to change our reality, we would have to change ourselves.
* Akana, Collette Leimomi "Kahuna Ho'opunipuni Letters of 1863" "The Hawaiian Journal of History" Vol. 36, 2002, p. 3
* Chai, Makana Risser "Hawaiian Massage Lomilomi: Sacred Touch of Aloha" [http://www.amazon.com/dp/0979186706] (Hawaiian Insights, 2007)
* Chai, Makana Risser "Na Mo'olelo Lomilomi: The Traditions of Hawaiian Massage & Healing" [http://www.amazon.com/dp/158178046X] (Bishop Museum Press, 2005)
* Cody, William, M.D. "Psychiatry in Hawaii: A Short History," "Hawaii Med J." 1974 Jun; 33(6):207-10.
* Handy, E.S.C. and Mary Kawena Pukui. "The Polynesian Family System in Ka'u, Hawai'i" (1958) [http://www.amazon.com/dp/1566472326]
* Pukui, Mary Kawena, Haertig, Lee. [http://www.amazon.com/dp/0961673826 "Nana i ke Kumu", Vol. 2] (Queen Lili'uokalani Children's Center, 1972)
* Vitale, Joe and Ihaleakala Hew Len, Ph.D. [http://www.amazon.com/dp/0470101474 "Zero Limits"] (Wiley, 2007)
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