Taking Responsibility with Ho’oponopono

Ram Ramanathan  •  Oct 16, 2017  •  6 min read

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Taking Responsibility with Ho’oponopono

I am sorry, Please forgive me, I love you, I thank you: Ho’oponopono prayer

These four simple phrases helped a young clinical psychologist transform a clinic for the mentally ill criminal from a one-way path to the coffin to its closure after most of its patients had been cured and released in just four short years. Dr. Stanley Hew Len was the person responsible and his story was published by Joe Vitale in his book, Zero Limits.

Ancient Polynesian beliefs were adapted in recent times by Hawaiian healers to solve current day societal ills. The phrase Ho’oponopono means to ‘set right’; in this case setting things right by acknowledging one’s responsibility for having caused wrong, seeking forgiveness and love, finally expressing gratitude.

Taking responsibility with Ho’oponopono

When I learnt about this process some years go, I could relate it to a few seemingly different concepts. The Eastern concept of karma is also about how our thoughts and actions influence others, not merely our own future. The Western Jungian psychological concept of collective unconscious is about how all of us on this planet influence one another. Both resonate with Eastern concepts of the collective consciousness and Quantum Physics concepts of how observer influences what is observed.

In simple terms, what we think and feel not only affects what we do, but also what happens to other people who may not be connected to us.

You don’t have to move out from the chair you are sitting in or the bed you are lying on in order to influence events and individuals positively. That’s right. Ho’oponopono works from your mind. It is also about setting things right, not creating trouble for others. Hew Len hardly interacted with the mentally ill patients. He studied their cases and mentally practiced the healing process to help them become right.

My experiences with Ho’oponopono were two-fold. When a couple I knew well grieving over the loss of a loved one I wanted to help them, I looked within to understand what in me could have caused this situation that I was in no way connected to. I found plenty, not in the sense of my having caused it, but in finding how my perceptions could have been negatively responsible. I noticed a significant reduction in their grieving and an acceptance of their loss.

At a personal level I experienced relief in letting past negative memories go. In that sense I realized the Zero Limits of what Hew Len talks about shedding emotions of negative memories and expanding in potential to forgive myself and be healed.

The response of many cognitive souls out there to what I say would be to look for scientific evidence. I have none. I am not sure Hew Len has any evidence other than the closure of the clinic. It is like asking people who follow faiths to scientifically evidence why they do.

If you find this article interesting, we think you’ll like our article on Meditation.

Try it for yourself and see if it works for you

The practice is simple. Sit comfortably with your spine erect. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Inhale, hold, exhale and hold. Inhale as deeply as you can from below your navel. Hold for as long as you can comfortably. Exhale as completely as you can. Hold for as long as you can comfortably. No need to count. No need to alternate nostrils. Just breathe normally.

As you find yourself relaxing ask yourself ‘what is it in this negative situation I am responsible for’. It is about you; not about blaming someone else. It is also not about blaming yourself; just becoming aware of something within you, a thought or action that may have some relevance in your mind to this negative situation that you are trying to help resolve. You need to have compassion for others and yourself as you enter this state. If you are open memories will arise.

Whatever memories and emotions come up as your responsibility, accept by saying ‘I am sorry, please forgive me’. You are not apologizing to anyone, including yourself. You are in acceptance of what happened. In a sense you surrender to the universal energy you are part of. You are not ashamed, regretful or guilty. You are relieved.

Close by saying ‘I love you, I thank you’. It is about loving yourself and your inner energy. It is about expressing gratitude, the noblest of all emotions, to the extension of your energy in the Universe.

As more memories arise and you repeat these words, I am sorry, Please forgive me, I love you, I thank you, you will find yourself being healed.

Practice a Ho’oponopono Meditation

Why Ho’oponopono works

Ho’oponopono is not a cognitive process. It is an emotional, spiritual and energy process. Why I think it works:

  1. Ho’oponopono creates a transformational shift from a normal habit of blaming others for their negative situation or even ours to one of taking responsibility even if it has nothing to do with us.
  2. Once we accept responsibility, our universal nature of forgiving and loving takes over as  a healing process for us and others.
  3. Many social studies and experiences have shown that despite our seemingly selfish desires, deep within we like to be of value to others. This process provides that possibility.
  4. Finally, internal reflection of what in me caused this negativity in some one else allows us to clear conditioned baggage of negativity and transform.

You do not need faith to believe in Ho’oponopono blindly. All you need is the intelligence to seek help to help yourself. You need vulnerability and humility to practice it.

Ram Ramanathan


Ram is the Founder and a Principal at Coacharya. As the resident Master and mentor coach, Ram oversees and conducts all aspects of coaching and training services offered under the Coacharya banner.


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    1. Thanks Bruno. The beauty of the Ho’Oponopono technique is its simplicity. There is no need for any books. What’s important is to practise and reflect. It’s a meditation. You cannot learn meditation from books, or even from others, only by practice. cheers

  1. Dear Ram, Dear All,

    Regarding the contribution by Patrice C. I would like to add a information.
    Pacifica Seminars offers a home course in English.

    You can Learn the original Ho’oponopono process (the actual version of October 1991), which was developed by Morrnah Simeona.

    the tile of the home course:

    The Coronation of Consciousness – A Divine helping hand through the Ho’oponopono of Morrnah Simeona – by Michael Micklei.

    You can get it here:

    I know the home course and this original ho’oponopono-process of Morrnah since 8 years.
    I use it every day.
    I highly recommend him.

    Morrnah Simeona worked on this Ho’oponopono process for over 19 years.
    Dr. hew Len successfully tested this process at Hawaii State Hospital.
    Here is the prove:
    The results were tremendous and bordered on a miracle.

    Please remember:
    Morrnah’s Ho’oponopono is a gift to the world.
    According to Morrnah, it is a gift from our Divine Creator to His creation.

    I wish that all people can make use of this process.

    I wish you a lot of inspiration and God’s help and strength by your actions.


  2. Thanks for sharing abo ut Ho’oponopono technique clearly. I am glad to hear that people in India are also using it.
    I am running a small Guided Meditation Course, online for few of the fellow meditators. One of the first techniques I requested them to practice was Ho’oponopono.
    I just received a call from one of my students who spoke to for me nearly 20 minutes how the Ho’oponopono is bringing in so much peace and sanity to her life.
    Due to Corona pandemic, her business is suffering a lot and she was going through anxiety and frustrations about the future – both for her and her family. She informed this even before she joined the course.
    But now, I am really glad to hear that she is sleeping better [She seemed to have had anxiety attacks that woke her up in the middle of the night]. Now that she is feeling at peace with herself and the situation.
    I am really happy to hear that people’s lives are being changed using this technique.
    I wish more learn and practice it.
    Love & gratitude,

  3. Hello,

    I would like to tell about ho’oponopono, Dr. Hew Len and about Morrnah Simeona.

    The Mantra “i love you, please forgive you, i’m sorry, thank you.” is not ho’oponopono and is not hawaiian. Dr. Hew Len never healed with a mantra “i love you, please forgive you, i’m sorry, thank you.” in Hawaii State Hospital. This Mantra was developed by Dr. Hew Len after Morrnah Simeonas death and its not ho’oponopono and not hawaiian. Likewise the story about “100% responsibility”, zero state, etc.

    Morrnah Simeona (1913 – 1992) was a native hawaiian kahuna. She updated the traditional Ho’oponopono to today’s times and realities and made it available to all interested around the world. Morrnah’s Ho’oponopono is a 14-step Ho’oponopono-process ho’oponopono (or 12 steps – it depends on how you count the steps. According to Michael Micklei, 14 steps if you count step 6a / b, 6c and 6d as 3 steps by older Versions of Morrnah’s Ho’oponopono process).

    Morrnah founded Pacifica Seminars Inc. in the 1970s and the “Foundation of I” 1980 to teach and spread her 14-step ho’oponopono around the world. In 1990, Morrnah and Yvette Mauri founded “Pacifica Seminars” in Germany (www.pacificaseminars.de). Pacifica Seminars in Germany is the only organization in Europe, where you can learn Morrnah’s original Ho’oponopono-process today, that was developed by Morrnah. The original 14-step ho’oponopono-process, this was developed by Morrnah, is the final version, that she compleded in 1991. Pacifica Seminars in Germany is headed today by Michael Micklei and his wife Yvette Mauri.

    Michael Micklei knows Dr. Hew Len already at the time, while Dr. Hew Len worked in the Hawaii state Hospital in the 1980s. He gave with Dr. Hew Len togehter ho’oponopono seminars (at that time Morrnah was still alive). In the seminars were told only about the 14-step ho’oponopono process of Morrnah Simeona. Never about a mantra or 100%responsibility or about a zero state.

    Michael Micklei wrote in a comment to an another person:

    Dr. Len never healed in the mentioned hospital by only saying over and over “I love you” and “Thank you” to the “I”, Morrnahs word for the Source, for Divinity. Instead he used Morrnahs 12 (or 14) step process only, twice or three times a day. Every day he walked through the hospital he looked carefully to the patients, the doctors, his feelings. He taped this. And asked Divinity to heal his karmic bondages with these persons and matters. A hard job for three years. Divinity accepted the plea and healed. 2 persons were not healed, as there were no karmic bondages with Dr. Len.

    Morrnah gave him this kind of order to do so (and at that time he worked really for the good to help Morrnah for her special spiritual job) and in classes, we both attended between Nov. 86 and later, Dr. Len was always telling in detail at the beginning that he was doing exactly this, nothing else. NO mantra was mentioned, never. At that time, Dr. Len was a student of Morrnah like me, so why and how could he use a quite different way in the hospital – and at the weekend in classes he said the opposite? Morrnah was also complex clairvoyant, she could see and hear everything.

    All so called tools of Dr. Len (except 2 or 3) were developped by Dr. Len after 1992, which are only temporarily harmonizing or calming down – NOT cleansing, NOT being any ho’oponopono, as they are not mutual. They are (powerful) magic tools. They are not bad in itsself, but they block people to learn authentic ho’oponoponos – traditional ones or the one of Morrnah. People like those easy magic ways, they really think to heal karmic stuff of hundreds and more reincarnations by 11 words.

    It is clearly the good part of Joe Vitale’s job to spread the name of ho’oponopono from the time of “Zero limits” across the world – but the illusion is inclusive: people know the name, but did not hear about the real content of ho’oponopono or even forget it. Pls keep in mind Dr. Len’s words (received by his divinity) in Zero Limits: “I’ve been told to kill the Divine to be home.” To kill the Divine? Well, starting to take him out from the cleansing. This does not seem a path up to the mountain.
    mahalo for sharing.”

    End of Quote

    link to the full comment: https://www.facebook.com/Pacifica-Seminars-611710282175050/

    Dr. Hew Len does not speak anymore about Morrnah’s 14-step Ho’oponopono today and about the healings of his patients in Hawaii State Hospital with Morrnah’s Ho’oponopono. He use the story of Hawaii State Hospital and the healing of his patients to substantiate his mantra. Morrnah’s 14-step Ho’oponopono goes into the background. It is even forgotten today by the people. Of all the other Ho’oponoponos (they could be learned in Basic 2 and Basic 3), which are developed by Morrnah, is no longer spoken today. Here’s an article this topic:


    I really hope that Morrnah’s original Ho’oponopono-process regains fame among the people.
    I know Morrnah’s Ho’oponopono and would highly recommend it. So many things in my life have changed positively trough Morrnah’s Ho’oponopono.

    I can only say, steer clear of Dr. Hew Lens 4-phrase mantra and of Dr. Hew Lens cleaning tools.

    Michael Micklei wrote a report about Dr. Hew Len and the healings in Hawaii State Hospital that happend with Morrnah’s 14-step Ho’oponopono. Please let me share this link (is only in german language, please use Google tanslator to translate to your language):

    As far as I know, Morrnah has been working hard on her 14-step ho’oponopono process for many, many years (more then 19 years) for complete the final version of it in 1991. Prior to the final version, there were so-called “revised editions” of her 14-step ho’oponopono-process, which emerged in the 1970s and 1980s.
    Pacifica Seminars Germany teach and spread this final version of Morrnah’s Ho’oponopono in seminars and in a book. (and other ho’oponopono-processes, which are developed by Morrnah Simeona)

    Please share this information to another people 🙂

    Aloha and kind regards

    Patrice C.