Ho’oponopono: the Manta of “Making Perfect”

Physicians have become increasingly aware that pharmaceuticals and other allopathic therapies often treat only the symptoms of disease. Antibiotics are undoubtedly vital in the treatment of an infection, and surgical procedures can save the lives of accident victims or treat life-threatening conditions. But I believe many forms of dis-ease are triggered by our thoughts and emotions.


The indigenous wisdom of shamanism – in particular the Hawaiian process of Ho’oponopono – has proven to be an especially powerful tool. Ho’oponopono means “to make perfect.” It is an ancient Hawaiian practice of forgiveness and reconciliation traditionally performed by a kahuna lapa’au, a Hawaiian Huna priest, but anyone can perform the modern variation.

I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

These four sentences used as a mantra can override and stop the compulsive flow of unwanted or negative thoughts and, according to the Hawaiian Huna teaching, clear away even old negative memories and programming.

  • This method is highly effective and practical because it is simple and can be done anywhere at anytime.
  • People can easily use these sentences whenever they catch themselves brooding or thinking incessantly about something negative.
  • The constant process of Ho’oponopono seems to bring about what Carl Jung would have called positive synchronicities: beneficial coincidences that seem to arise everywhere.


Shamanism is a heterogeneous term, which commonly refers to a range of beliefs and practices regarding communication with the spiritual world. In promoting the practice of Ho’oponopono – what I consider a simplified shamanistic approach – I am not encouraging people to become shamanistic healers. To adopt a shamanistic attitude doesn’t make one a shaman any more than watching an operation makes one a surgeon.

Shamans are seen as intermediaries between the human and the spiritual worlds. They are said to “cure an illness by mending the soul.” Even without the traditional shamanistic use of music, songs, and ritual objects, however, we all have the potential to heal ourselves, heal each other, and probably a good portion of the planet. Viewed in this light, anyone can strive to become an “unofficial healer.”

To that end, I encourage people to develop a sense that virtually everything is consciousness, not dead matter or only energy. This approach has led many to experience a new interconnectedness with the world around them, which in turn eliminates an often chronic feeling of loneliness and lack, or the craving for love. I also encourage people to become lovers of everything, to love, love, love, as Dr. Hew Len did when he healed a ward of mentally ill people at the Hawaii State Hospital with Ho’oponopono.

Meditating with the Ho’oponopono mantra accompanied by the sounds that stimulate brain wave entrainment can provide break through results.

Photo by Christiaan Tonnis

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