This morning I came across the most fascinating method of healing called Ho’oponopono. Dr. Len is a clinical psychologist who is well known for the use of this method.
At some point in his life, Dr. Len was invited to work at Hawaii State Hospital’s ward for the criminally insane. The ward was in horrific shape; mentally ill patients with heinous crime histories, inmates that were never let outside, staff that was afraid to get hurt and took frequent vacation leaves, violence running rampant and every new doctor leaving as soon as possible, not wanting to work in such conditions. The story takes on somewhat mystical connotation where even the paint did not want to stick to the walls and would peel off shortly after painting. That hopeless was this place and its inhabitants.
So what does Dr. Len do after arriving at the hospital? He does not examine or sees the patients. Instead he sits in his office and reads their charts. He immerses himself in what he is feeling when reading a certain chart and then heals (cleans) that part of himself that has created the initial reaction in the first place. By following this system he is able to completely clean out the ward in under 4 years without seeing a single patient. The inmates are now allowed outside, staff starts to enjoy their work, patients are rehabilitated and checked out of the hospital in much shorter times, violence and crime have drastically diminished and paint does not peel off the walls anymore.
How does he do this? The system he uses is Ho’oponopono which from Hawaiian means “to make right,” or “to rectify an error.” “Errors” arise from painful memories of the past which cause imbalance and disease. Ho’oponopono teaches to erase errors by identifying the unhealed place inside the self that might have caused disease in the other. This is wild! Nevertheless, Dr. Len is convinced that he healed many people by first asking himself a question: “What is it in me that is causing knee pain in the other and how can I rectify their problem within me?” and then proceeding to clean himself of the problem by saying to himself: “I’m sorry for whatever is going on. I love you. Please forgive me.”
His believes that everything that’s happening outside of him is actually caused by him or some part of him. He also believes that he alone is responsible for the world that he is living in. Dr. Len says that if you want to solve any kind of problem, work on yourself. He admits that he does not care about his patients. He cares about healing himself alone and as a result, the patients gets better too.
While I am not a follower of Dr. Len, nor am I familiar with the way he practices, I can recognize that he at least partially practices shamanic healing. Regardless of the culture or the methods, shaman can only heal that which he is able to experience with the patient. It’s only through locating within himself that part which mirrors patient’s illness, shaman is able to heal both. First we put an oxygen mask on ourselves and only then on the other.