Buddy System Therapy

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Ho'oponopono

hands Do you have 'good reason' to be wary of the opposite sex? Most everyone who has been sexually active for a while has been battered by a painful, failed romance - or is feeling bad about contributing to one. Not only that, many have a parent or other trusted adult of the opposite sex who took impulsive actions that were harmful to family members. As a result of such experiences, distrust often seems wise and open-heartedness quite risky – no matter how much someone longs for satisfying union.

Unfortunately, distrust tends to attract people and events that appear to justify it – just as open-heartedness attracts people and events that make it seem like a sound strategy. So how do we get rid of the “brain worms” attached to frightening memories so they don't keep attracting things we don't want? One possibility is Ho'oponopono combined with the buddy system. In some therapies clients work directly on healing specific issues, or on re-living wrongs, a process which often re-traumatizes the sufferer. Ho'oponopono does not. It works at an entirely different level, and is as much a spiritual practice as a healing technique. The Ho'oponopono client allows another to heal him/her without any direct participation. The healer achieves this by focusing on the hidden reality of his/her oneness with the client.

”Forgive me. I love you.”

With Ho'oponopono the healer takes complete responsibility for the unpleasant events experienced by another - even if someone else did them. The healer conducts an inner dialog with the client based upon the thought "I am sorry for the erroneous thoughts within me that have caused the problem for me and for you; please forgive me." Doctor Ihaleakala Hew Len

Sound strange? The origins of this therapy are even more mysterious. Ihaleakala Hew Len, a therapist in Hawaii, worked in a mental hospital for criminals. Patients were sedated and often shackled. Staff called in sick a lot because they hated their jobs, the patients, and the environment. Dr. Len turned all that around. He healed patients without ever seeing them. He did it solely by working on himself, using Ho'oponopono, a version of an ancient Hawaiian healing method. In a few months patients began to improve. Many no longer needed sedation. Many who were in chains could be freed. Some who had been in the mental hospital for years were released. The staff also felt better and joyfully showed up to work. In an interview Dr. Len explained that he would simply focus on the patient's file, connect with the Original Source, ask it to transmute erroneous thoughts into LOVE, and then look within himself, trying to clear what was in him that created the client's condition.

A Ho' oponopono website explains that the process works on this principle:

I operate my life and my relationships according to the following insights: 1. The physical universe is an actualization of my thoughts. 2. If my thoughts are cancerous, they create a cancerous physical reality. 3. If my thoughts are perfect, they create a physical reality brimming with LOVE. 4. I am 100% responsible for creating my physical universe the way it is. 5. I am 100% responsible for correcting the cancerous thoughts that create a diseased reality. 6. There is no such thing as 'out there.' Everything exists as thoughts in my [and, our collective] mind.

Want to try it?

Facing a block within yourself, or tying to see your oneness with someone who harmed you would bring up lots of conflict, so why not work on the buddy system? reaching outHere's a chance to get rid of some of that emotional scar tissue connected to fears around the opposite sex:

  • Find someone else who wants to heal a painful issue from the past, and agree that each of you will serve as Ho'oponopono healer for the other. If you want to try this with a friend with whom you can remain anonymous, become a Courtly Companion, or join the Reuniting forum and ask for a volunteer.
  • Share with your healer a description (it need not be specific) of what needs healing.
  • At the same time, make a note of what your client wants to heal.
  • Agree to check back in with each other in a week.
  • Next, review the principles in the previous section.
  • Now, get centered so you can "hold a space" for your client's healing. UK meditation teacher William Bloom describes this space as follows:
    1. You feel calm in your body.
    2. Your mind is generous.
    3. Your heart is open and warm.
    4. Then, from your torso, like friendly wings or arms, you extend and radiate your energy to encircle and safely hold your client.
  • Next, imagine connecting with Original Source, however you conceive of It. If your imagination is sluggish, just imagine a light running from the crown of your head up into a brilliant white light far above you.
  • Ask that the Source transmute any erroneous thoughts in your client (or anyone involved in his/her issue) into love.
  • Keeping in mind your client, close your eyes and begin reciting "I am sorry for the erroneous thoughts within me that have caused the problem for me and for you; please forgive me." Or simply “Forgive me. I love you.” Be as sincere as you possibly can.
  • Post a note to yourself to do this each day. (Here's a free, award-winning program that will create a sticky note on your computer screen to remind you.)
  • Check in with your client every week or so to see if he/she is making progress, and to give your healer a report on your own progress.
  • Share any inspiring stories on the www.reuniting.info forum.

A word about forgiveness

Resist the urge to frame this technique as condoning anyone's bad behavior. By all means punch pillows or meet with a conventional therapist forgivenessif you need to release your anger or hurt. Ho'oponopono works at an entirely different level – in a sort of parallel universe of a higher vibration. By saying “Forgive me. I love you.” to your client and anyone connected with his/her pain, it is as if your right hand is speaking to your left hand – from the perspective the the collective cosmic being that encompasses both hands. From that perspective, it doesn't matter which hand erred.

Think about it this way. What if a fairy godmother magically dissolved the errors your hand had made, because she was able to see clearly who you really were despite your errors? Doesn't that very thought warm your heart? Now, wouldn't it be equally heart-warming if that other hand were unconditionally forgiven and comforted whatever it had done wrong? After all, it wouldn't make any sense if your right hand were forgivable but your left hand were not. Ho'oponopono enables you to operate at an energetic level from which it is possible to recognize that all of us are creating our mass experience together and that everyone has been making errors, and is equally forgivable.

Ancient wisdom

The Hawaiian term “Ho'oponopono” may be unfamiliar, but the concept is very old. Chinese Master Lao Tzu taught it more than 2000 years ago:

If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your self-transformation.

When you perceive that an act done to another is done to yourself, you have understood the great truth.

The principle of non-duality also appears in other spiritual traditions.1 And even today's sages are reminding us of this fundamental concept. The act of directing one's loving thoughts for the benefit of another can be very empowering. It is analogous to the concept of sacred sex, in which lovers focus on giving their loving energy to each other, rather than endeavoring to gratify their own desires. An outward flow of caring energy not only heals, but also creates feelings of wholeness.

Just as the generous lover sends herself a subconscious message that she has enough loving energy to nourish another, the Ho'oponopono healer sends his subconscious a message that he is strong and healed enough to benefit himself and another. The recognition that you can grant unlimited blessings to others opens you to receive unlimited blessings for yourself.

If your willingness to give blessings is limited, so also is your ability to receive them. This is the subtle operation of the Tao.

  • 1. For example, Buddhism and A Course in Miracles.