At Christmas 2013, my brother-in-law gave me a copy of ZeroLimits: The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace & More, by Joe Vitale and Ihaleakala Hew Len. I had never heard of the technique before, but the book gripped me and I read the whole thing over a weekend. That book started me on a journey of practicing it and delving into the subtleties of Ho’oponopono. It has become my everyday tool for self-healing.

Modern Ho’oponopono, as Hew Len teaches it, fundamentally is a prayer or petition to the Divine. The technique removes your ego from the process. It is not something you do at all, but it is done to and for you by Divinity. The technique revolves around four simple phrases. However, the power of these phrases can be felt in how each opens you and helps you release. Sometimes, opening and releasing is all you need to do to heal yourself.

The four simple phrases are:

  • I am sorry.
  • Please forgive me.
  • Thank you.
  • I love you.

Say each phrase aloud as a petition or prayer to the Divine. You are opening yourself up to change as the Divine sees fit in cleansing your repeating patterns. Do not say it with the purpose to change the issue or problem you have. As Hew Len teaches it, you simply ask the Divine to cleanse (through these four phrases) the repeating memories and mental patterns within yourself that are manifesting themselves as the problem or issue you are experiencing in the world.

The phrases are innocent, as well. What follows is an example. “I am sorry for not being aware of the repeating pattern within me that is manifesting as this issue. Please forgive me for not cleaning on it sooner. Thank you for this opportunity to cleanse it and thank you for relieving me of this pattern. I love you.” This is how I often think of the phrases as I say them, but you could add other contexts, as well. You could also say them in any order you wish.

With each phrase, I find that I continue to open (in my being). With repentance and forgiveness there is an opening. With gratitude there is an opening. With love there is an opening. It removes barriers and helps one let go of what one has been holding onto (i.e. repeating memories and patterns). It also creates a space for change to occur. Sometimes that is all that is needed…a space for change to occur and being open to a change.

In practicing Ho’oponopono, you just pray to Divinity through these four phrases. You may find that the issue or problem goes way. It may return, in which case you cleanse again. Also you may try to find the root issue, because you could be hacking away at the greenery and leaving the roots intact and so it comes back. If an issue returns, you cleanse again.

I have used the technique for all manner of daily issues or problems that are encountered in life, but I especially like using it for internal self-cleansing. Due to our cultural programming — how we were brought up and experienced life at an early age, and believed concepts that we were taught — we all suffer in varying degrees for them. Many of us feel incomplete — “I am not good enough,” “I am unworthy,” “I am worthless,” or some other negative (and untrue) phrase we tell ourselves.

Over the years, I have developed a series of guided Ho’oponopono sessions to cover issues in our basic circuit imprints caused by our early conditioning. I have even taught these methods at retreats that I have attended. Everyone I have taught the technique to seems to get some value and healing from just opening up, letting go, and being open to change. Many tell me that they continue the practice this technique to this day.

I do recommend learning the technique fully. Ho’oponopono works for me for self-healing on a daily basis, and it may work for you.

Eric Putkonen

Eric Putkonen started his spiritual journey in 1990. He focuses on Nonduality and Direct-Path, but he is not a purist and also practices and teaches Ho’oponopono. He doesn’t say he has attained the highest and all that a person can do, but he has examined and found substantial peace, contentment and joy. If you have questions or want to speak with him about Ho’oponopono (or Nonduality or Direct Path teachings), email him at


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