Forgiveness therapy (I)


forgiveness therapyA miracle
Two decades ago, a Hawaiian psychologist surprised the scientific world with what we could rightly call a miracle.
At that time, the Hawaii State Hospital was confronted with very serious problems in the ward for psychiatric patients who had committed abominable crimes.
Their violence was so great, that, even though their hands and feet were shackled, the medical staff felt seriously threatened by them and most clinical psychologists used to resign after working with these patients for about a month.
Despite the warnings received from well-meaning colleagues, who tried to persuade him not to work in such a place, because it was professional suicide, dr Haleakala Lew Len took the job. And then miracles started to occur.


The kahuna – the keeper of the secret
Only a few months later, many of these patients no longer needed shackles.
The doses of the medication decreased significantly and some patients were not even medicated anymore. After four years, the ward had to be close due to a lack of… violent patients.
The most interesting part of all this is that, during these four years, dr Len didn’t speak to even one of his feared patients. Moreover, he didn’t even see them! When he took the job of clinical psychologist, he asked to be given an office and access to the files of the hospitalized criminals.
“All I had to do was work on myself,” dr Len later said.


“If you want to heal someone, even a mentally ill criminal, you can do it by healing yourself.”
Dr Len, who is past 70 now, has successfully helped thousands of people during his career by using this method and has worked with groups within prestigious international organisations such and UNESCO and the UN.
Dr Len has a PhD in psychology from the University of Iowa, USA, but he says that his remarkable success as a clinical psychologist is due to the traditional healing practices learnt from Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona, a kahuna woman.


Discover Hawaii’s living treasure
Who are the kahunas? In the Hawaiian language, “huna” means “secret” and “kahuna” is the keeper of the secret, the one who knows the secret, the expert, the master. If you want, the kahuna is the equivalent of the master in the Mediaeval guild system.
Any profession, art or craft had its own kahunas. But the term has become known as an equivalent of the shaman, the medicine man, the priest.
Legends are full of descriptions of the powers of these kahunas, who could perform miraculous healings, influence weather, walk of burning coal, attract prosperity etc. Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona was one of the last true kahunas of Hawaii, being called a living treasure of Hawaii by the authorities in 1983.
She founded the Foundation of I, a not-for-profit organisation meant to spread the philosophy and psychological practices of the old kahunas before they were lost.
The traditional method learnt by dr Len from Morrnah Simeona and applied successfully in the Hawaii State Hospital and in other places is called ho'oponopono, which could be translated as “making things right” or “correcting an error.”
The method is extremely simple – so simple that our mind, fascinated by the complex and expert at complicating things massively and uselessly, has the impulse of rejecting it immediately.


Find the cause of everything that is going on in your life
On the other hand, despite its simplicity, the method is based on the kahuna principles, which are pretty difficult to accept for us, who have been raised with the respect for what is rational and scientific.
The world is a reflection of our thoughts. The same as Buddha, the old kahunas believed that we created the world by our thoughts. All that we are, all that goes on in our lives is a consequence of our thoughts.
As Mornah Simeona says, the world is a reflection of what goes on inside of us. If we are confronted with a problem, we need to look for the cause in ourselves, not in exterior factors.
 • If someone is aggressive to us, it is useful to remember that the others are a mirror for us and that that person’s aggressiveness is nothing other than the outer projection of our own suppressed aggressiveness.
 • If our boss tells us that we are not good enough for our job, his words are only a reflection of what we think about ourselves.
 • If we become ill, it is good to know that, for the kahunas, the body is a house for thoughts – the cause of the illness resides in the negativity of a thought, in an error in judgement.
“There is nothing wrong with errors in judgement,” dr Len said humorously. “They can kill you, that’s all.”


Be innocent and responsible and eliminate the label
For a kahuna, the mind is like a garden and thoughts are like seeds. They germinate and bear fruit. We must be careful what thoughts we plant in our minds because, inevitably, we will reap what we have sown.
The good news is that any stress, imbalance or illness can be corrected by working on yourself. You don’t need to look for answers or help outside of yourself. Nobody can offer you more relevant information than you can find alone, by looking inside yourself, Morrnah Simeona says.
For a kahuna, the exterior circumstances are a barometer of our level of consciousness. The state of health or illness, prosperity or poverty, success or failure that we or those around us have reflects the level of consciousness that we have reached.
If our level of consciousness modifies, the exterior circumstances change rapidly and the level of consciousness can rise significantly if we take responsibility for everything that goes on in our lives and around us.


Healing or transformation begins with taking responsibility
What does it mean to take 100% responsibility for everything that occurs in our lives?
It means accepting the fact that you – no one else – are the creator of everything you experience, of all the events that occur in your life, dr Len says, aware that his statement can be shocking or even revolting for most people.
This idea is very hard to digest, especially in a society where we have got used to finding excuses all the time, to blaming others for whatever doesn’t work in our lives and to assiduously cultivating a victim mentality.
Moreover, this idea is also hard to accept for people who are considered over-responsible. Because it is one thing to take responsibility for your own actions and it is another to take responsibility for the violent acts of people that you have had nothing to do with, your only connection with them being that you live in the same city.
Many psychologists would say that such a way of thinking only makes us take the blame excessively.
The access to the miracle and, implicitly, to the supraconscious is only possible when we begin once again to look at the world through the eyes of a child. This is about rediscovering innocence, not about cultivating childishness.
The problem with adults is that they have lost their innocence, but they have enhanced their childishness, by systematically avoiding taking responsibility.
The kahunas say that, by reinstating innocence – the state in which we do not judge, we do not label, we are not obsessed with personal gain – our lives can change radically.

(to be continued)


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