Ho’Oponopono- Inspired Meditation

I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.” Powerful words, at times difficult to receive, and even more difficult to say. This Ho’Oponopono- Inspired meditation guides you on a journey of equanimity, reconciliation, and forgiveness, based on the traditional Hawaiian practice of the same name. (Written about in Change We Must, by Nana Veary, and Hoʻoponopono Contemporary Uses of a Hawaiian Problem-solving Process by E. Victoria Shook.)

Ho'Oponopono- Inspired Meditation

Ho’Oponopono- Inspired Meditation

To begin, place your hands over your heart center and if you wish, allow your eyes to close gently.

Focus on connecting to your higher self that resonates gratitude and love. Spend a moment here, breathing in gratitude, breathing out love. In, out. Gratitude, love.

Now focus on expanding your connection to include source energy. You may consider this as divine energy, universal consciousness, or the Love of God. However you best visualize it, imagine that you have tapped into it, and that energy is filling you, running through you, and surrounding you with light. Imagine that any time your own loving energy runs low, this conduit of higher energy replenishes you, so that you always have enough gratitude and love at any given moment.

Now bring to mind someone you have minor frustration with. Perhaps this is a dearly loved person who you have some unresolved issue with. Or perhaps it is someone you feel mostly neutral about, but there is something they have done that has annoyed you. Whatever the case, imagine they are sitting right in front of you. Imagine that the light and love energy surrounding you now encompasses both of you. See this energy having a softening, massaging effect on each of your emotions. Imagine this person looking into your eyes and sincerely saying, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.” It does not matter if you believe they would truly say this or not. Just imagine that they have. Take a deep breath. Allow yourself time to accept this.

In return, send the same phrases back. Look into their eyes deeply, and say, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.” Say it as sincerely as you can. Imagine the light/ love energy melting any remaining coldness, sorrow, and frustration between you. If it feels right, you can wrap your arms around them in an embrace, or simply smile at them, knowing that you have let go of the thing that was holding you back from them emotionally.

Now bring to mind someone else, perhaps someone that brings up deeper frustration or resentment for you. Again, see the divine/source energy expanding to surround both of you, and seeping into your hearts. Imagine them looking into your eyes with compassion, and sincerely saying “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.” Again, even if it is highly improbable that they would actually say this to you, imagine that they want to, and that they have made the effort to say this from their heart. Imagine what their face would look like, and the tone of their voice, in the way that you most long for. Breathe in love, and breathe out gratitude. Take your time here.

Now look deep into this person’s eyes, and repeat the phrases back to them. Tell them, I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.” You may feel some resistance to doing this. Be gentle with yourself. This is very human and understandable. Remember that every person is your own mirror, and oftentimes we do need to forgive the people who have hurt us, because we have harbored unkind, resentful, judgemental, or even hateful thoughts toward them or toward what they did. Holding on to these feelings is hurting you, and you will feel so much lighter and peaceful once you release them.

You may find it helpful to consciously tap into that channel you created at the beginning, to source energy (or God’s love, or universal consciousness). Imagine it filling you with the strength to forgive and love those who have hurt you, and the wisdom to create healthy boundaries that will allow you to have an open, and protected heart, both.

Repeat this exercise as many times as you would like, with as many people as come into your mind. You can even say these words to yourself, or to a younger/ different version of you.

When you feel you have come to the end, let all the images fade away, and take one or two more deliberate breaths, gratitude in, and love out. Stretch your limbs, and blink your eyes open. Smile. Take this feeling of gratitude and love with you into your day.

If you enjoyed this guided Ho’Oponopono- Inspired Meditation, check out our guided Progressive Relaxation Body Scan post.

How to Use a Wrist Mala for Meditation

Sodalite Wrist MalaEver notice yogis or meditators wearing beaded bracelets and wondered what they were for? Or maybe you know that these wrist malas are meditation bracelets, but wondered how to use a wrist mala for meditation? I will explain 4 ways to do this, but first, just so we’re on the same page, let’s talk about…

What is a mala?

A mala is a string of beads on a necklace or bracelet, used as a tool to help you focus on your meditation. It can also be used as a way of keeping count of repetitions of whatever you’re doing. 

Malas are a great way to assist meditation because they offer such a tactile, tangible way to focus your attention. This is great news for those of us who get bored or distracted easily, or who deal with chronic or acute anxiety. It’s also a wonderful way to introduce meditation to children.

Full malas have 108 beads, with a larger “guru” bead, stone or tassel at the bottom. They can be worn like a necklace when not in use. Wrist malas are worn as bracelets when not in use and traditionally have 18 or 27 beads, again with a tassel, or a larger “guru bead”. 

Guru= teacher (those who have brought you to this point in your life, who have nurtured you intellectually and spiritually). It can represent literal teachers, friends or partners who have helped you to stretch and to become better, and it can also represent God. We start and end at this bead when we are keeping count, without ever passing over it, as a sign of gratitude and respect.

How is a mala used?

There are four main ways to use malas (either full malas or wrist malas; even a set of prayer beads works great):

  1. As part of a gratitude practice
  2. In the repetition of mantras or positive affirmations
  3. To keep count as you practice breath work (or pranayama)
  4. Wearing as a reminder of your intention and to absorb positive energy

Using a malaHere is a video summary of the 4 ways to use a wrist mala.

You can stick to one practice, or mix them up- it’s totally up to you and what you feel you need on any given day. Do what feels nourishing to you.

Now it’s time to put your mala to use: Drape the beads over your dominant hand, as shown in the picture. Begin at one of the beads next to the guru bead. For each bead, practice

      1. Taking one deliberate breath, 
  1. Identifying one thing you are thankful for, OR 
  2. Repeating a mantra. 

Use your thumb to advance to the next bead to keep track of how many repetitions you are doing. Stop on the last bead before the guru bead. If you want to continue, turn the bracelet around and follow the beads in the other direction, again stopping just before the guru bead and reversing directions until you are finished. Repeat as many times as you would like, whether it is just one round of the bracelet, or six rounds (to get to the traditional 108), or somewhere in between.

How can I get a mala?

Kyanite Wrist MalaYou can purchase or easily make your own wrist mala. Plan on using 15-22 beads, depending on the size of the beads you choose and the circumference of your wrist. (8mm is a standard size, but you could also use 6mm or 10mm beads. You would just need to adjust the number of beads so that it fits your wrist.) This doesn’t need to be fancy. You can make your own- a piece of string with plastic beads on it could work. Your local craft store will have crystal or stone beads if you want to make something a little more long lasting and aesthetically pleasing.

The Wild Goose Meditation Shop on Etsy sells many beautiful wrist malas. We also have a limited number of ready-to-make kits if you are more inclined to make your own. Check out our tutorial video here.