Ho’oponopono for resolving legal disputes

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Sep 05, 2014 Ho’oponopono for resolving legal disputes

When I first met ho’oponopono teacher and psychologist Ihaleakala Hew Len, briefly, five years ago, one his first remarks after greeting me with a hug was my being a lawyer. I felt an immediate connection with him, even though I was skeptical about such ideas of his as being able to heal a mental health ward by doing ho’oponopono practice — a lifetime and lifestyle method for problem solving and abundance creation — over each patient’s hospital file without the knowledge of each patient. Dr. Hew Len and I next and last communicated three years later when I attended his weekend class on Self Identity Through Ho’oponopono. I felt an ongoing immediate connection with Dr. Hew Len without even needing to say much to each other. In fact, he says that if one has to ask a question, at least about ho’oponopono, one is not at zero.

Dr. Hew Len practices and teaches Self Identity Through Ho’oponopono (SITH), which may be controversial or even beyond controversial with practitioners of traditional ho’oponopono practiced in Hawaii, where traditional ho’oponopono involves sessions that gather extended family members with a leader directing the session, versus SITH, which involves self practice and taking personal responsibility for all internal and external challenges that one confronts.

As it turned out, a few months after I attended Dr. Hew Len’s 2011 SITH seminar in Washington, D.C., I went on vacation with my family to Hawaii. I wanted to learn more there about ho’oponopono, but due to our schedule and perhaps the way I approached my inquiry, I learned nothing more than that ho’oponopono sessions tend to be family-arranged sessions with a spiritual leader.

I ultimately learned that at least in Hawaii, ho’oponopono has been used in various legal mediation settings, which makes sense, because of the healing benefits ho’oponopono can have, versus engaging in mediation that appears to be nothing better than lawyers trying to resolve the dispute without also focusing to make all the parties feel whole.

Recently, when googling ho’oponopono-related searches, I came across Iowa lawyer Andrew Hosmanek’s 2005 law review article that even recommends using ho’oponopono in the restorative justice process for misdemeanor cases.
However, Hosmanek says that admission of guilt by the defendant is needed to engage in such a process, which presents serious barriers for such sessions to proceed, unless he actually means to support having the defendant take responsibility, versus admitting guilt, for his or her actions, and to have that acceptance of responsibility shielded from being used against the defendant in court.

The practice of law can in fact be a healing art, and I feel that I am better in serving my clients and helping them get as close to harmony as possible when I am in harmony and apply the lessons of ho’oponopono in finding solutions to challenges, and in getting to zero so that I am not in a funk to adversely affect my clients, but am instead a positive beacon for me and my clients.

SITH ho’oponopono’s lessons about taking personal responsibility for challenges and about the absence of any "out there" for the mind are harder for me to wrap my head around when considering the horrors committed by such people as Hitler, Pol Pot and KKK lynchers. Nevertheless, I also know that their crimes did not arise from a vacuum. I know that when I am at zero, one less factor exists to assist the genesis, development and growth of such horrific movements.

Through finding Andrew Hosmanek’s 2005 article and website on applying ho’oponopono to mediation and restorative justice, I now have an additional path to finding lawyers who believe in the benefits of ho’oponopono for helping litigants.

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