If you ask those who know me which 5 words they would use to describe me, spiritual or religious would most likely not be included in the list. I don’t belong to any particular religion, and I would have to say that I feel most other-worldly when I am on a long hike in the woods and the least that way when I am sitting in the confines of a traditional church. However, I believe that every religion has validity for those who truly live what they believe and accept those around them for who they are. After all, the religions I’ve encountered all seem to get at the same basic principle of being a good person.
This post is not about my beliefs or lack thereof, though. It’s about an awesome opportunity I had to see a faith practice from another culture. I am lucky enough to work in an environment that embraces diversity in spiritual thought, and we are encouraged to attend events that might further our understanding of the world we live in. So, Friday and Saturday, I chose to attend a workshop on Ho’oponopono. It didn’t really seem like the appropriate venue to take tons of pictures, but this shot of the leader, Kahuna Harry Uhane Jim, captures the jovial essence of the event.
Ho’oponopono means many things to many people (as evidenced by each of us describing the concept in one word at the end of the workshop), but this definition seems to fit:
A Hawaiian word which means to correct or make right, to come to balance. In the Hawaiian culture, this also refers to a process of setting things right or bringing a person or an ohana to balance.
My brain is still working to fully understand what I learned from Harry, but as he says, “You won’t know until you need to know. You won’t remember until you need to remember.”
The twenty or so workshop attendees sat in a circle, sharing the sources of unbalance in their lives, somewhat reminiscent of a group therapy session (this initially made me cringe). Many of the people present work as body workers like Reiki healers, massage therapists, etc., so they were fairly familiar with the vocabulary of the event. I sat and absorbed it all, especially fond of Harry’s infinite supply of one-liners like these:
There are only two types of forgiveness: now and later. Now left and later is now.
Turn your beliefs into preferences.
Laughter is the sign of a master.
The world is a better place when you take a deep breath.
Adam & Eve left Eden, nothing else did. Plants & animals are still in Eden.
You have to be you. Everyone else is taken.
Stop negotiating. Start navigating.
Nobody can tell you what your soul’s path is. Not even you know until your soul tells you.
Look for the good in people, even if you have to squint. (This one was from one of his Facebook friends.)
This post may seem little vague, but I think that part of the value in the event was having to decode what was being talked about. I do know for sure, though, I am going to take Harry’s advice to plant some tulips and do a liver cleanse.