Hawaiian ceremonies: Traditional Hawaiian Weddings for Maui Brides.

Ho’oponopono or Ho’opono pono session.

o’oponopono or Ho’opono pono session.o’oponopono or Ho’opono pono session.

Ho’oponopono is a Hawaiian tradition and centuries old. It is a process. To make things right (pono) and to solve problems. It is a process offered to families (Ohana) and the Hawaiian community. Today we also offer the process from the older version of Ho’opono pono when everything was right or (pono) and we did work together in unity (lokahi). The Kapu (Taboo) to share this was broken just a few years ago from a Kupuna on the Big Island.

We respect the Hawaiian Culture in the process. That if you are not Hawaiian then different prayers or protocol may be incorporated. Some see this process like Spiritual counseling and guidance. Like a cleaning, blessings and healing type experience. This is a time to make resolution and restore harmony.

Ho’oponopono is truly the art of forgiveness. Each participant takes responsibility for the part they have played in the problem and apologizes. Each forgives as well asks for forgiveness (noi e kala `ia ho’okamakamaka). It is good to understand (maopopo) that a participant could have offended (uluhua) or hurt the other unknowingly. As well could have said or done something in a situation or done nothing in a situation to create disharmony.

If this is a pre wedding session. This time allows you to be in peace about the past and to let go of what no longer serves you, so you can move on to be in a happy and healthy relationship of marriage (Male `ana).

The willingness of all to participate is essential. Each person respectfully listens carefully to the other in their time together. We usually do these sessions by the ocean or in nature.

The session starts with the Kahu or facilitator saying a prayer (pule), connecting to the Spirit of each of the participants, strengthening the emotional commitment of each person. Prayer to the highest begins the session regardless of the religious or spiritual background of each person.

After the prayer the facilitator may state the iniquity or transgression, (hala) what has caused the problem. Or it may be brought in light in that moment by the participants themselves. Today in our lives there may be many layers of problems in a relationship over months or years.

This is a time where each person may take turns to share his or her experience (mana’o) or how they are feeling about past situations. By sharing and getting the sadness, upset or burden out it helps to let it go and begin the healing process. To forgive and be in peace with each other is to be able to set things right (pono) and move on in your life. To be right with yourself, loved ones, life, God and the Universe is awesome.

Both participant in a relationship or all those in the family are encouraged not to blame anyone, or share with angry emotions. You are encouraged to share your feelings without filling your words with negative energy. Each may take turns discussing there feelings and even repent (Mihi) if necessary. Each forgives and receives forgiveness. This loosens and unties the negative energies (kala), allowing those energies to be released and freed thus restoring harmony.

Resolution is what we are seeking here. Together we will stop the suffering and bring peace (Maluhia). Once harmony is restored you can then make any commitments in yourself and to your partner, family member or friend. You may also commit to try to do better in your life and make new agreements for change to evolve yourself. Mediation is at hand to guide the participants to reconciliation. If you cannot identify the root of the problem within you then, you will be guided with Aloha to look deeper into yourself and what is burdening you.

When all is resolved we close the matter (pani) This is a declaration that that the problem (pilikia) is solved and everything has been set right or made Pono. An understanding in the form of an collective agreement is made that these problems will not be brought up again. We conclude with a closing prayer (pule ho’opau) and blessing. Here the participants are in peace with each other and the facilitator. Then this process if finished (pau).

What you take with you from this experience besides closure, is your inner peace and the harmony (lokahi) between you. You will then stay committed and take your promise or commitment with you that you made to yourselves and each other. You will not loose site of this but rather stay mindful of it in your everyday life.

After this ceremony is finished you may be sent into the ocean to cleanse (ho’oma’ema’e). Food may be also be shared or the participants may go eat if your visiting Maui. For this is a time of renewal and celebration as well as rejoicing.

By Kahu Alalani Hill


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