It is common knowledge that experiences in our early years play an important role in brain and behavioral development. Ho’oponopono looks at past memories, traumas and stresses (I refer to them as entanglements) as the cause of a diversity of illnesses. The emotional patterns we learn beginning in the womb and then as small children – the first 7 years of our lives – live in our bodies and our minds, and stay with us into adulthood. If we haven’t done the work of “setting things right,” we can pass these on to our children, just as our parents passed their traumas on to us, and their parents to them. This sets up generations of wounds until we don’t even know where the original trauma came from. Unresolved trauma can manifest in a number of ways and one widespread manifestation is addictive behavior.

In my private practice my clients who have experienced trauma, stress, and anxiety at a young age tend to repress their emotions. The root of their problems including drug and alcohol addiction, can be traced to difficult childhood experiences. The parent-child bond is crucial, and when there is abuse, neglect, poverty, or parental stress in a child’s life, emotional and other health issues begin to show themselves.

From the perspective of ho’oponopono addiction is not solely a problem of the addict, the responsibility is shared with family and community. There are many different kinds of addictions including sugar, television, shopping, working, drugs, alcohol and eating. Anything done to excess can be an addiction. Usually the addict is trying to soothe or numb themselves to escape some feeling that they may not even be aware of. In fact most of the time there is no awareness.

The ho’oponopono I practise involves ceremony in conjunction with sharing and bringing awareness to the entanglements in a group setting. The ceremony begins with chant and prayer to call on the deities of healing, and particular plant substances are present as representatives of the deities as well. The group process serves as a safe container for the work to take place, and great care is taken to assure that a state of Aloha is held during the entire process.

The similarities of our traumas is always evident. We all suffer from common wounds and it serves and heals us as we hold space for others in their process of discovery. There is a meeting of our humanity that happens when we become present for each others healing. It is always my honor to facilitate the container as a place of safety and Aloha, where profound healing can take place.



3 replies
  1. Carol Glaws
    Carol Glaws says:

    Hi there,
    Aloha from NJ! Love this article, have addiction issues in my family and hoping ho’oponoopno can help us. Looking forward to getting updates from you! Thank you!

  2. Heather
    Heather says:

    My adult son has come to stay with me and is an active alcoholic. He goes out while I am at work to get alcohol. I have been cleaning and cleaning and cleaning and sleeping less and less. I am afraid to send him back to his fathers for fear something bad will happen. But I cannot have him living here as I will loose my apartment. Cleaning cleaning cleaning. I realized Dr Hew Len did not see the patients and am wondering if that was to keep his space clear so he could clean. Am I avoiding the opportunity for my own healing by having him leave. If i loose my home there will be nowhere for either of us to live. Im sorry, thank you, please forgive me, thank you.

    • zelied
      zelied says:

      Hi Heather,
      Cleaning is great and is a spiritual practice.
      Remember Dr. Hew Len is talking about master level of ho’oponopono that healed those patients.
      You are not at master level.
      You and your son must also do the physical work of getting clean. Can you get to an Al-Anon meeting?
      Remember to take care of you and him physically/on the physical plain. Help him find help, and seek help yourself.
      You don’t have to do this alone. There will be folks at al-anon that can help. Go to a meeting and share, you will find like-minded souls.
      I hope this helps.


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