Ellen Winner

Many people start off on the path to  Enlightenment after having a peak spiritual experience, Perhaps they felt the presence of an immeasurably greater power or overwhelming love and acceptance. In my case, it was a strong feeling of oneness accompanied by a sense of participating in the moving energy of the Universe. All was well and happening just the way it should. These experiences are so powerful, often accompanied by deep feelings of bliss and sure knowledge that this is what’s real, as opposed to our ordinary states of consciousness. We want more. We want to feel this way all the time.

What gets in the way of receiving more of these experiences of inspiration and oneness, of living permanently in a state of bliss and total acceptance? 


A Model of All-That-Is

Take a look at this model of the Cosmos:

Figure 1. A Model of the Cosmos by Ellen Winner

A diagram symbolizing the Cosmos, including All-That-Is in manifestation, with the Creator (top white sphere), our Higher Consciousness (pink sphere), the Collective Consciousness (large violet sphere), all the Individual Consciousnesses (small violet spheres), and the Collective Unconscious, surrounded by the unmanifest Void, or No-thing (black areas), out of which everything in manifestation arises, and which holds the potential for all future manifestation.

Referring to this model, the black background, labeled The Void,” is the ground of all being, the Great Mystery from which all creation arises. It is not possible to form any accurate concept of this Mystery because that would make it into an object, and it is not an object. It is always the seer, not an object to be seen. It is the fertile soil from which all Consciousness arises, the bed of all potentiality. Even though we can’t make it an object of our thought, it is at the root of our own personal subjective Consciousness, and every other personal subjective Consciousness in the Universe. 

All the colored parts, labeled All-That-Is, collectively represent the manifest Universe.

The white sphere at the top of the graphic represents the Creator, or Creative Awareness if you like. Here is where manifestation arises out of the Void in the form of energies that flow into the Higher Consciousness (pink sphere). 

The Higher Consciousness is an Awareness that condenses energies from the Creator into thoughtforms and energy flow patterns that can be used by living creatures. These thoughtforms and patterns of energy descend into the Collective Consciousness of all living beings (violet sphere) where they can be understood and known by the beings.

Various forms of Individual Consciousnesses — human, animal, plant, microorganism, and inanimate object awarenesses (small violet bubbles) are reflections of All-That-Is and participate in the Collective Consciousness. 

The multi-colored background represents the chaotic snake pit of the Collective Unconscious, made up of the mostly negative thoughtforms and energies that have been ignored or actively rejected and denied by individuals in the more rational Collective Consciousness. This Collective Unconscious is also a repository for some positive energy patterns and thoughtforms, such as outdated archetypes and archaic gods and goddesses abandoned by their people and forgotten through nonuse. The negative energies and thoughtforms in the Collective Unconscious can be transmuted through a process of recognition and forgiveness and returned to the Collective Consciousness.

It should be understood that this graphic shows only one possible version of a model of the Universe. It is clearly incomplete. For one thing, it is rendered in only two dimensions (which you may be able to view as three by imagining that the circles are spheres), but lacks the dimension of time and any other higher dimensions. The parts that are named and pictured separately would surely move and morph and intermingle in various ways in real life, and no doubt many other parts and functions are missing. This incomplete model is provided simply as a way to illustrate how a few unhealthy patterns in Consciousness can be dealt with to make our journeys through physical manifestation more pleasant and comfortable.

The usefulness of a model of All-That-Is that it give us a perspective from which to understand that WE ARE THE ENTIRETY OF ALL-THAT-IS. We’re not just separate little purple bubbles. Within each individual consciousness is the complete nonlocal presence of everything in the Universe. We are like holograms of the totality of All-That-Is, but more than that, in a mysterious way we don’t know how to think about, each seemingly separate individual is All-That-Is. Wisdom traditions all over the world have this teaching. We just need to realize it.

That means YOU are already All-That Is. 

By simply seeing and understanding this model you’ve taken an important step in living from your true identity as All-That-is. Keep remembering that All-That-Is is who you really are. You have access to all parts of it, and you have the powers of the Creator, Higher Consciousness, and Collective Consciousness to transmute thought forms and energies. The Collective Unconscious is also reflected in your own personal consciousness and you have the power to transmute its negative thought forms and energy patterns into positive forms and flows.

We’ll show you how.

Blocks to Enlightenment

We’re tempted to blame our egos for keeping us trapped in feelings of separation from All-That-Is. We have egos because no one can completely escape having experiences of rejection, shame and resultant feelings of unworthiness at some time in their lives. We build our egos to compensate for these feelings by convincing ourselves that not only are we separate from everyone else, we are better than them. We do it to feel good about ourselves and so we can make our families proud and always be treated with respect.

There are other, legitimate, ego forces that keep us separate. The drive to be separate isn’t only some sort of character defect. We have egos because we have bodies to keep alive. We didn’t deliberately create ourselves in the form of separate bodies in need of nourishment and protection. We simply found ourselves here on Earth as separate material bodies. Soon enough we learned that our minds were also separate, usually when we found out, often with relief, that others don’t usually seem to know what we’re thinking.

Being separate is natural and useful. In complex civilizations, people need to specialize in various survival tasks, providing each other with food, shelter, childcare, protection, entertainment, etc. Each person concentrates on their own specific tasks, and this is easier if we’re not constantly bombarded by the chaos of everyone else’s thoughts and feelings. It makes sense that we’re naturally closed off like separate little laboratories where we can focus closely on our own fields of expertise, inventing new techniques and developing master level skills. 

Still, our separateness, useful as it is for ordinary life, brings suffering. We’re like the Little Mermaid in the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, who fell in love with a human prince and longed to become a human girl to win his heart. A witch granted her wish and replaced her fish tail with human legs, but only on condition that every step she took would be excruciatingly painful, like walking on "pointed needles and sharp knives.” She endured this for the sake of her love, but alas, in the end, the prince married a human princess, and the Little Mermaid, despairing, threw herself into the sea. The angel-like Daughters of the Air were watching and took pity on her, changing her into an aerial being like themselves and welcoming her into their loving tribe. 

The story of the Little Mermaid and the pain she suffered to be human resonates with us because we all pay dearly for our human form, in coins of disease, accident, injury, conflict, fear, guilt, grief, and rejection. We struggle to make ourselves acceptable to others, because they have the power to shun us, and without their support our lives would be, in the words of Seventeenth Century English Philosopher Thomas Hobbes, “poor, solitary, nasty, brutish and short.” But in the end, like the Little Mermaid, we hope to be transformed and accepted into a Greater Life.

As long as we’re in a body, we’re going to have to function part of the time as an Individual Consciousness to take care of our body’s needs and maintain the good will of our fellow humans. But though this involves separation and causes us to suffer, we can learn to transmute our suffering into joy.

It’s the part of our ego that wants to feel superior that’s responsible for most of our suffering — the part that judges others as bad, wrong, lesser than ourselves, unworthy of our attention or consideration, and disposable. Most of us are so obsessed with making sure we fit in and remain acceptable to our fellow humans that we think of little else. When we can take a break from this preoccupation and look at ourselves and the whole human race with appreciation and compassion, our consciousness awakens and expands beyond its confining ego box into realms of grace, love, and beauty. 

Just knowing we can transmute our suffering makes it easier to bear. 

A good way to do this is to pay attention to our negative thoughts and feelings. When we recognize and accept that they really do exist in us, and stop projecting them on others and judging them as bad and wrong and keeping them tamped down in our unconscious minds and the Collective Unconscious, we can open the door a beautiful awakened life for ourselves.

How Negative Thought Forms End up in the Collective Unconscious

Let’s look at how negative thought forms and energy patterns end up in the Collective Unconscious. A trauma, such as a physical blow, accidental injury, or the unkindness of  being criticized, shunned and rejected, happens to a person, giving rise to pain and negative emotions such as fear, guilt, anger, disgust, etc. The person represses the memories of the trauma and the thought forms that go with them because they are so painful, and sends them down into her individual unconscious mind, which communicates with the Collective Unconscious.  

Later when the person finds herself in a situation that reminds her of the original trauma, the memory triggers the same constellation of negative emotions she felt then. The person again rejects the painful thought forms and emotional energy patterns and pushes them back down into unconsciousness. Every time this pattern is repeated, the unwanted thought forms and emotional energy patterns gain strength.

For example, a little girl is sexually molested by a nasty uncle. Against her will, this arouses sexual feelings in her. The uncle knows he’s doing wrong, and she picks up on his sense of wrongness and associates it with her sexual feelings. As a result, she represses her sexual feelings along with her fear, disgust and anger. As she grows up, she associates any sexual feeling that naturally arises with this sense of wrongness and the negative emotions she felt at the time, and represses the whole ugly complex of sexual arousal soiled with wrongness, fear, and disgust. The repressed energies are immobilized in her body and filter into the Collective Unconscious, where she fervently hopes they’ll remain.

But as natural sexual feelings keep arising in her body as she matures, she has to spend energy to suppress them, and the effort of this generates new energies of guilt, frustration, and desperation to add to the tangled complex of energies that have to be kept down. Her suffering is intense.

The Collective Unconscious is already full of repressed experiences that not only we ourselves, but also every being who has ever lived on earth, have experienced, as both victim and perpetrator —  judgments, punishments, traumas, injustices, betrayals, abandonments, ridicule, and rejection — that exert a subtle pressure on our Awareness. Most of the time we try to ignore these negative memories and thought forms, and even take an active part in keeping them down. But as everyone knows, it doesn’t really work to repress this stuff. The more we try to keep it down, the more it bubbles up and poisons our outlook. 

How Suppression Leads to Negative Judgments of Others

Suppressed energies and thought forms are easily triggered to rise up from our unconscious mind into our Individual Consciousness and cause trouble whenever we find ourselves in a situation that reminds us of the original trauma. Our individual unconscious mind is a repository for repressed emotions, bodily feelings and thoughts in addition to impulses and sensory impressions too faint to have reached our conscious minds.

These repressed energies are also present in the Collective Unconscious along with energies and thought forms repressed by our ancestors and everyone else. When the little girl who was sexually molested grows up and experiences sexual feelings, she may be flooded not only with her own repressed energies of guilt, shame, anger, and revulsion, but also with the whole tangled mass of other people’s rejected feelings. 

Such an eruption of powerful negative emotional reactions can also be triggered when she notices another person’s sexuality. Her own sexual feelings are triggered, and though her body can’t help resonating with them she refuses to own them, instead projecting them onto the other person with harsh judgments of “shameless,” “dirty," “nasty,” “immoral,” and so on. These judgments make it impossible for her to treat the other person as a fellow human being. She is likely to let her disapproval show, which triggers a corresponding hostile response in the other person. Even if both parties are too civilized to come to blows, their toxic emotions, suppressed, will find their way to the Collective Unconscious, ready to be triggered into other people’s lives. Though we’re not usually directly aware of the Collective Unconscious, it exerts an invisible drag on humanity’s life force and moods.

It’s a vicious cycle, a repeating energy pattern. An emotion (which is a form of energy) is triggered in a person’s body, and like all energies, wants to move. Left alone it would reach peak intensity in a minute or less and die away. But when we don’t want to feel an emotion we tighten up against it, shove it down deep in our body where it can’t get out. The energy still wants to move even though we’ve refused to be consciously aware of it, and it clamors for attention, making trouble on the cellular level, depleting our life force and making us sick. 

Our conscious minds are pretty good at protecting our boundaries, keeping our inner thoughts and feelings private and separate, but when parts of us, especially repressed emotions, are unconscious, when we’ve forbidden our conscious minds to “go there,” our boundaries keep them out of our individual field of conscious awareness but do nothing to keep them out of the surrounding field of Collective Consciousness. Other people can easily see what we’re trying to hide. You may have noticed how easy it is for people to spot each other’s emotional weak points and come up with hurtful nicknames and mimicry that lets us know exactly where our pride is most vulnerable. (This is how comedians make a living.) We take great pains to keep ourselves blind to our own “bad” thoughts and feelings without realizing how transparent we are to others.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are skillful means to break the patterns of these “bad” thoughts and feelings and transmute their energies into free-flowing streams of kindness and compassion.

Skillful Means: Forgiveness and Clearing the Soul

Forgiveness has long been recognized as a golden highway to peace. Forgiveness breaks up the patterns of tit-for-tat attack and retaliation. We like to think that we, living in civilized countries, are beyond Hatfield and McCoy tribal feuds. After all, we have police and justice systems to punish aggressors. We don’t have to do it ourselves and risk retaliation. Nevertheless, many still live by the code of “an eye for an eye” and never feel so alive as when they’re carrying a grudge and blaming others for their own negative impulses. 

The good news is that as a species we’re evolving into greater kindness and altruism. According to biologist E.O. Wilson, we have become the most successful species on the planet mainly because of our ability to cooperate with each other and form complex societies in which altruism is highly valued, even at the expense of personal survival. Altruistic humans such as soldiers and suicide bombers contribute to the survival of their groups. Even if they don’t live long enough to pass on their own genes, they make it more likely for their group’s genes to be passed on. Altruism gives a survival advantage to groups of humans just as it does in ant and bee colonies. As we evolve, we should expect to see more altruistic, compassionate and caring people among us, and less selfish, vengeful, grudge-carrying individuals.

On the individual level, bearing a grudge is extremely bad for the health. It takes energy to maintain the negative emotions required to keep it fresh. The fires of outrage have to be continually stoked, the self-righteousness of victimhood continually replenished. This grudge, this sense of injury, becomes the peg that holds the victim’s self-identity in place, for without it who would he be? The replaying of negative emotions makes us feel alive and expands our sense of importance. Having someone to hate keeps us in vital tension and saves us from the yawning void a dull existence without strife (otherwise known as peace).

Forgiving others is essential, but even more important is forgiving ourselves. When we make negative judgments of another person, it’s often because they mirror something we don’t like in ourselves. True forgiveness of others necessarily involves forgiveness of ourselves for harboring the same negative thought forms and emotions we judge in others.

For the sake of your health and well-being, decide on a practice of forgiveness that not only erases your negative judgments of another but reaches so deep into your being that it erases the negativity hidden in your own unconscious and the Collective Unconscious. As the old folks say, refusing to forgive others is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Refusing to forgive yourself is like drinking poison and turning into poison. 

Practice forgiveness for your own sake. If you’re serious about Enlightenment, do it as a next critical step on the Path. 

    Forgiveness Method based on Ho’oponopono

There are many “skillful means” based on forgiveness. Catholics do it with confession, repentance and prayer; psychotherapists do it with talk therapy; mediators do it by balancing conflicting interests of disputants; spiritual healers do it by getting disputants together to empathize with each other’s thoughts and feelings and see each other’s souls

A forgiveness method I have found extremely useful is Ho’oponopono, developed by Dr. Hew Len based on a traditional Hawaiian process for reconciling intratribal conflicts. “Ho’oponopono” means “to make right.” Given my fascination with the mysteries of identity, self and other, solipsism and evolving social complexity, it’s not surprising that I was drawn to his work, which he calls “Self-Identity Through Ho’oponopono.” 

I learned the Ho’oponopono method directly from Dr. Len in the early 2000s. The following explanations and instructions are inspired by his teachings, but so much modified by my own understandings and practices that I can’t claim to be presenting an accurate portrayal of his method. The world owes him a great debt of gratitude for his pioneering work in this field. I hope I have added useful ideas, explanations, and specifics to aid in the practice self-forgiveness. Any mistakes and misunderstandings are my own.

I was especially impressed by Dr. Len’s account of using ho’oponopono to heal an entire ward full of criminally insane patients at the Hawaii State Hospital Kaneohe. 

When he started work at the hospital, the ward was a hell hole where staff had to walk with their backs against the wall for fear of attack by the dangerous patients. Turnover was high and staff routinely quit or called in sick. He set to work in his own unconventional way. Instead of meeting with patients one-on-one, he addressed the situation by spending time alone in his office reviewing their charts and working on himself. Then he would walk the halls and laugh and have fun with the patients and staff. He genuinely enjoyed his job, and they all responded in kind. Everyone liked him even if they didn’t think he was doing much work.

Miraculously, patients began to heal. After a few months, patients who had formerly been heavily medicated and shackled could be taken off the meds and allowed to walk freely. The staff now enjoyed their work and stopped calling in sick. Turnover disappeared. After four years, when Dr. Len finally left the hospital, all his patients, even those previously considered incurable, had been discharged. With no more patients, the entire ward for the criminally insane was closed.

Dr. Len’s book, Zero Limits, reveals his approach to healing, explaining that he operates from the perspective that everything in his experience exists as an actualization of the thoughts in his mind. If his thoughts are toxic, he says, they create a toxic physical reality. If they are “perfect,” they create a physical reality full of love. When those criminally insane patients appeared in his life, he knew he was responsible for them because they were actualizations of his thoughts.

This may sound extreme, as though Dr. Len doesn’t believe in a real, physical world out there beyond his own thoughts, one that might have nothing at all to do with him and may not even exist. If so, no one can prove him wrong. But what he is certainly right about is that every time we separate ourselves from another person by negatively judging them, for example, if we label someone as depressed and start treating them like an object to be manipulated with drugs and therapeutic techniques, we forget that we wouldn’t even know what depression was if we didn’t already have depressive tendencies ourselves.

Dr. Len is also right that it doesn’t make sense rationally or morally to try to separate others from ourselves by judging them because they are not, in fact, separate from ourselves. We are all part of the same Consciousness, and when we feel separate it hurts.

If you got teased as a child, called names — like “Dummy” or “Piggy” or “Jello Butt,” and retorted, “It takes one to know one,” you were smarter than you knew. We are able to judge the character traits of others only when we know from our own experience what those traits are. If we never even remotely felt what it was like to have those traits we wouldn’t be able to recognize them in someone else. When we’re scolded and shamed for taking the last cookie, we find out that greedy behavior is bad and usually try to suppress any thought that we might still be greedy. We really don’t want to feel that shame again. And because the very idea of greediness carries this charge of suppressed emotion, we notice greedy behavior immediately in another person and feel superior, telling ourselves, “That guy is the one who’s greedy, not me.”

As I understand it, a healer can judge a patient as a “paranoid schizophrenic” or “psychopath” only when he knows from his own experience what those words mean. If he has an experience of dangerous mental illness in his world it is because his own thoughts are “creating” it — in the sense that he chooses to isolate the thought forms and energy patterns of the patient’s crazy behavior to be labelled and recognized out from all the other chaotic signals his sense organs are receiving. 

If one has the self-awareness to understand this mechanism, he can either choose to take responsibility to deal with the judgmental thought forms and energy patterns inside his own mind, or project them out onto his patient, along with all the  other baggage his mind associates with the concepts “paranoid schizophrenic” and “psychopath.”

By choosing to deal with it in his own body-mind, the healer affirms that we are all one in Consciousness, and by forgiving himself for having made such a judgment of his patient, he creates a healing thought form and energy pattern not only in his own mind, but also in the Collective Consciousness. The healing pattern then reaches the patient through the field of the Collective Consciousness and results in his recovery. The new healing pattern also migrates into the Collective Unconscious and the Healer’s individual unconscious mind, helping to clear similar toxic energies and thought forms.

But if the healer persists in judging and projecting the toxic energies and thought forms onto his patient, he intensifies their negative energy in both himself and the Collective Consciousness. As a result, these intensified psychotic patterns reach the patient through the Collective Consciousness and worsen his condition. And the healer, suppressing the negative energies in himself, forces them down through his individual unconscious mind into the Collective Unconscious, where they lurk with magnified venom, clamoring to get out and do harm.

    How to Practice the Forgiveness Method

  • I can recognize I have made a negative judgment about a person, place, object, or situation. 
  • I can remember that we are all One in Consciousness and that my thoughts influence others.
  • I can be grateful that the Greater Consciousness has brought the fact that I have made a negative judgment to my attention so that I can clear it, and say, “Thank you.”
  • I can realize that I wouldn’t have been able to discern the quality I was judging if the thought form and energy pattern for this quality weren’t present in myself and say, “I’m sorry.” 
  • I can ask the Greater Consciousness, which includes the quality I judged against, to help me forgive myself and say, “Forgive me.”
  • I can notice the emotions and bodily feelings that arise in me with the negative judgment. Superiority? Disgust? Nausea? Revulsion? Shame? Anger? Fear?
  • I can fully accept and welcome each emotion and bodily feeling, letting each feeling  intensify and grow, reach a peak, and begin to move out. I can be determined to stay with it, knowing it only takes a minute or two for each feeling that arises to reach its peak and begin to clear.
  • I can say “I love you,” directing the love to the person, place, object, or situation I judged against, to the entire Cosmos, and most importantly, to myself.

Figure 2. Healer triggers on Patient’s Toxic Behavior.

A Healer (orange sphere) is triggered by perceiving the Patient’s toxic behavior (skull and crossbones inside green sphere) which is similar to toxic thought forms and emotional energies (black devil symbol inside orange sphere) in the Healer. This toxicity is intensified in the Healer by stored memories of incidents of similar toxic behavior.

Figure 3. Healer projects his feelings and judges Patient as “bad.”

The Healer, having been triggered by the Patient’s toxic behavior, and still in communication (double-headed red arrow) with the Collective Unconscious, projects his negative feelings (black devil symbol) on the Patient and judges him (green arrow) as “bad.”

Figure 4. Healer seeks help from all Consciousnesses and Void.

The Healer, having taken responsibility for the presence of the negative thoughts and emotions, sends out requests (yellow rays) to all the various Consciousnesses and the Void asking for divine help to clear and transmute them.

Figure 5. Help arrives from the Cosmos.

Help (pink rays) arriving in response to Healer’s request, surrounding all with loving presence. In your practice, be alert to sense the presence of all the Consciousness and the Void.

Figure 6. Healer processes thought forms and emotions.

The Healer (small black-bordered sphere) processes negative thought forms and emotions (squiggly lines inside black-bordered sphere) within his individual consciousness in the presence of the Void and All-That-Is, with communication going on between memory traces of the toxic behavior in the Patient (skull and crossbones in the green sphere), in the Healer (devil symbol in the black-bordered sphere), and in the Collective Unconscious (skull crossbones at the bottom of the diagram in the multicolored sphere).

Figure 7. Healer withdraws judgment. Clearing completes.

The state of affairs in the Cosmos after the Healer (orange sphere) finishes processing the negative thought forms and emotions: The Healer withdraws his negative judgment (faded green arrow) from the Patient (green sphere) and it fades away along with the negative behavior in the Patient (faded skull and crossbones). Simultaneously, the memories of the negative thought forms and emotions in the Collective Unconsciousness (faded skull and crossbones) and in the Healer (faded devil symbol) fade away as does the vicious two-way communication (dotted red arrows) between the Collective Unconsciousness and the Healer that had been functioning as a feedback mechanism to magnify and intensify the negative memories.

Figure 8. Clearing complete. All is Love.

The process has been completed. All is forgiven. All is love. The negative memories, thought forms and emotions in the Collective Unconscious have been transmuted and the Individual Consciousnesses of both the Healer and Patient (yellow radiating spheres) are free of negativity.

Of course, the mechanisms depicted here are not  limited to Healers and Patients. They apply to anyone triggered by someone else’s behavior.

“Triggering” is when something happens that reminds you of an unpleasant event you experienced in the past and causes you to feel negative emotions and replay the negative thoughts that you may have had when the event happened. You are likely to have repressed these negative thoughts and emotions at the time, which means that you shoved your memories of them, along with their energies, down into your own unconscious mind and the Collective Unconscious. 

Others may have repressed similar memories with their associated energies, and when you get triggered, your repressed memories rise up into your consciousness like water under pressure, with an energy intensified not only by the force their previous confinement, but also intensified by the force of other people’s similar repressed memories as they seek a way out of their confinement in the Collective Unconscious.

In practicing the method, because being triggered is painful, your first impulse may be to deny that you feel these uncomfortable negative emotions and primitive thoughts and project them onto the person whose behavior triggered you. (“It’s not me who does bad things and feels shame, it’s you.”). You have a reflexive urge to judge the other person as “bad” and “wrong” and blame him for your discomfort.

As a strategy to make yourself comfortable, projection doesn’t work. The energies of those negative thoughts and emotions remain with you, causing pain. So of course you want to get rid of the pain. At this point, most people move quickly with all their power to re-repress the toxic thoughts and emotions. 

But take a moment to reflect. Triggering events offer a golden opportunity to clear toxic energies, not only from your individual consciousness, but also from the person who triggered you and from the Collective Unconscious. You can be a hero, benefitting all humanity, and in fact, all beings in the Cosmos.

You can realize that “it takes one to know one,” and that the other person is a mirror for you, letting you know that these unwanted thoughts and feelings exist in yourself.  You can see that you have been triggered and have wrongfully projected the blame on the other person. Recognizing that you are the one feeling these negative emotions, and that you are the only one who can control how you think and feel about what triggered you, you determine to take responsibility for your reactions.

Now that you realize that you were mistakenly trying to project the blame for your own painful thoughts and emotions onto the other person by judging him as “bad,” when in fact, he never was or could ever be in charge of how you feel, you know you must apologize. This is where you say, to him, the entire Cosmos, and yourself, “I’m sorry.” 

A good way to get clear on the fact that you only want to judge the other person because he’s mirroring something in you is to ask yourself spiritual teacher Byron Katie’s four questions about the judgment you’re making: Is it true? Can you absolutely know that it’s true? How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought? Who would you be without that thought? Then turn your judgment around and consider the opposite. For example, if your judgment is, “He is a bully,” the opposite could be, “I am a bully.” Another opposite could be “He is a gentle guy.” Another could be, “He is not a bully.” Think about these statements. Could they be true? Try to think of a way they might be true. See, Byron Katie’s book, Loving What Is. It helps to speak this opposite statement out loud and try to feel the truth of it.

The next step, if you want to be in peace, is forgive yourself. You made a mistake in blaming the other person for your uncomfortable thoughts and emotions, To deserve forgiveness, you know you must repent and try to undo any damage you caused, owning all the negativity and taking full responsibility to clear it. You also know it will be difficult, and you ask for help.

Dr. Len’s teacher, shaman Morrhna Simeona, used this Hawaiian prayer to invoke the presence of the Void and all the Consciousnesses and ask for help in clearing negative thought forms and emotional energies: 

Divine Creator, father, mother, child as one. 

If I, my family, relatives or ancestors,

have offended you, your family relatives or ancestors,  

in thought, word, deed, or action,

from the beginning of our creation until now, 

we ask your forgiveness. 

Let this be a cleansing, purification, cutting and release 

of all negative memories, blockages, energies, and vibrations, 

and a transmutation of all these unwanted energies into pure light. 

And . . . it is done.

In the prayer, “father” corresponds to the Higher Consciousness, “mother” corresponds to the Collective Consciousness; and “child” corresponds to the Collective Unconscious. The Void is the No-thing, the unmanifest source of All-That-Is. Since the Individual Consciousness mirrors all of this, the prayer has the effect of also invoking your individual consciousness.

I like to use this prayer, because it reminds me that more is at stake in this process than my own little ego and relationship with the person who triggered me. But use any means you like to open your awareness to the great Cosmos as you ask for the help.

Help will come.

Now it’s time to process the toxic thought forms and emotional patterns. A very effective way to do this is suggested by spiritual teacher Brandon Bays in her book, The Journey. It involves simply welcoming each unpleasant thought and accompanying emotion that arises in your field of consciousness to be there without attempting to censor or repress a thing. 

Know that you are enduring this for the sake not only of yourself, but for All-That-Is. Allow the energies of these “negative memories, blockages, energies, and vibrations” to flood your consciousness. Welcome them with an open heart, knowing that they are a separated part of All-That-Is and that they only seem unpleasant because they have been isolated and rejected from the Whole. In the context of the Whole, they can take their rightful place, contributing to the balance of the Universe. 

When the energy of that strongest emotion subsides, you may notice another emotion arising to take its place. Emotions seem to come in stacks, for example, your strongest emotion may have been anger. When the energy of the anger dissipates, you may feel sadness — or vice versa, your first emotion may be sadness, and when it passes off, anger may take its place. Other, deeper emotions may still be to come. 

You may feel resistance to the unpleasant thoughts and emotions in the form of nausea, disgust, resentment, fear, anger, bodily pain, etc. Welcome the resistances and endure them, even if your body responds with pain, shaking, retching, vomiting, cold sweats, or feelings of weakness. Accept everything that happens. It won’t last long, and you are doing heroic work.

Memories of previous upsets and injuries may also arise, opening the door for older emotions you felt at those times to come forth. Process these older emotions the same way. 

After processing the negative emotions, you are likely to start feeling delightful emotions, such as peace, love, spaciousness, a sense of sacredness, or bliss. Let yourself linger in these feelings.

After you have processed all the emotions — those that were triggered to come up, any emotions caused by resisting and trying to stop them from coming up, and deeper emotions that underlie the emotions that were originally triggered — by feeling and accepting them, you are ready to forgive and be forgiven. Say, “Forgive me,” and feel the relief. You forgive yourself and the whole Cosmos forgives you. You now have no desire to judge the other person. Test this by bringing to mind the words of the judgment you made against him, and feel that they no longer carry any emotional charge. If they now sound false and meaningless, you have succeeded. Say, “It is done.”

Now you are finished. End by saying, "I love you” directing the love to the person who triggered you, to yourself, and to the entire Cosmos.

Results may vary. It probably won’t work quite this well the first time you try. But keep practicing. Develop the self-discipline to catch yourself every time you notice you’ve made a negative judgment about someone, and, as soon as you can, go through the process with all your attention and all your strength. Eventually it will become second nature.

You may have heard or read descriptions of Ho’oponopono that lead you to believe that all you need to do is say the words, “Thank you. I’m sorry. Forgive me. I love you.” Keep in mind, though, that if they remain mere words, if you don’t activate specific thought forms and emotional energies in your own mind/body, it probably won’t work. 

However, by long practice, you may get to a point where you’ve so cleared your own consciousness that the words can work by themselves. Let me know if that happens.

Use the following guided meditation as a template for your work. Read it through to get a sense of the whole process, then read it again, pausing to do the inner work described, or if  listening to the recorded version of the meditation provided here, pause the recording as necessary to do your processing, then continue listening.

A good way to use the meditation is to have someone else read it to you and coach and encourage you through processing each thought form and emotion.

Guided Meditation for Self-Forgiveness Process

Find a comfortable place to sit where you won’t be disturbed and close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and sigh them out, letting yourself relax.

Take a few moments to think about a situation where you made a negative judgment about someone else, a life partner, an acquaintance, a public figure, a friend or relative . . . . 

What was the judgment you made? What label did you put on them? Did you decide they were greedy, lazy, a typical example of a suburban wife and mother, illiterate, arrogant, a bully, a doormat, a toady of the rich . . . .

What was the word or words you used to judge them? . . . .

Say the word or words out loud, “That person is  _________, whatever words of judgment you used. Now ask yourself if those words are true? . . . . Can you absolutely know that they’re true? . . . . How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought? . . . . Who would you be without that thought? . . . . Then turn your judgment around and say that those words are true of you: “I am _________” (those same words of judgment). Say them out loud and feel that there is some truth in them. You are at least a little like that. 

Realize that the other person was a mirror for you.

Bring the memory vividly to mind of when you made this judgment and where you were. What was going on at the time? What were you feeling? What emotion were you really feeling that motivated you to want to separate yourself from this person at the time? Jealousy, anxiety, fear, anger, disgust, envy, embarrassment, shame, unworthiness, rejection?

At this moment, what is the strongest feeling here that you remember from when you made the judgment? Not the relief you might have felt when you told yourself, “Thank God I’m not like that.” That feeling came later. What is the feeling that triggered you to want to separate yourself from whatever you saw in the other person, condemning them with your judgment? Let yourself feel the emotions that come up as you remember. Which emotion is the strongest?

Recognize that you are the one who had the negative thoughts and emotions, even though it might have been the other person’s behavior that triggered them, and that you are the only one who controls how you think and feel. Recognize that you are in charge, that all this is happening inside you. The other person is a mirror for you, showing you what you need to look at in yourself. 

Really own those feelings. You are the one who felt them then, and you are the one feeling them now. Unpleasant as facing them may be, be thankful you have been given this chance to be aware of them so that you can transmute them. Say, “Thank you.”

Again remember the moment when you made the judgment about the other person and feel the energy of the negative emotion that was there when the disparaging label for the other person popped into your mind. Know that these thoughts and emotions are yours to deal with, and acknowledge that you were mistaken to have blamed them on the other person. Say, “I’m sorry.”

We are all One in Consciousness and your thoughts and judgments influence others. Your judgment of the other person, your desire to separate yourself from him, has damaged the ability to experience this Oneness  not only for yourself, but for the other person and the entire Collective Consciousness. 

Determine to transmute this negativity. To do this you have to really know what it is. You have to let yourself feel the emotion fully and remember and examine the thought that went with it. It may not be easy. There are thought forms and energy patterns in the Collective Unconscious that reinforce the negativity you are individually thinking and feeling. You are going to need help. But you can do it.

Ask for help from the Cosmos, All-That-Is, and the Void. Calling on the Creator, the Higher Consciousness, the Collective Consciousness, and the Collective Unconscious, in the way of the Hawaiians,  pray, “Divine Creator, father, mother, child as one. If I, my family, relatives or ancestors have offended you, your family relatives or ancestors, in thought, word, deed, or action, from the beginning of our creation until now, we ask your forgiveness.”

You will be forgiven, but for that, you must try to make things right by clearing the negativity of your judgments. Help will come from the Cosmos as soon as you begin actively processing the negative thoughts and feelings.

Emotions are energy, and energy always wants to move. Energy is not your own personal property. You can use it but not own it. When you refuse to recognize what you’re feeling and shove your emotions down out of your consciousness into your body, they will always exert pressure to get free. This is a source of stress and illness, both physical and mental. 

Processing negative emotions means setting their energy free to move out. Be determined to face these repressed emotions and set them free. Complete the Hawaiian prayer: “Let this be a cleansing, purification, cutting and release of all negative memories, blockages, energies, and vibrations, and a transmutation of all these unwanted energies into pure light.”

Again, remember your words of judgment and the strongest emotion you felt when you made the judgment of the other person. Was it superiority? Disgust? Nausea? Revulsion? Shame? Anger? Fear?

Let yourself feel the emotion. Welcome it, notice where in your body you feel it, and let the emotion grow. It may be unpleasant, but allow it to be there in your body and your field of consciousness without attempting to censor or repress a thing. Know that you are enduring this for the sake not only of yourself, but for All-That-Is. 

Let the energy of this emotion reach its peak intensity and then begin to subside. Welcome it with an open heart, knowing that it is a separated part of All-That-Is and only seems unpleasant because it has been isolated and rejected from the Whole. Released into the context of the Whole, it can take its rightful place, contributing to the balance of the Universe. . . .

You may feel resistance to the unpleasant thoughts and emotions that come up, in the form of nausea, disgust, resentment, fear, anger, bodily pain, and so on. If this happens, welcome the resistances and endure them, even if your body responds with pain, shaking, retching, vomiting, cold sweats, or feelings of weakness. Accept everything that happens. It won’t last long, and you are doing heroic work. . . . .

When the energy of that strongest emotion subsides, you may notice another emotion arising to take its place. Emotions seem to come in stacks, for example, your strongest emotion may have been anger. When the energy of the anger dissipates, you may feel sadness — or vice versa, your first emotion may be sadness, and when it passes off, anger may take its place. 

Memories of previous upsets and injuries may also arise, opening the door for older emotions you felt at those times to come forth. Process these older emotions in the same way. . . .

Welcome each new emotion, notice where in your body you feel it, and let it grow and expand. It may be unpleasant, but allow it to be there in your body and your field of consciousness without attempting to censor or repress a thing. Know that you are enduring this for the sake not only of yourself, but for All-That-Is. Let the energy of the emotion reach its peak intensity and then begin to subside. . . . 

Keep working, allowing the energies of all these “negative memories, blockages, energies, and vibrations” to flood your consciousness and take over your body until they reach a peak and move on.

Stop this recording as necessary to fully process the emotions.

When there are no more negative energies to be processed, you should notice feelings of peace, love, spaciousness, relief, comfort, happiness, sacredness, or a feeling that all is right with the world — always has been and always will be. 

At this point, say, “It is done.” 

Now feel and say, “I love you,” directing the love to the person you judged, the whole Cosmos, and most of all, to yourself.

Rest for a moment, basking in this love. . . .

When you’re ready, open your eyes.

Thank you for your generosity, your altruism and persistence in completing this process. The whole Universe thanks you.

Practice this as often as you can until it becomes second nature, so familiar that all you have to do is say, “Thank you, I’m sorry, forgive me, I love you.”

P.S.  I have found this guided mediation by Dr. Hew Len useful:



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Len, Dr. Hew, “Inner Child Meditation,” 2015,, accessed May 21, 2019.


Johns Hopkins, “Forgiveness, Your Health Depends On it, Health,, accessed April 2, 2019.

Vitale, Joe and Len, Ihaleakala Hew, Zero Limits: The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace, and More, Wiley, 2008.

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