|Ho'oponopono 16" x 20"|
The Ho'oponopono prayer is made up of four statements:
"I love you, I'm sorry, Please forgive me, Thank You."
While I paint, I often listen to a variety of interviews and speakers online. Over a brief period of time, I kept hearing the name Ho'oponopono in a number of the talks. So, of course, I had to find out what was this thing called Ho'oponopono. I learned about the remarkable healing work of Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len at a Hawaii State Hospital for the criminally insane. Dr. Hew Len had healed the patients without even meeting with them! I became engaged and wanted to find out more.
Ho'oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian spiritual healing process. The family or community would come together in prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, and forgiveness with the intention of healing one or more of its members. Since we are all connected, healing could be achieved through the forgiveness for and from all members of the family. In Hawaiian, Ho'oponopono means to correct, to make right.
In more recent years, the process has been culled down to four simple statements which can be recited independently, as a mantra to clear oneself and all others of any wrong thoughts and actions. In doing so, the individual becomes responsible for the whole.
I began a daily practice of silently chanting, "I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you." when I awoke and before I fell asleep. It was comforting and calming. I found myself reciting these words at other times... while driving in traffic, waiting on lines, or walking the dog. I loved the idea of a practice that could not only provide healing to me but others in our world.
This focus was bound to lead to a new painting. I filled the prepared strips of rough and ragged canvas cloth with repetitions of the Ho'oponopono mantra and used the sewing machine to sew lines of thread between the columns of text. I left the untrimmed threads at both ends to dangle at the top and bottom of the cloth pieces. The background is textured with strings pulled from the canvas cloth, along with some sand, before covered by a layer of paper and then painted.
The design for the canvas strips was influenced by an image I found online. The photo had remnants of The Gandharan Scroll, written on birch bark. The collection of these ancient Gandharan scrolls are considered the oldest Buddhist texts discovered.
For more information about the ancient Kingdom of Gandhara, click here.