Thoughts And Practices For Enlightened Living 8

Asking For Forgiveness

Part 8. Forgiveness for the Soul contd.

From last week: The cheerful smiling Dr. Iheakala Hewlen did not resign like his predecessors from the Hawaii state hospital. In fact, against all odds, his criminally insane patients became better and better! How did he do it?

The doctors and nurses watched him closely. He was a strange one, that doctor ….they thought. They noted two things: A) he continued being his smiling, cheerful self. How could he continue being that way? Did he not realize he was in charge of the worst of the worst wards? Was he a little ‘mad’ himself? B) He never even saw the patients. He did not even visit them in their rooms, not so much as put a stethoscope to their chests. All he did was to sit in his office, pick up a patient’s file, look at it for a while, and put it down. Then he would pick up the next patient’s file, look at it for a while, and put it down. He did this for the next patient, and the next, and the next, always picking up the file, looking at it, and putting it back … until the whole pile of patients’ files was done.

To the astonishment of the other doctors and nurses, as the days passed, the mentally insane patients, who everybody had given up on, started to get better and better. Violent situations reduced. The patients started to act more responsibly. The need for shackles and locked rooms decreased, until they were no longer needed. The quality of life improved for the inmates as well as the staff. The patients improved so much that they were ready for release from the ward. One by one, they left the hospital. Any new patients were treated by Dr. Hewlen in the same manner, and they too did not spend too much time in this special ward.

Dr. Hewlen continued working in this ward till 1987. By this time, because fewer and fewer patients were sent to him, this special ‘criminally insane’ ward had to be closed down.

What did Dr. Ihaleakala do that healed the patients? How did this miracle come about? More to the point, you might think, what does this article have to do with asking for forgiveness? You might even secretly wonder if perhaps Kamal Tolia has lost her mind? Well, I haven’t, as you will read in the next few weeks! 

Next week: Forgiveness for the Soul contd.

Kamal Tolia

Founder Member, LHSG

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Thoughts And Practices For Enlightened Living 7

Asking For Forgiveness

Part 7. Forgiveness for the Soul

About 30 years ago, in Hawaii, the state hospital had a high security ward. Here the patients were criminally insane. They had committed crimes like murder, rape, assault, molestations. They were detained in the ward because they were certified mentally ill with disorders like bipolar, schizophrenia, manic – depressive, etc. Or they were in the ward because their level of sanity had to be established before trial. In either case, they exhibited ‘mad’ behavior…..they were very aggressive towards the doctors, nurses and other hospital staff.

Each day, there were even reports of inmates attacking each other!

The situation was so bad, that the hospital staff had no choice but to keep them secluded even from each other. Strict measures had to be put in place to ensure their own safety and that of the staff. They had to be locked in their rooms so that they could not harm others. In the very worst of cases, sadly, the patients had to be shackled to their beds limiting their freedom completely!

Of course this sounds horrible! How can you treat sick people like animals?! But the truth of the matter was that these patients were so violent that the staff were even afraid to go to this special ward. They felt threatened. Many a doctor and nurse asked for immediate transfers when assigned to this mental ward.

And if the transfer did not come through, they asked for sick leave. And if even that was not granted, they simply resigned. Such was the fear attached to this section of the Hawaii State Hospital.

Enter Dr. Ihaleakala Hewlen. This doctor was assigned to this frightful ward in 1983. Dr. Hewlen was a very cheerful man. He went about his work, never losing his cool.

The staff watched the ever smiling Dr Hewlen … and mentally gave him a few weeks at most before his cheerfulness would be replaced by moroseness. Oh, they were sure that it would only be a matter of a few weeks, at the most a couple of months before the doctor would throw up his hands in despair and resign. History, they were sure would repeat itself as it had been doing all along …


To know more, read on next week ……

Next week: Forgiveness Forgiveness for the Soul contd …

Kamal Tolia

Founder Member LHSG

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Thoughts And Practices For Enlightened Living 10

Asking For Forgiveness

Part 10. Forgiveness for the Soul contd.

Modern Ho’opono pono was started in 1976 by the late Kahuna (priest) Morrnah Simeone. Being a Christian, Simeone was influenced by Christain education but she was also well versed in the philosophy of Karma and re incarnation.

Morrnah extended Ho’ opono pono to include Karma. That to me is no surprise. After all, what is happening to you right now is a result of your karma, isn’t it? Modern Ho’oponopono proposes that past misconducts and unpleasant situations remain in our memories as karmic baggage which we carry from one lifetime to another. These keep replaying in our life as unpleasant situations. They are begging to be resolved! And until we resolve them, our soul cannot evolve. Our soul agenda will not let us be … it will continue drawing the same situations, circumstances and events in our life, until we learn the lessons! So since we are responsible for what is going on in our lives, it stands to reason that we are also responsible for setting things right … to make amends etc.

Take for example poor relationships. These are dramas replaying from our past lives, begging to be addressed. Mother in law issues? Daughter in law issues? Father –child issues, extended family issues? Husband – wife issues? Friendship issues? …. All are none other than a past life memory replaying itself like a broken record. In each and every case, Forgiving was not done, and Asking for forgiveness was not done ….. We did not do that in the past … how about we remedy the wrong by starting the process now?!! We do this by practicing Ho’oponopono now!

The original Ho’ opono pono was an interpersonal exercise, i.e. it involved more than one person. Morrnah Simeone modernized it to suit our present day thinking and understanding. She modified it so that you do not need the other person to carry out Ho’ opono pono. You only need to direct it to yourself. Through her, it has become a process involving you and you alone! It is a problem – solving process, which includes repentance, asking for forgiveness and transmutation.

Practicing Ho’oponopono will give you much peace in your conscious, sub conscious and super conscious (spiritual) mind. Inside peace will automatically bring outside peace in your immediate environment and after a period of time to your far environment i.e. peace in the world. Quite naturally, healing will follow.

Next week: Practicing Ho’oponopono

Kamal Tolia

Founder Member, LHSG

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Thoughts And Practices For enlightened Living

Asking For Forgiveness … Part 6. Special Cases and Situations contd…

  1. What if the mistake you made has been done in the past, say, a few years ago and life has continued as normal. Perhaps the other party does not even remember the incident. But you have introspected and realized you were hurtful. Or maybe you have just experienced how it feels to be hurt by another in a similar situation i.e the shoe is on the other foot. You now want to make amends. What do you do then? You can face the person/s and actually go through all the steps. But you know and I know, that this may not always be such a good idea. It may turn out beautifully well, or …. Horror of horrors! ….. it may backfire at you! The other person may not remember the situation normally, but when reminded of it, the old pain may resurface, and lead to more conflict! Then your whole exercise will have been in vain!

If you have the slightest doubt about the result, then do this: Just sit down quietly, introspect on your actions, understood where you were wrong, regret your actions, and then resolve not to repeat the action. AND THEN LET YOUR ACTIONS REFLECT THIS INNER RESOLVE — FROM NOW ON! 

  1. What if the person you have wronged is no longer part of your life e. he /she no longer shares the same space with you. Maybe they are staying far away in the same town ….. or even on another continent? If the relationship is strained, and you know you are responsible, even partly, swallow your pride, call up the person, and go through steps 1-5. Or if calling is not an option, do it in a letter. Few are the people who will not forgive on receiving a written apology!

But once again, if you think that even writing will open up a can of worms, simply go through the steps privately.

  1. Lastly, what if the person you have hurt is no longer alive? This is simple! Visualise the person, and just go through the steps in your mind. Then let the whole matter go. Let it go completely, from your mind. Will you be forgiven? YES! Our loved ones will ALWAYS forgive us even from ‘the other side’! 

This then is the principle of asking for forgiveness. In all cases, it is important that you wish to redress a wrong you have committed. Whether the other party forgives you or not is not in your hands. What is in your hands is that you have sincerely tried to apologise and change from inside.

Even God could not ask for more!

Next Week: Forgiveness For The Soul

Kamal Tolia

Founder Member


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