Ho‘oponopono and Zero Limits

Last week I finished reading Joe Vitale’s new book, Zero Limits: The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace, and More. It’s an exploration of the Hawaiian healing method know as Ho‘oponopono. (It’s easier to pronounce than it looks. Think of hooked on phonics and pronounce every syllable and you’ve got it!)

For me, Ho‘oponopono is the logical extension of the Law of Attraction. It takes the idea of self-responsibility, perhaps the key component to the successful application of the Law of Attraction, to its logical next level.

This is actually what attracted me to the Law of Attraction in the first place. I felt this level of self-responsibility was hidden just beneath the surface of the first Law of Attraction books I read including Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting: The Astonishing Power of Feelings” by Lynn Grabhorn and Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires” by Esther and Jerry Hicks. With just a bit of reading between the lines, I could sense the depth and the potential in the seemingly simple concepts these books were expressing.

Ho’oponopono makes this idea of taking full responsibility for everything explicit. You are responsible, not only for your own life, but for everything that comes into your life. How’s that for a zinger?

Now I will readily acknowledge that this concept is not going to appeal to everyone. And that’s fine. In fact, that’s actually exactly as it should be. There’s no need for everyone to embrace this rather radical personal growth idea.

But for those who do embrace it, I sense that the potential for rapid life changes is massive!

In a nutshell, Ho‘oponopono says that whatever comes into your life is your responsibility and that it is your job to “clean” it by cleaning what is inside of you.,

So if you find yourself engaged in a conversation with someone who is “negative” Ho‘oponopono says it is a reflection of some negativity in yourself and therefore you are responsibile for”cleaning’ yourself.

If you find yourself reading the newspaper and becoming angry about something happening on the other side of the world, again, Ho’oponopono says that it is your responsibility. And to change it, you change yourself.

I wonder if Gandhi had somehow managed to study Ho’oponopono before coming up with his often-quoted phrase, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world?”

Unlikely. But what is more likely, is that Gandhi understood, as all truly great leaders do, that the way you change your world is by changing yourself.

Hooponopono provides guidance for those interested in Being the Change and Changing The World!

Again, this concept is not for everyone. But even if you choose not to embrace the possibility that you are responsible for EVERYTHING that comes into your life, Ho‘oponopono is a truly powerful system that can transform every aspect of your life.

In the book, Zero Limits, Joe defines Ho‘oponopono as “To Make Right.” I love that.

But when I was on Kauai with my wife back in May, I happened to walk by the office door of a Ho‘oponopono practitioner. And on the door was this definition:

“To Make Right More Right.”

I love that even more!

Notice the statement doesn’t say “To make better.” When there is no judgment there is no “better.” There is only “more right”

To Make Right More Right makes it very clear that there is no wrong or bad. Whatever comes into our lives – perceptions, people, experiences, thoughts – all of it is right!

Our job is not to judge any of it or deny it or avoid it. Our job is to find what is already right, and make it more right.

All you can do is take what is already right and make it more right!

What is in your life right now that could be made “more right?” What will you do today, right now, to begin making it even more right?

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      15 Responses to “Ho‘oponopono and Zero Limits”

      1. Aaron Potts on August 20th, 2007 12:32 pm


        Thanks for the synopsis on ‘Zero Limits’. As I said in a comment on my blog last week, I haven’t actually had a chance to read it yet, although it is on my list.

        I’ve read and listened to a lot of content about Ho’oponopono over the last several months, and although it intrigues me greatly, I haven’t started practicing it full time.

        So, as the resident expert on the Law of Attraction in my circle of friends, let me ask you this in light of you having read ‘Zero Limits’.

        Do you plan to actively start practicing Ho’oponopono? If so, did ‘Zero Limits’ provide practical information on doing so, or did it do more to address the concepts behind Ho’oponopono? I’m really interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter!

        Thanks, Edward.

      2. Edward Mills on August 20th, 2007 1:00 pm

        Hi Aaron. Great questions. I have actively begun integrating the basic Ho’oponopono practice into my life: repeating the phrase “I love, I’m sorry, I forgive, thank you,” both as a general mantra-type phrase as well as in relation to specific life experiences that I feel need to be “cleaned.” (It seems to work really well when I’m out hiking or running in nature).

        I feel that the book presented the background, the general concepts and one or two specific tools, although there is most definitely a lot more to be learned.

        In an interesting coincidence (yeah right!) I just got a voicemail message from one of the participants in my upcoming 7-week life turnaround program. He just got back from a weekend with ĪHALEAKALÄ€ HEW LEN, Ph.D., Joe’s co-author. I’m very interested to hear what he has to say about it. (The workshop was a couple of hours away from here and if I had known about it, I definitely would have gone!)

        I will definitely be writing more about this as I explore the possibilities and experiment a bit more. I’ll keep you posted.

      3. Edward Mills on August 20th, 2007 1:17 pm

        One more really important piece from the book is about the shift from Intention to Inspiration. This is something I’ve been playing with for a long time in my own life. I’ve watched Wayne Dyer making the shift in his books. And now Joe Vitale explains how and why he is making that shift in Zero Limits.

        This piece alone is worth the price of the book and the time it takes to read it.

      4. Andrea Hess on August 21st, 2007 4:46 am

        Hi Edward,

        Thanks for this post – oddly enough, this is the second time ho’oponopono has popped up in my consciousness (I had never heard of it before) within the last 24 hours. I guess I need to buy this book!

        I completely resonate with this philosophy – we can’t claim responsibility for some things in our lives, but not others. We create all of it, and the external is a reflection of our internal world.

        Andrea Hess

      5. Steve on August 21st, 2007 7:05 am

        You hit it right on Edward,

        Being 100% responsible for creating everything in your life(and mine) is the ultimate power of creation.

        I didn’t always feel this way. I used to have waves of good things and bad things happen to me all the time. I didn’t think it was OK to have good things happening all the time. It made me feel uncomfortable.

        In the past, every time I ran into a lot of good luck(or high energy attraction) I would get this feeling that there was something bad about to happen next, and something bad always did. When the bad stuff used to come (accidents, loss of money, arguments with people, etc) I used to think well there has to be some good positive stuff coming next and the good stuff always came.

        That was at a time when I wasn’t prepared to take full responsibility for everything in my life. I didn’t realize that I have full authority to create everything in my life.


        Stephen Martile
        Personal Development with NLP

      6. Aaron Potts on August 21st, 2007 9:56 am


        Thank you so much for your synopsis and your opinion on the materials. Ho’oponopono is such a powerful concept, and I would really love to see it grow in use. It has already seen much more attention in the past 6 months, and I’m sure this is just the beginning.

        I haven’t heard anything yet about shifting from Intention to Inspiration, although instinctively I would think that “intention” carries with it the seed of feeling like you need to do something, while “inspiration” is something that you do because it feels good and it feels right to do it.

        Doing things that feel right has always led us humans down the right path, so I am all for teachings of that nature! 🙂

      7. Edward Mills on August 21st, 2007 10:34 am

        Andrea. I love when things like that happen. The Law of Attraction works when you pay attention and take action. Let me know what you think after you read the book!

        Steve. What an interesting personal observation. I think there are probably quite a few people who “aren’t comfortable” with good things happening all the time. It’s one of the reasons we’ve gotten so good at self-sabotage. But when you look at it from this new perspective – it’s all good – it starts to make sense.

      8. Edward Mills on August 21st, 2007 10:40 am

        Aaron. You’re very welcome. Yes, the Intention > Inspiration shift is big. Perhaps even bigger – for me – than the 100% responsibility piece. I’ve always had a hard time with intentions. They have seemed forced to me. If you’ve read David Hawkins book, Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior, you can think of Intention as Force and Inspiration as Power. That’s how I have come to view them.

      9. Carmen on August 21st, 2007 5:06 pm

        Thank you for your review. I discovered Ho’oponopono (or intentionally attracted it) about 1 month ago, while reading about ways to deal with negativity. Learning about Ho’oponopono shook me to my core at first (how dare it possible that I am responsible for all the stuff I have been blaming everyone else for?) but its truth would not leave me.

        So 3 weeks ago I decided “to make right” a long simmering anger I held toward several people for over a year. I kept repeating their name and saying “I love you, I am sorry, please forgive me, i forgive you”. The first time I tried it the person called me within 30 minutes. I tried it a second time a day later with another person who called me within 10 minutes of my repetitions. I had not spoken to either person in over 6 months and my only intention with the repetitions was to just let go of my anger and unforgiveness.

        I continue to integrate Ho’oponopono into my life to focus on healing myself. Sometimes I experience ego resistance to my efforts but to that ‘unhealed’ part of me I simply say, “I love you, I am sorry, I forgive you, thank you.”

      10. Edward Mills on August 22nd, 2007 8:19 am

        Wow, Carmen. Great stories and great use of Ho’oponopono! It’s amazing what can happen when we allow the negative stuff inside of us to release. Thanks!

      11. Alexandre Obame on October 9th, 2007 3:32 am

        Hi all !

        I’ve also read the book two weeks ago, and it produced even a huge impact on me, to the extend that I started practicing Ho’oponopono with some impressive success. I think, as Edward stated that it’s the logical extension of the law of attraction. However, I have a question about it. Why the focus only on problems ? Ho’oponopono is to make things right. It’s OK. But I think the authors should said a little bit about good things happening to us also; like “Making Right More Right” as someone read it, in order to attract more right in our life through the law of attraction. What If Ho’oponopono was combined with “Appreciation” and “Gratitude” for all the good around us for which we also have total responsibility ? Because I assume that every invention, achievement, success, wealthy and healthy condition around me, is my responsibility also…

        Alexandre Obame

      12. Tracey on January 9th, 2008 12:51 pm

        I also have read Zero Limits by Joe Vitale. I am a fan. So I have made the transition from law of attraction to ho’oponopono with him. I have been practicing for a month and my life has changed for the better.

        Since December, my hyper dog has calmed down (thanks to giving him blue solar water), my finances have steadily improved, my job has improved, and my relationships have improved.

        I think that just knowing the mantras of “I love you, I’m sorry, Please forgive me, thank you,” really is all you need to get started. That and accepting you are 100% responsible for everything in your life.

        Ho’oponopono is a wonderful tool and I feel blessed to be apart of it. I try to clean as often as I can. Every day is a miracle, it’s true that sometimes you have to look back on your life and than you notice how truly amazing it is.

        I love you!
        Happy cleaning!

      13. Edward Mills on January 9th, 2008 5:44 pm

        Alexandre: I apologize for not replying sooner. Your comment slipped by me. I think you’re right on: Ho’oponopono combined with gratitude and appreciate is a powerful combination. And while it was not a major focus of the group, I do think that Joe and Hew Len did address the topic of gratitude in relation to Ho’oponopono. Ultimately I think that this practice is about “Deep gratitude.” It is about becoming grateful for everything in your life, the good and the “bad.” And by appreciating it, you can heal it.

      14. Edward Mills on January 9th, 2008 5:48 pm

        Tracey. Thanks for sharing your story. It’s true that the mantra is a great place to start. And it definitely does work! But it’s that step into total self responsibility that can be difficult. It’s a work in progress and the cleaning definitely facilitates that process.

      15. Linda on March 18th, 2009 8:48 am

        Does anyone know where I can find a list of the books that are mentioned in Zero Limits? There were quite a few great ones and I’m wondering if there is a reference list somewhere?



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