Student Project: Ho'oponopono—
To Change the World—
First Change Yourself

Instructor: Steve Caringella
Multimedia in the Classroom
Foothill College Krause Center
Saturday, December 6, 2014, 9 am-3 pm

By Peter Y. Chou

Preface: On Saturday, December 6, 2014, I took a KCI class taught by Steve Caringella "Multimedia in the Classroom" at Foothill College Krause Center of Innovation (9 am-3 pm). There were 17 students in the class, most K-12 teachers. Overview: Explore pedagogy and online multimedia tools for educators who want to use multimedia production for student-centered learning. Objectives: Learn several multimedia tools for teachers and students, and incorporate them into a student-centered multimedia project. Steve led us through three tools: Blendspace, Google Draw, and WeVideo. Earlier, Steve mentioned a Students' Multimedia Project on "How to Change the World". After reading about Ho'oponopono recently, I felt this ancient Hawaiian practice of healing may stir students' fresh thinking on changing the world.

Reading about Ho'oponopono and Listening to Dr. Hew Len's Interview

Joe Vitale: "World's Most Unusual Therapist"
Common Grounds, July/August 2014, pp. 42-43

Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len Interview
by Ruth Montgomery (1-13-2013)

"Ho'oponopono" Poem
by Peter Y. Chou (12-4-2014)

Joe Vitale, "World's Most Unusual Therapist" (Common Grounds, July/August 2014):
Dr. Len explained that total responsibility for your life means that everything in your life— simply becaue it is in your life— is your responsibilty. In a literal sense the entire world is your creation... Yet the truth is this: if you take complete responsibility for your life, then everything you see, hear, taste, touch, or in any way experience is your responsibility because it is your life. This means that terroist activity, the president, the economy— anything you experience and don't like— is up for you to heal. They don't exist, in a manner of speaking, except a projections from inside you. The problem isn't with them, it's with you, and to change them, you have to change you.... If you want to improve your life, you have to heal your life. If you want to cure anyone— even a mentally ill criminal— you do it by healing you... and as you improve yourself, you improve our world.
Rita Montgomery, "Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len Interview" (1-13-2013):
Cites Shakespeare's Sonnet 146. What is going on in me to experience these criminally insane at Hawaii State Hospital? Go into my subconscious to erase negative data in me. Your enemy is anger, hatred, resentment, that needs to be erased. Buddha's "void" and Shakespeare's "blank" is clear of negative data in you. Before I came here, I cleaned this address, the camera, so I am peaceful for this interview. The purpose of Ho'oponopono cleaning is to free up the databank, of letting go. Dr. Len was humble saying "I didn't heal the criminally insane. I only took care of me." The universe is not interested in saving anybody. When asked if he has encountered angelic beings, Len replied "Blueberries". What's the most important question to ask? Len replied "Who Am I?" (Note: Ramana Maharshi recommended this self-inquiry mantra to students to be enlightened.)
Peter Y. Chou, "Ho'oponopono" poem (12-4-2014):
As the dream world was made by the dreamer,
so is the waking world created by the waker,
for everything experienced in life is you.

Additional Sources of Dr. Hew Len's Healing at Hawaii State Hospital (1983-1987)

Cured Insane (1983-1987)
By Saul Maraney

Hawaii State Hospital
45-710 Keaahala Rd, Kaneohe, HI 96744

Ho'oponopono Prayer
Jillian Jones (12-21-2013)

Healing with Ho'oponopono
By Rosario Montenegro

Saul Maraney, "Interview with Dr. Hew Len" (2008):
Ho'oponopono is an appeal to The Divinity to cancel the memories that replay as problems. And as Dr. Hew Len would move through the ward, he would ask himself: "What is going on in me that I am experiencing these problems?" Dr. Hew Len would continuously clean the memories in his sub-conscious mind that would come up as he want through each patient's file, looking within himself at what came up, and what he needed to let go of. Knowing that all memories are shared, Dr. Hew Len worked on whatever was going on in him that he experienced as the criminals being the way they were. As Dr. Hew Len asked Divinity to erase those memories, he got clear, the patients got better, and over four years that he was at the hospital, many patients went home, and eventually the ward was shut down.
Jillian Jones, "Christmas Ho'oponopono" (12-21-2013):
Dr. Hew Len never met the inmates, he simply asked for their files and in looking through their files he would energetically tap into the inmate and become aware of a feeling or emotions that arose and then he would say the Ho'oponopono prayer: "I'm sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you." He held the belief that we are all one and that the world around us, as we are perceiving it (given others often perceive what seems to be the same event so different from the way we do) is our creation and our responsibility. So, what he perceived in the inmates was really just an aspect of himself that was coming to his awareness to be healed. In healing that aspect of himself he healed the situation.
Rosario Montenegro, "How Dr. Hew Len healed a ward of mentally ill criminals with Ho'oponopono" (3-27-2011):
Dr. Hew Len didn't do anything to the patients. Not a thing to them nor with them, except looking at their files. He only tried to heal himself, applying an old, traditional community problem-solving system from Hawaii, called Ho'oponopono, adapted to individuals by his Teacher, the late Hawaiian sage Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona. And what was he doing to himself? In his own words: "I was simply healing the part of me that created them". Ho'oponopono is based on the knowledge that anything that happens to you or that you perceive, the entire world where you live is your own creation and thus, it is entirely your responsibility. 100%, no exceptions.

Rainer Maria Rilke's "Archaic Torso of Apollo"— "You must change your life."

Rainer Maria Rilke

Apollo Belvedere (c. 350 BC)
Goethe's View (1786-1787)

Torso of Apollo (c. 480 BC)
Louvre Museum, Paris
Rilke's 1st letter to 19-year-old Franz Kappus,
Paris, February 17, 1903

"I can't give you any advice but this: to go into yourself and see how deep the place is from which your life flows; at its source you will find the answer to the question of whether you must create. Accept that answer, just as it is given to you, without trying to interpret it. Perhaps you will discover that you are called to be an artist. Then take that destiny upon yourself, and bear it, its burden and its greatness, without ever asking what reward might come from outside. For the creator must be a world for himself and must find everything in himself and in Nature, to whom his whole life is devoted."

Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet (1903)
for Robert Pinsky's Poetry Anthology (2007)

Rilke's Archaic Torso of Apollo

We cannot know his legendary head
with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso
is still suffused with brilliance from inside,
like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low,

gleams in all its power. Otherwise
the curved breast could not dazzle you so, nor could
a smile run through the placid hips and thighs
to that dark center where procreation flared.

Otherwise this stone would seem defaced
beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders
and would not glisten like a wild beast's fur:

would not, from all the borders of itself,
burst like a star: for here there is no place
that does not see you. You must change your life.

from New Poems (1907), Stephen Mitchell translation;
translation by composer/photographer/poet Cliff Crego

Further illumination on Rilke's "Archaic Torso of Apollo"—
(1) "Archaic Torso of Apollo"
(By Elliot Albért,, 9-27-2009)
Reading the German of Peter Sloterdijk's book You Must Change Your Life: On Human Engineering (2014), inspired by Rilke's poem.
(2) "Learning from Rilke, Part 2: "Archaic Torso of Apollo"
(By Zack Rogow,, 5-4-2012)
Rilke begins by telling us we can't see the statue's eyes, but then reverses direction by saying the torso can see us, with its nipples like eyes and its pelvis curving upward in a knowing smile. The poem continually picks up momentum as it displays the miracle of a headless body that looks at us, smiles at us, even pierces us with its invisible glance. The poem tells us that art strips us bare, throws light on the deepest caverns of our souls, and only when we accept that, are we ready to change our lives and begin the trek of our destiny.
(3) "Rilke s Archaic Torso of Apollo: Encounter with a work of art"
(By Bernd Jager, Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, Spring 2004)
"A work of art is born every time a generous host creates a hospitable place and bids his guest, his readers, his viewers or his audience, to cross the threshold and to participate in a conversation. The work of art will last as long as there are guests who will gather under its roof and as long as the desire remains alive to continue the conversation among neighbors and across the generations. It is in this way that the work of a sculptor, poet, painter or thinker forever celebrates and repeats the gesture through which a human world came into being. That gesture transformed a merely natural world into a place of habitation and a merely creaturely living alongside each other into a gift exchange and a neighborly conversation"
Discussion: Rilke's imperative "You must change your life" at the end of his poem "Archaic Torso of Apollo" is revolutionary. We're not just changing our lifestyle from being an introvert to extrovert, from couch potato to exercise enthusiast, from meat eater to vegan, from heavy drinker to non-alcholic, from unemployed to getting a job. Because Apollo is the Sun God and God of Poetry, we're asked to change our life from finite and temporal ego self to infinite and eternal Cosmic Self of awakened vision. In short, finding our "Buddha Nature" (Nirvana) or "Christ Consciousness" (Heaven). Rilke himself had such an epiphany when Rodin told him to go to the Paris Zoo to cure his writer's block. "What should I do there?" the young 27 year-old poet asked the 62 year-old master. "Just look" Rodin tells Rilke, "until you capture the essence of the animal." This kind of "in-seeing" produced "The Panther" (1902) and other poems where Rilke captured an animal's essence by becoming it ("First Poem in Paris" & Notes on Rilke & Rodin).

Ancient Sages on Bringing Peace to the World

Buddha (563 BC-483 BC)

Confucius (551 BC-479 BC)
The Great Learning (500 BC)

Lao Tzu (604 BC-517 BC)
Tao Te Ching

Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD)
Meditations (167 AD)

Buddha: Dhammapada (circa 240 B.C.)
(translated from the Pali by Sangharakshita, 2001)

Tranquil is the thought, tranquil the word and deed
of that supremely tranquil person who is
emancipated through Perfect Knowledge.

He who is tranquil in body, tranquil in speech,
tranquil in mind, who is well integrated,
and who is unattached to worldly things—
such a person is said to be at peace.

He is a sage who has abandoned violence towards
living beings, be they moving or stationary,
and who neither slays nor causes others to slay.

Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching (circa 500 B.C.)
(translated by Peter Y. Chou, 1988)

I do my best to attain emptiness
and keep my mind in stillness.
The ten thousand things arise
and I watch their return.
The myriad creatures flourish
but each returns to its root.
Returning to the root is called stillness.
This is returning to one's destiny.
Returning to destiny is called the Tao.
Knowing the eternal is called enlightenment.
Not knowing the eternal leads to disaster.
Knowing the eternal, one is all-embracing.
Being all-embracing, one is impartial.
Being impartial, one becomes kingly.
Being kingly, one is at home in heaven.
Being in heaven, one is at one with the Tao.
Being at one with the Tao, one is everlasting
Even when you lose the body, you will not die.

Marcus Aurelius: Meditations (167 A.D.)
(translated by George Long, 2001)
Book II.1
Begin the morning by saying to thyself, I shall meet with the busy-body, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. All these things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good and evil. But I who have seen the nature of the good that it is beautiful, and of the bad that it is ugly, and the nature of him who does wrong, that it is akin to me, not only of the same blood or seed, but that it participates in the same intelligence and the same portion of the divinity, I can neither be injured by any of them, for no one can fix on me what is ugly, nor can I be angry with my kinsman, nor hate him, For we are made for co-operation, like feet, hands, eyelids, and the rows of the upper and lower teeth. To act against one another is contrary to nature; and it is acting against one another to be vexed and to turn away.
Confucius: The Great Learning (circa 500 B.C.)

What the Great Learning teaches is to show illustrious virtue,
to educate the people, and to strive for the highest excellence.

Once the point of rest is known, its pursuit may be determined,
once the goal is set, a calm tranquillity may be attained to.
To that calmness there will follow a tranquil repose.
In that repose there may be careful meditation,
and that meditation leads to the desired end.

Things have their root and branches.
Affairs have their beginning and end.
To know what is first & last will lead
one near to the Great Learning.

The ancients who wished to show illustrious virtue
in the kingdom, first ordered well their own states.
Wishing to order well their states,
they first regulated their families.
Wishing to regulate their families,
they first cultivated themselves.
Wishing to cultivate themselves,
they first purified their hearts.
Wishing to purify their hearts,
they became sincere in their thoughts.
Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts,
they first extended to the utmost their knowledge.
Such extension of knowledge, lay in the investigation of things.

Things being investigated, knowledge became complete.
Their knowledge being complete, their thoughts were sincere.
Their thoughts being sincere, their hearts were then purified.
Their hearts being purified, their persons were cultivated.
Their persons being cultivated, their families were regulated.
Their families being regulated, their states were well governed.
Their states being well governed, the whole kingdom became peaceful.

What is truly within will be manifested without.

The Great Learning, 1-5, VI.2
(James Legge translation revised by PYC)


While there are no stirrings of pleasure, anger, sorrow, or joy,
the mind may be said to be in the state of peaceful rest.
When those feelings have been stirred, they begin to act,
and there ensues what may be called the state of harmony.
This peaceful rest is the great root from which grow all
the human actions in the world, and this harmony is the
universal path which they should all pursue.

Let the states of peaceful rest and harmony exist in perfection,
and a happy order will prevail throughout heaven and earth,
and all things will be nourished and flourish.

The Doctrine of the Mean, I.4-5
(James Legge translation revised by PYC)

Inspirational Insights from Goethe, Beethoven, Thoreau, Einstein

Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
Germany 10NB7 (issued 7-20-1949)
"Winter Journey in the Harz" (1777)

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Monaco 777 (issued 12-15-1970)
Beethoven's Religious Beliefs

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
1854 Portrait by Samuel W. Rowse "Higher Laws" from Walden (1854)

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
U.S. 1285 (issued March 14, 1996)
"A Man of Value" (1955)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
I was introduced to Goethe via Albert Schweitzer's writings during my freshman year at Columbia. Since then, Goethe is one of my spiritual mentors. He was not only a great poet and dramatist, but a scientist as well. In his Goethe Address at Frankfurt (August 28, 1928), Schweitzer tells on reading Goethe's Harzreise, impressed that Goethe "whom we regard as an Olympian should have set out in the midst of the rains and mist of November 1777 to visit a preacher's son who was plunged in deep spiritual distress, in order to bring him some spiritual assistance." Whenever Schweitzer encountered some person who needed help, he'd say to himself, "That's is your Harzreise". Schweitzer opened his hospital in Gabon, Africa, and worked there for nearly 50 years. Just as Schweitzer was inspired by Goethe to accomplish great deeds (1952 Nobel Peace Prize), Goethe had his epiphany in Rome after seeing Michelangelo's Sistine Ceiling (8-23-1787), and vowed to accomplish something. Forty-five years later, he would finish Faust, Part 2, ending with Chorus Mysticus singing "Eternal Feminine lead us above". This echoed Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching & Dante when Beatrice (intuition & insight) guided him to Paradise.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Radio KDFC 104.9 FM polls their classical music listeners on their favorite composers & music each year. Beethoven & Symphony 9: Ode to Joy have topped the list for years. I had much joy writing the poem "Beethoven's Fifth Symphony" and Notes that the most famous four notes in music: Beethoven's 5thdun-dun-dun-Dun! is a wake up call to Cosmic Consciousness of Enlightenment. Beethoven had quotes from Hindu scriptures written in capital letters "I AM ALL THAT IS, THAT WAS, THAT WILL BE; NO MORTAL MAN HAS EVER LIFTED MY VEIL." on the wall where he composed. (Beethoven's Eroic Symphony #3)
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
Thoreau refused to pay poll taxes because of his opposition to the Mexican-American War and slavery. He spent a night in jail because of this refusal. His Civil Disobedience (1849) inspired Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. to peaceful non-violence as an act of protest. After John Brown's raid at Harpers Ferry, Thoreau gave a speech A Plea for Captain John Brown (1859) in favor of the abolitionist movement when others remained silent. These actions showed that Thoreau was no mere dreamer and loner in the woods, but actively engaged in political issues of his times. I've shared insights from Thoreau's Journals and Emerson & Thoreau: A Beautiful Friendship on the web.
Walden Chapter 11: "Higher Laws" (1854)
"If I knew so wise a man as could teach me purity I would go to seek him forthwith. "A command over our passions, and over the external senses of the body, and good acts, are declared by the Ved to be indispensable in the mind's approximation to God." Chastity is the flowering of man; and what are called Genius, Heroism, Holiness, and the like, are but various fruits which succeed it.
Man flows at once to God when the channel of purity is open."

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

"Try not to become a man of success,
but rather try to become a man of value.
He is considered successful in our day
who gets more out of life than he puts in.
But a man of value will give more than he receives."

(This was Einstein's reply to a father's request for advice to his son who was going to enter Harvard during their visit to Einstein's Princeton home. — reported in Life, May 2, 1955) More Quotes

Cellist Pablo Casals on joy in the world

Joys and Sorrows (1974)
by Pablo Casals (Online)

Pablo Casals (1876-1973)
Spanish Catalan cellist and conductor

Pablo Casals Playing at White House
November 13, 1961 (Recording)

In Spring 2009, I audited Prof. Jean-Pierre Dupuy's seminar "The Problem of Evil in Literature, Film, and Philosophy" at Stanford. After his class #8, he was generous to give me his 65-slides presentation downloaded to my USB. Professor Dupuy did not show slide #21 in class. I wish he did to counteract all the readings, slides and films shown about evil this semester. I imagine these were photos he took when visiting Monument Valley where John Ford and Anthony Mann shot many of the panoramic scenes of their Western films. While watching some of these Westerns where evil bandits go on their rampage of shooting innocents, one is amazed at human violence amidst the grandeur and beauty of Mother Nature silent and eloquent in her majesty. The stark contrast of these opposites make one wonder about why there is so much evil in this world. Perhaps this world is a mirror of our mind. With all the news media focusing on evil and corruption, our mind becomes polluted likewise. If we focus more on beauty in nature and art, perhaps our mind experience more of goodness and benevolence. The cellist Pablo Casals (1876-1973) wrote: "For the past eighty years I have started each day in the same manner. It is not a mechanical routine but something essential to my daily life. I go to the piano and I play two preludes and fugues of Bach. I cannot think of doing otherwise. It is a sort of benediction on the house. But that is not the only meaning it has for me. It is a rediscovery of the world of which I have the joy of being a part. It fills me with an awareness of the wonder of life, with a feeling of the incredible marvel of being a human being... I do not think that a day has passed in my life in which I have failed to look with fresh amazement at the miracle of nature." When Casals at age 93 was asked why he continued to practice the cello three hours a day, he replied "I'm beginning to notice some improvement." No wonder Pablo Casals was so wonderful in his craft of music. Both Michelangelo and Renoir said on their deathbed "I'm learning to paint." Beautiful minds such as these tell us that evil is but an illusion, and that the only essence is goodness. A search in Google Images for "Beauty of Nature" (without quotes) shows 71,600,000 images of scenic shots of Nature that are awe-inspiring. When we immerse our mind in the beauty of nature and art, goodness beckons us at every turn and we find heaven on earth.

— Peter Y. Chou,, December 10, 2014

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