The World’s Most Unusual Therapist

Two years ago, I heard about a therapist in Hawaii who cured a complete ward of criminally insane patients—without ever seeing any of them. The psychologist would study an inmate’s chart and then look within himself to see how he created that person’s illness. As he improved himself, the patient improved.

When I first heard this story, I thought it was an urban legend. How could anyone heal anyone else by healing himself? How could even the best self-improvement master cure the criminally insane?

It didn’t make any sense. It wasn’t logical, so I dismissed the story.

However, I heard it again a year later. I heard that the therapist had used a Hawaiian healing process called ho ‘oponopono. I had never heard of it, yet I couldn’t let it leave my mind. If the story was at all true, I had to know more.

I had always understood ‘total responsibility’ to mean that I am responsible for what I think and do. Beyond that, it’s out of my hands. I think that most people think of total responsibility that way. We’re responsible for what we do, not what anyone else does. The Hawaiian therapist who healed those mentally ill people would teach me an advanced new perspective about total responsibility.

His name is Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len. We probably spent an hour talking on our first phone call. I asked him to tell me the complete story of his work as a therapist. He explained that he worked at Hawaii State Hospital for four years. That ward where they kept the criminally insane was dangerous. Psychologists quit on a monthly basis. The staff called in sick a lot or simply quit. People would walk through that ward with their backs against the wall, afraid of being attacked by patients. It was not a pleasant place to live, work, or visit.

Dr. Len told me that he never saw patients. He agreed to have an office and to review their files. While he looked at those files, he would work on himself. As he worked on himself, patients began to heal.

‘After a few months, patients that had to be shackled were being allowed to walk freely,’ he told me. ‘Others who had to be heavily medicated were getting off their medications. And those who had no chance of ever being released were being freed.’

I was in awe.

‘Not only that,’ he went on, ‘but the staff began to enjoy coming to work. Absenteeism and turnover disappeared. We ended up with more staff than we needed because patients were being released, and all the staff was showing up to work. Today, that ward is closed.’

This is where I had to ask the million dollar question: ‘What were you doing within yourself that caused those people to change?’

‘I was simply healing the part of me that created them,’ he said.

I didn’t understand.

Dr. Len explained that total responsibility for your life means that everything in your life – simply because it is in your life—is your responsibility. In a literal sense the entire world is your creation.

Whew. This is tough to swallow. Being responsible for what I say or do is one thing. Being responsible for what everyone in my life says or does is quite another. 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 in your life.

This means that terrorist 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 as projections from inside you. The problem isn’t with them, it’s with you, and to change them, you have to change you.

I know this is tough to grasp, let alone accept or actually live. Blame is far easier than total responsibility, but as I spoke with Dr. Len, I began to realize that healing for him and in ho ‘oponopono means loving yourself. 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.

I asked Dr. Len how he went about healing himself. What was he doing, exactly, when he looked at those patients’ files?

‘I just kept saying, ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I love you’ over and over again,’ he explained.

That’s it?

That’s it.

Turns out that loving yourself is the greatest way to improve yourself, and as you improve yourself, you improve your world. Let me give you a quick example of how this works: one day, someone sent me an email that upset me. In the past I would have handled it by working on my emotional hot buttons or by trying to reason with the person who sent the nasty message. This time, I decided to try Dr. Len’s method. I kept silently saying, ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I love you,’ I didn’t say it to anyone in particular. I was simply evoking the spirit of love to heal within me what was creating the outer circumstance.

Within an hour I got an e-mail from the same person. He apologized for his previous message. Keep in mind that I didn’t take any outward action to get that apology. I didn’t even write him back. Yet, by saying ‘I love you,’ I somehow healed within me what was creating him.

I later attended a ho ‘oponopono workshop run by Dr. Len. He’s now 70 years old, considered a grandfatherly shaman, and is somewhat reclusive. He praised my book, The Attractor Factor. He told me that as I improve myself, my book’s vibration will raise, and everyone will feel it when they read it. In short, as I improve, my readers will improve.

‘What about the books that are already sold and out there?’ I asked.

‘They aren’t out there,’ he explained, once again blowing my mind with his mystic wisdom. ‘They are still in you.’

In short, there is no out there.

It would take a whole book to explain this advanced technique with the depth it deserves. Suffice it to say that whenever you want to improve anything in your life, there’s only one place to look: inside you.

‘When you look, do it with love.’

This article is from the forthcoming book ‘Zero Limits’ by Dr. Joe Vitale and Dr. Len

Copyright © 2005 by Joe Vitale. All rights reserved.

I Am There

Do you need me? I am there. You cannot see me, yet I am the light you see by. You cannot hear me, yet I speak through your voice. You cannot feel me, yet I am the power at work in your hands. I am at work, though you do not understand My ways. I am at work, though you do not recognize my works. I am not strange visions. I am not mysteries. Only in absolute stillness, beyond self, can you know me as I am, and then but as a feeling and a faith. Yet I am there. Yet I hear. Yet I answer. When you need me , I am there. Even if you deny Me, I am there. Even when you feel most along, I am there. Even in your fears, I am there. Even in your pain, I am there. I am there when you pray and when you do not pray. I am in you and you are in Me. Only in your mind can you feel separate from Me, for only in your mind are the mists of ‘yours’ and ‘mine.’Yet only with your mind can you know Me and experience Me. Empty your heart of empty fears.

When you get yourself out of the way, I am there. You can of yourself do nothing, but I can do it all. And I am in all. Though you may not see the good, good is there, for I am there. I am there because I have to be, because I am. Only in Me does the world have meaning; only out of Me does the world take form; only because of Me does the world go forward. I am the law on which the movement of the stars and the growth of living cells are founded.

I am the love that is the law’s fulfilling. I am assurance. I am peace. I am oneness. I am the law that you can live by. I am the love that you can cling to. I am your assurance. I am your peace. I am one with you. I am. Though you fail to find me, I do not fail you. Though your faith in Me is unsure, My faith in you never wavers, because I know you, because I love you. Beloved I am there.

James Dillet Freeman

(A copy of ‘I Am There’ is now on the moon… carried there on the Apollo XV voyage by Astronaut James B. Irwin, and left on the moon for future space voyagers.)

The Rules for Being Human

1) YOU WILL RECEIVE A BODY.
YOU WILL LIKE IT OR HATE IT, BUT IT WILL BE YOURS FOR THE ENTIRE PERIOD OF THIS TIME AROUND.

2) YOU WILL LEARN LESSONS.
YOU ARE ENROLLED IN A FULL-TIME INFORMAL SCHOOL CALLED LIFE. EACH DAY IN THIS SCHOOL YOU WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN LESSONS. YOU MAY LIKE THE LESSONS OR THINK THEM IRRELEVANT AND STUPID.

3) THERE ARE NO MISTAKES, ONLY LESSONS.
GROWTH IS A PROCESS OF TRIAL AND ERROR; EXPERIMENTATION. THE ‘FAILED’ EXPERIMENTS ARE AS MUCH A PART OF THE PROCESS AS THE EXPERIMENT THAT ULTIMATELY ‘WORKS’.

4) A LESSON IS REPEATED UNTIL LEARNED.
A LESSON WILL BE PRESENTED TO YOU IN VARIOUS FORMS UNTIL YOU HAVE LEARNED IT. WHEN YOU HAVE LEARNED IT, YOU CAN THEN GO ON TO THE NEXT LESSON.

5) LEARNING DOES NOT END.
THERE IS NO PART OF LIFE THAT DOES NOT CONTAIN ITS LESSONS. IF YOU ARE ALIVE, THERE ARE LESSONS TO BE LEARNED.

6) ‘THERE’ IS NO BETTER THAN ‘HERE’.
WHEN YOU’RE ‘THERE’ HAS BECOME ‘HERE’ YOU WILL SIMPLY OBTAIN ANOTHER ‘THERE’ THAT WILL AGAIN LOOK BETTER THAN ‘HERE’.

7) OTHERS ARE MERELY MIRRORS OF YOU.
YOU CANNOT LOVE OR HATE SOMETHING ABOUT ANOTHER PERSON UNLESS IT REFLECTS SOMETHING YOU LOVE OR HATE ABOUT YOURSELF.

8) WHAT YOU MAKE OF YOUR LIFE IS UP TO YOU.
YOU HAVE ALL THE TOOLS AND RESOURCES YOU NEED. WHAT YOU DO WITH THEM IS UP TO YOU. THE CHOICE IS YOURS.

9) YOUR ANSWERS LIE INSIDE YOU.
THE ANSWERS TO LIFE’S QUESTIONS LIE INSIDE YOU. ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS LOOK, LISTEN AND TRUST.

10) YOU WILL FORGET ALL THIS.

Author Unknown

Anyway

1. People are illogical, unreasonable and self-centered. Love them anyway.
2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.
3. If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway
5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.

6. The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.Think big anyway.
7. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.
9. People really need help but attack you if you do help them.Help people anyway.
10. Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.

The Paradoxical Commandments
Kent M. Keith

The Four Agreements

BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD.
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY.
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS.
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST.
Your best is going to change from moment to moment. It will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstances, simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

Don Miguel Ruiz

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

I had been writing a Christmas article for this year when I ran across this timeless article that was written in a New York newspaper called ‘The Sun’ 119 years ago. It was the answer to a question asked by a young girl named Virginia O’Hanlon. The response was printed as an unsigned editorial on September 21, 1897. It is the work of a veteran newsman named Francis Pharcellus Church.
Here is the article in its entirety:

Dear Editor,
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says ‘If you see it in ‘The Sun’ it’s so. Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O’Hanlon.

Virginia,
Your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds.

All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little in this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, he exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life it’s highest beauty and joy.

Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus? You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove?

Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus, the most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see.

Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders that are unseen and unseeable in the world. You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, or even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else as real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the hearts of children.

Although this article was written 119 years ago, it still has a meaning today. We should put some trust in the magic of the inexplicable. I know that Santa doesn’t exist in the classic sense, not the fat jolly guy in the red suit, but rather, what he stands for and how he makes us feel during the holidays.

We find ourselves a little more thankful for the people who matter most in our life. The season makes us have more goodwill toward other people, saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to strangers as you pass them on the street or donating money to a good cause that is close to our heart, and being a little more thankful for those we love.

So what harm would it do to believe in Santa Claus, you will have to admit, something special is at work this time of year, I hope you can relax your mind and enjoy the magic of the season.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Safe and Happy New Year.

Bob Toledo
December 2016

We Come From a Place of Peace and Love

The hundreds of thousands of years of human history and thousands of generations throughout that time, our ancestors saw creation as sacred and treated both the world and one another with respect and reverence. Only in the last hundred generations have we forgotten.

Modern day ‘primitive’ people tell us that ‘man’s innate nature is evil and dominating,’ this is a lie. The truth is that we are born to an innate knowledge and awe of the divine in all creation and our first and most basic instincts are compassion and love.

As we shift our view of the world and begin to practice anonymous acts of mercy and compassion, life will easily and naturally bring about the ways of living that are imbedded in our DNA.

Through this simple daily process, we can save our world.

Bob Toledo – 2012

The Talking Stick

The Talking Stick is an ancient tribal tool used to facilitate group discussions, solving problems, resolution of conflict, making decisions, and any other organization needs.

It empowers people to speak their truth. Use of the Talking Stick is indigenous to many cultures. The Hawaiian name for the Talking Stick is PAOA, which means ‘Talking from the Tree.’

The sticks are primarily made of aspen. The Polynesian Talking Sticks are made in increments of 5 inches. Hawaiian Huna Talking Sticks are 25 inches long.

After permission to use the wood is requested from the tree, the stick becomes our connection to the earth and all things through its life force or MANA which is sealed within the PAOA by burning the ends.

This life force empowers the holder of the stick to speak his/her truth and speak from the heart. The more it is used, the more Mana it will contain, until it truly becomes a magic wand.

Use of the Talking Stick achieves many magical outcomes all at once. It teaches us to bond heartily with others while also managing to ‘hold your own space.’

The word ‘Talking Stick’ is actually a misnomer, it could really be called ‘a listening stick’, empowering everyone to give full attention to everyone else in turn, hearing witness to their situation, their perspective and insight.

It is a key instrument in world transformation. I like to refer to the Talking Stick as a Healing Stick.

Bob Toledo
March 2012

For What It’s Worth

This was written by me in 1962 on Cape Cod, Mass. It was a warm summer afternoon on Old Silver Beach in Falmouth. I started writing this, not knowing why or where it was coming from. I Don’t think these words came to me, But rather came thru me. After it was completed, I realized that I was writing about myself. I have not share this with anyone in the past 45 years. Now I feel it is time to share it with you. I call this writing:

‘For What It’s Worth’

I don’t like what you seem to becoming. You must always stay ‘you’. You say you don’t care. Nonchalance is both good and unusual but don’t jump the thin line that separates it from apathy. This is truly an I-don’t-care attitude that can and will destroy both society as well as the person. This would be such a waste when all it takes to overcome is a little thought. ‘Know yourself’. Once this is done, everything else comes calmly, freely and as a matter of course in knowing oneself there must be first of all, honesty.Complete honesty. If you don’t like what you see change it, to suit yourself and no one else.

Next there must be self-love, for if we do not first love ourselves then we can not give a meaningful love or receive the same from others. Now, in this process we must always keep this first basic honesty. Never try to become as you think others want you. It doesn’t satisfy, but takes precedence over, and therefore destroys, anything you may have accomplished. Then comes caring. To care… those words are so important in every aspect of living. ‘To plant a seed in the earth is to be a mother. To feed a bird on a snowy day is to be a host to God.’

After feeling must come thought and action for without them everything so far accomplished will stagnate. Stagnation is one of the greatest evils of man for it is nothing. Even death is a more complete action for it is a definite end. Stagnation is wandering aimlessly. Becoming foul form lack of action.

Lastly, I think, comes pride. The respect for oneself to do and to be the best. This is the very quality of living. Never mistake it for vanity for this is futile and gets us no where, whereas, pride is a dignity and respect for oneself and one’s achievements. After this you can say, not, ‘I don’t care’ but ‘I don’t care what anyone else thinks,’ for you are now what you want, doing your best for yourself and others whether they know it or not.

This is truly being an individual. Anything less is a facade; anything more is superficial.

Does all this seem familiar? It should. It is the way we all are born and it is what we let ourselves and others destroy with apathy.

Bob Toledo

Cape Cod, MA.
1962

It’s Happening

I wrote this in 1968 the day Robert Kennedy was shot. It was not meant to be negative, Only my way of reacting to the days events. I think we have come along way since then, or have we? Maybe we have some work to do. Let us begin now.

‘IT’S HAPPENING’

Stop and think for a minute, I think we all should
‘I’d change it’, they say, if only I could
The hate, the turmoil, the despair and the grief
Maybe someday, if we’re lucky, we’ll all get relief.

People say, ‘Look at the weird one with the beard. ‘
But maybe the ‘Weird one’s’ got the right idea
I laugh at the excuses that people are using.
They are afraid to look past their wall of illusion.

Everyone’s trying to reach out into space
While we can’t get along with another race
Men go to war to fight for freedom, it’s true
We fight one battle, the black man fight two.

There was a man in politics to help us come out.
He was young, ambitious, strong and stout
‘If we all work together, we’ll change it’ he cries.
A bullet is shot. This good man dies.

The world we live in is turned upside down
Someday we should get together and turn it around
Our ‘great society’ will be good to you
Just don’t be negro, Catholic or Jew.

Some people pray, others just hope.
While ‘Our American Dream’ turns into a joke
All around us, everyday,
While people talk and children play —

It’s Happening.

Bob Toledo
1968