Ho'oponopono means to make right. Essentially, it means to make it right with the ancestors, or to make right with the people with whom you have relationships. We believe that the original purpose of Ho'oponopono was to correct the wrongs that had occurred in someone's life including Hala (to miss the thing aimed for, or to err, to disobey) and Hewa (to go overboard or to do something to excess) which were illusions, and even 'Ino (to do harm, implying to do harm to someone with hate in mind), even if accidental.
This description is by no means a complete training in how to do Ho'oponopono. While appropriate to do for yourself, for yours and others safety, it should not be done with someone else without training.
For example, let's say your five-year-old grandson punched another five-year-old intentionally with hate in mind. If asked, then the one who was punched would forgive the other immediately, because it is inappropriate for anyone to carry guilt any longer than they had to, if it were not necessary.
We call this the Hawaiian Code of Forgiveness, and it's an important thought, because when we forgive others, who are we forgiving? Ourselves, of course.
If you are familiar with Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), there is a saying, "People are only doing the best they can with the resources they have available." If you've heard that before, it has to do with forgiveness. Think about it. As you do consider that you are included in "people."
In the Eastern traditions, too, there is a real tradition of being aligned with and cleaning up relations with the ancestors. In Japan, China, as well as the Hawaiian tradition, it is thought to be important to align and clean up any past problems that you've had in relationships, especially with relatives.
At the same time, perhaps there are family patterns you do not want. Certainly you have heard the saying, "We just don't do that in our family," or "That's the way it is in our family." What happens then, is that certain generational themes get passed along in families, like sadness or any number of different traits. Ho'oponopono will allow you to clean this up.
THEORY: We carry inside us as parts of the Unconscious Mind, all the significant people in our lives. (These parts of us often look very much like Carl Jung's archetypes.) Ho'oponopono makes it "all right" with them. The process of Ho'oponopono is to align with and clean up our genealogy as well as to clean up our relationships with other people in our lives.
The Process of Ho'oponopono:
Bring to mind anyone with whom you do not feel total alignment or support, etc.
In your mind's eye, construct a small stage below you
Imagine an infinite source of love and healing flowing from a source above the top of your head (from your Higher Self), and open up the top of your head, and let the source of love and healing flow down inside your body, fill up the body, and overflow out your heart to heal up the person on the stage. Be sure it is all right for you to heal the person and that they accept the healing.
When the healing is complete, have a discussion with the person and forgive them, and have them forgive you.
Next, let go of the person, and see them floating away. As they do, cut the aka cord that connects the two of you (if appropriate). If you are healing in a current primary relationship, then assimilate the person inside you.
Do this with every person in your life with whom you are incomplete, or not aligned.
The final test is, can you see the person or think of them without feeling any negative emotions. If you do feel negative emotions when you do, then do the process again.