“Don’t bother me, I’m chanting.”

“I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me. Thank you. “

That’s all. Eleven words that truly heal and change lives. Mr. Vitale spent quite a bit of time with this man, and the concept was astonishing to him, as it is to many people. Challenging also for him, was that you don’t say it one time, but continuously. Hew Len points out, that which requires forgiveness, (let’s call it karma) is bottomless and endless, and so must be our forgiveness practice. It is a fascinating book, as is this man’s story.

Ihaleakala Hew Len took a job at a facility for the criminally insane with an extreme level of violence, despair and dysfunction. The staff were fearful and depressed, the inmates seemingly irretrievable. He took the job as therapist on the agreement that he would not start until noon, and would see no patients. They were so desperate that they accepted his terms, and he went to work. What he did was to look at the records of the patients, note their crimes and stories, and say “I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you.” for him this covered everything, true regret, a plea for forgiveness, gratitude, and love. He never engaged with any of the patients. In time, with this practice, the atmosphere in the place lightened, the patients began to respond to therapy, the staff stabilized. In the end the facility closed down, because there were no more patients, they had all gotten well enough to be released and go on with their lives. This is true and verifiable. Such is the incredible power of love and forgiveness.

“The purpose of life is to be restored back to Love, moment to moment. To fulfill this purpose, the individual must acknowledge that he is 100 percent responsible for creating his life the way it is. He must come to see that it is his thoughts that create his life the way it is moment to moment.The problems are not people, places, and situations but rather the thoughts of them. He must come to appreciate that there is no such thing as “out there.”

Ihaleakala Hew Len

“The mind is everything. What you think, you become.” Buddha

  • Wear an object that reminds you to chant, beads that you can count, a necklace, a watch with an alarm, anything that has meaning.
  • Instruct your mind to help you. We are taught that everything has a soul, and that we can speak to any soul. Give your mind a soul order, an intention, to remind you every 5 minutes to check and see where your thought process is. The mind needs a job, give it one.
  • Set triggers for yourself, and use distractions as ways to re-center yourself. If someone turns on the tv, ah! Time to chant. Garbage truck…chant. Someone is interfering with your practice…chant. And so on.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of habit, and use it. So entirely establish chanting as a way of being that it feels strange and naked not to be doing it.
  • Fidget. It burns calories, and you can train yourself to chant with every foot twitch or hair twirl.

What to chant? It is entirely individual, though it must have a certain purity and high frequency to bring positive momentum.

I mostly chant 10 Da. The 10 DA (DA is Chinese for great, or greatest) are the ten ideal spiritual qualities; love, forgiveness, compassion, light, humility, harmony, flourishing, gratitude, service and enlightenment. Or any one of those qualities. I chant the names of my spiritual fathers and mothers, Buddhas, and more. Anything that keeps our being resonating with love, wholeness, joy, peace. Why not chant for wealth! Health, freedom, relationship, beauty…absolutely no reason why not.

Start training your entire being to chant…you won’t regret it.



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