Morrnah Simeona

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Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona (May 19, 1913 – February 11, 1992) was recognized as a kahuna lapaʻau (healer) in Hawaiʻi and taught her updated version of hoʻoponopono throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe.

Kahuna lapaʻau[edit]

Morrnah was born May 19, 1913, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Kimokeo and Lilia Simeona, both native Hawaiians.[1] Her mother, Lilia, was one of the last recognized kahuna laʻau kahea or priest who heals with words.[2] Morrnah was a practitioner of lomilomi massage and for 10 years owned and operated health spas at the Kahala Hilton and Royal Hawaiian hotels.[3] Among her massage clients at the Hilton spa were Lyndon B. Johnson, Jackie Kennedy, and Arnold Palmer.[4] In 1983, she was recognized as a kahuna lapaʻau (healer) and honored as a "Living Treasure of Hawai'i" by the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai'i.[5]


In 1976 she began to modify the traditional Hawaiian forgiveness and reconciliation process of hoʻoponopono to the realities of the modern day. Her version of hoʻoponopono was influenced by her Christian (Protestant and Catholic) education and her philosophical studies about India, China, and Edgar Cayce. The combination of Hawaiian traditions, praying to the Divine Creator, and connecting problems with Reincarnation and Karma resulted in a unique new problem solving process, that was self-help rather than the traditional Hawaiian group process. She had no qualms about adapting traditional concepts to contemporary applications, though she was criticized by some Hawaiian purists. "Her system uses hoʻoponopono techniques to create a working partnership among the three parts of the mind or self, which she calls by Hawaiian names, as well as by the terms subconscious, conscious, and superconscious."[6]

She presented trainings and lectures on hoʻoponopono to the United Nations,[7] in nearly a dozen states in the U.S., and in more than 14 countries, among them Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Russia, and Japan.[8] She presented to schools of higher learning, such as the University of Hawaiʻi and Johns Hopkins University, to medical facilities, religious institutions and business organizations. In 1982 she organized the First World Symposium of Identity of Man.[9] A reporter noted: "There was something very calming and soothing about Simeona's presence and her voice, a sense of serenity about her, as she talks about teaching people how to relieve stress and attain peace of mind."[6]

To spread her hoʻoponopono process, she founded Pacifica Seminars in the 1970s and in 1980 The Foundation of ‘I’, Inc. (Freedom of the Cosmos). In 1990, she started Pacifica Seminars in Germany. Simeona wrote three textbooks Self-Identity through Hoʻoponopono, Basic 1 (128 pg), Basic 2 (to use after two years of practicing) and Basic 3 (to use after five years). The recommended waiting times for Basic 2 and 3 was for developing deep respect for the "Divine presence." In 1990, the English original of Basic 1, 8th edition, was officially translated and printed in German and French.[10][11]

In late fall 1990, her last journey for lectures and seminars took her through Europe to Jerusalem. On January 16, 1991, she came back to Germany, where she lived quietly at a friend's house in Kirchheim, near Munich, until her death on February 11, 1992.

Statue of Freedom[edit]

Statue of Freedom's plaster model cast now resides in the Capitol Visitor Center

On March 25, 1992, U. S. Senator Daniel Akaka (D - Hawaii), eulogized Simeona in the Congressional Record.[12] He noted she had learned that the original plaster cast of the cast-iron Statue of Freedom, which stands on the top of the dome of the United States Capitol, was being kept in storage. She raised $25,000 to refurbish and restore it, and as a result it was moved and placed on display in the Russell Senate Office Building (now in the Capitol Visitor Center) where, Akaka said, it would serve as a remembrance of Simeona.[12]


  1. ^ Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Census, Fifteenth Census (1930)
  2. ^ Rodman, Julius Scammon, The Kahuna Sorcerers of Hawaii, Past and Present, p. 195 (Exposition, 1979)
  3. ^ Morrnah Simeona, kahuna lapaʻau, Honolulu Advertiser, p. C4 (Feb. 17, 1992)
  4. ^ Dye, Bob, Hawaiʻi Chronicles II: Contemporary Island History from the Pages of Honolulu Magazine, p. 298-301 (Pitzer, Pat, Kahuna, The Keepers of the Secrets, Nov. 1984), University of Hawaiʻi Press (1997) ISBN 0-8248-1984-5
  5. ^ Five persons are named as Living Treasures, Honolulu Star Bulletin (Feb. 12, 1983)
  6. ^ a b Dye Bob, Pitzer Pat
  7. ^ Chai, Makana Risser, Na Moʻolelo Lomilomi: The Traditions of Hawaiian Massage & Healing, p. 47, Bishop Museum Press (2005) ISBN 978-1-58178-046-8
  8. ^ U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, In Memory of Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona, Congressional Record, Proceedings and Debates of the 102d Congress, Second Session, Vol. 138, No. 43 (March 25, 1992)
  9. ^ Scott, Nadine W., Kahuna to Explore the Ancient Ways, Honolulu Star Bulletin (July, 1982)
  10. ^ Simeona, Morrnah, Selbst-Identität durch Hoʻoponopono, 128 pg, Pacifica Seminars (1990)
  11. ^ Simeona, Morrnah, L'Identité de Soi-Même par Hoʻoponopono, 128 pg, Pacifica Seminars (1990)
  12. ^ a b Daniel Akaka


  • Cooke, Mary, Meanwhile, back in Honolulu, The Honolulu Advertiser (Feb. 13, 1974)
  • Sifford, Darell, Could a Kahuna’s liturgy have wrought these changes? Interview of Morrnah Simeona, Philadelphia Inquirer (Dec. 2, 1980)
  • Brower, Nancy, She Solves Problems, The Asheville Times (June 10, 1981)
  • Sifford, Darell, Spirit Healer: The Kahuna was convincing, but could she cure an allergy? Philadelphia Inquirer (June 30, 1981)
  • Matsuda, Craig, Hoʻoponopono brings happiness, she says, The Miami Herald, Edition Broward (June 22, 1981)
  • Scott, Nadine W., Kahuna to Explore the Ancient Ways, Honolulu Star Bulletin (July 7, 1982)
  • Bowman, Pierre, Kahuna updates ancient practises, Interview of Morrnah Simeona, The Honolulu Advertiser (July 8, 1982)
  • Cooke, Mary, A Kahuna in the Kitchen, The Honolulu Advertiser (Sept. 8, 1982)
  • Health, freedom from stress, the Hawaiian Kahuna way, Carson City Nevada Appeal (Nov. 21, 1982)
  • Five Persons Are Named as Living Treasures, Honolulu Star Bulletin (Feb. 12, 1983)
  • Three health workshops stalted at Kalani Honua, Hawaiʻi Tribune Herald (April 13, 1983)
  • Braxton, Virginia A., Hoʻoponopono, Ridding yourself of excess stress and Springfield Round-Up, Springfield News-Sun (June 30, 1983)
  • Dye, Bob, Hawaiʻi Chronicles II: Contemporary Island History from the Pages of Honolulu Magazine, p. 298-301 (Pitzer, Pat, Kahuna, The Keepers of the Secrets, Nov. 1984), University of Hawaiʻi Press (1997) ISBN 0-8248-1984-5
  • Dusen, Jane Ann Van, A Way of Life, Interview of Morrnah Simeona, The Movement Newspaper, Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (April 1985)
  • Young, Melinda, Creating peace in a hectic world, Manoa News (Oct. 1986)
  • Morrnah Simeona, Kahuna Lapaʻau (obituary), Honolulu Advertiser (Feb. 17, 1992)