The Secret Teachings of Plants: The Intelligence of the Heart in the Direct Perception of Nature: The Intelligence of the Heart in Direct Perception of Nature Paperback – 27 Oct 2004
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“Humanity’s ultimate liberation lies in the realization of the radiant transcendental consciousness in which nature inheres—that ultimate reality to which Buhner’s excellent books always seem to be pointing us.” (DharmaCafe, November 2011)
"For homeopaths seeking to enhance their sensitivity to nature’s energies, and to complement their understanding of existing proving information, “Secret Teachings” is an enlightening guide." (Hpathy.com, May 2010)
“Buhner’s writings are a powerful call for people to work together to restore the sacredness of Earth.” (Brooke Medicine Eagle, author of Buffalo Woman Comes Singing)
". . . Stephen Harrod Buhner reveals the use of direct perception in understanding nature, medicinal plants, and the healing of disease. . . . This book is a must read for any nature lover." (Share Guide, Mar-Apr, 2005)
"Science and spirituality blend in an intriguing ecological assessment of what the plant world can teach us." (The Midwest Book Review, April, 2005)
". . . how to achieve heart-based perception, and how to learn the medicinal uses of plants directly from the plants themselves." (The Burlington Free Press, Feb. 27, 2005)
“Beautifully written, The Secret Teachings of Plants is a work of art--as much a poetical journey into the essence of plants as it is a guidebook on how to use plant medicine in our healing practices. Stephen Buhner is among the plant geniuses of our time. Like Thoreau and Goethe and Luther Burbank, the master gardeners and “green men” he so liberally quotes throughout, Buhner will be long remembered for his deep and introspective connection with the green world and for his ability to connect us to the heart of the plants through his teachings.” (Rosemary Gladstar, author of Rosemary Gladstar’s Family Herbal and founder of United Plant Sav)
“I learned more from part one of this magnificent book than from any source in years. Buhner writes of complex discoveries in neuroscience and neurocardiology with clarity and coherence. Encompassing the highest spiritual insights of such giants as Blake, Goethe, and Whitman, part two is worthy poetry in itself, offering readers a unique way to move into transcendent realms. Of the truly great books appearing today, The Secret Teachings of Plants is easily the most rewarding I have had the privilege of reading.” (Joseph Chilton Pearce, author of The Biology of Transcendence)
“In this wonderful book Stephen Buhner shows us that the heart is not a machine but the informed, intelligent core of our emotional, spiritual, and perceptual universe. Through the heart we can perceive the living spirit that diffuses through the green world that is our natural home. Required reading for all owners of a heart.” (Matthew Wood, herbalist and author of The Book of Herbal Wisdom)
“A ‘must read’ for herbalists, healers, gardeners, nature lovers, and anyone who has ever been moved to tears by the everyday miracles of life.” (Susun S. Weed, author of Healing Wise)
"The Secret Teachings of Plants offers ways to bypass the linear intelligence of the brain and tap into the nonlinear intelligence of the heart. . . . enables people to gather information directly from nature for diagnosing and treating illnesses, as well as for developing connections with the natural world." (Richard D. Wright, Tranquil Things, New Age Retailer, Holiday 2005)
"If you work directly with plants, as a gardener or in herbal and alchemical practices, and want to cultivate a more intimate view of them or simply want to better enjoy your time spent outside and among growing and green things, The Secret Teachings of Plants will help you do both. (Mark Stavish, Institute for Hermetic Studies, April 2006)
"This book is part poetry, part sicence . . . There is an energy that overcomes and refreshes." (Loretta, Widewest blog, Feb 2010)
From the Back Cover
NEW SCIENCE / ECOLOGY "Of the truly great books appearing today The Secret Teachings of Plants is easily the most rewarding I have had the privilege of reading." --Joseph Chilton Pearce, author of The Biology of Transcendence "A 'must read' for herbalists, healers, gardeners, nature lovers, and anyone who has ever been moved to tears by the everyday miracles of life." --Susun S. Weed, author of Healing Wise Mankind cannot survive without the nutritional and medicinal properties of plants. The number of plant species on Earth has been estimated at around 400,000, with many of these species remaining unknown to humans. While only a fraction have been identified and categorized by Western botanists, it is safe to say that many of the plants unknown in the West are known to indigenous people living within the plants' natural ranges. All ancient and indigenous peoples insist their knowledge of plant medicines comes from the plants themselves and not through trial-and-error experimentation. Less well known is that these plant teachings are at the basis of many of the modern discoveries in both medicine and in plant foods. Throughout the world there is a tradition of direct perception of nature through the "intelligence of the heart." Recent discoveries in neuroscience have proven that over 50 percent of the heart is comprised of neural cells. The heart is, in fact, a brain in its own right. Heart-centered perception can be exceptionally accurate and detailed in its information gathering capacities, as indigenous and ancient peoples assert. Stephen Harrod Buhner explores this heart-centered mode of perception in great detail. He includes leading-edge information on the physical mechanisms of heart-based cognition and explores the work of numerous remarkable people who perceived the world with their hearts, including Henry David Thoreau; Luther Burbank, who cultivated the majority of food plants we now take for granted; George Washington Carver; Masanobu Fukuoka, author of The One Straw Revolution; and the great German poet and scientist Goethe, who studied the metamorphosis of plants. Buhner shows us how these great thinkers achieved a direct perception of nature using the cognitive abilities of the heart. He provides the knowledge and techniques necessary to develop heart-based perception, which is our birthright. He teaches us how to learn the medicinal uses of plants directly from the plants themselves and to understand the soul-making process that such deep connection with the world engenders. STEPHEN HARROD BUHNER is an Earth Poet and senior researcher for the Foundation for Gaian Studies. He lectures throughout the United States on herbal medicine, the sacredness of plants, and the intelligence of Nature. He is the author of nine works of nonfiction and one book of poetry, including the award-winning The Lost Language of Plants and Sacred Plant Medicine. He lives in Braintree, Vermont.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
& what he has to say is somewhat refreshing and insightful that leads you into another way of seeing things; not through the lens of reason but through opening into and reconnecting to the world around us through the heart - a metaphor for reclaiming our underused intuitive capabilities that have been in the shadows of reason since Descartes and the enlightenment age.
When we choose to perceive the natural world around us through the heart what we find is a world full of hidden meaning of higher purpose and potential of which can move us forward in our own evolution and healing. By aligning ourselves with the truth inherent in nature we re-attune ourselves and our organ systems to function in a healthy and organic way.
For anyone that's a frequent visitor to the mountains will find one of his earlier descriptions of a journey to the high alpine region of Colorado mesmerising, putting into words what I could only dream of describing so wonderfully; capturing the voice of nature itself. The book alone is worth reading just for this one paragraph.
I also found myself quite often practicing some of the techniques used to disengage from our overused and limiting analytical mode of perception into a more heart based or direct sensory perception of the experience. A practice that can take a life time to retrain ourselves with - this lost mode of cognition and understanding.
All in all an enlightening and enjoyable read.
in section one buhner looks at the scientific documentation of the neural activity of the heart and the non-linear aspects of nature. in section two he takes a more poetic and practical approach to opening your perception of nature using the heart.
an incredibly liberating book - the exercises are wonderful and can have extraordinary effects in reopening you to the world we live in.
a rich, dense experience of a book written from lived experience that repays a long slow relationship with it.
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