The Secret Teachings of Plants
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The Secret Teachings of Plants : The Intelligence of the Heart in the Direct Perception of Nature

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All ancient and indigenous peoples insisted their knowledge of plant medicines came from the plants themselves and not through trial-and-error experimentation. Less well known is that many Western peoples made this same assertion. There are, in fact, two modes of cognition available to all human beings--the brain-based linear and the heart-based holistic. The heart-centered mode of perception can be exceptionally accurate and detailed in its information gathering capacities if, as indigenous and ancient peoples asserted, the heart's ability as an organ of perception is developed. Author Stephen Harrod Buhner explores this second mode of perception in great detail through the work of numerous remarkable people, from Luther Burbank, who cultivated the majority of food plants we now take for granted, to the great German poet and scientist Goethe and his studies of the metamorphosis of plants. Buhner explores the commonalities among these individuals in their approach to learning from the plant world and outlines the specific steps involved. Readers will gain the tools necessary to gather information directly from the heart of Nature, to directly learn the medicinal uses of plants, to engage in diagnosis of disease, and to understand the soul-making process that such deep connection with the world engenders.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 22.86mm | 408.23g
  • Inner Traditions Bear and Company
  • Bear & Company
  • Rochester, United States
  • English
  • Original ed.
  • 4 b&w illustrations
  • 1591430356
  • 9781591430353
  • 22,841

Review quote

"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 "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 "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 "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 2010show more

About Stephen Harrod Buhner

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.show more

Back cover copy

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.show more

Table of contents

A Note to the Reader Introduction Systole Of Nature and the Heart Prologue to Part One Section One: Nature 1. The Nonlinearity of Nature 2. The Self-Organization of Life 3. The Energetics of Life Section Two: The Heart 4. The Physical Heart: The Heart as an Organ of the Body 5. The Emotional Heart: The Heart as an Organ of Perception and Communication 6. The Spiritual Heart: Aisthesis Diastole Gathering Knowledge from the Heart of the World Prologue to Part Two Section One: Veriditas 7. The Door into Nature 8. The Necessity for Acuity of Perception 9. Feeling with the Heart Section Two: The Taste of Wild Water 10. Gathering Knowledge from the Heart of the World 11. The Pregnant Point and the Mundus Imaginalis Section Three: The Fruitful Darkness 12. Depth Diagnosis and the Healing of Human Disease Interlude 13. The Importance of Rigorous Self-Examination and the Necessity for Moral Development Section Four: Grains of Sand from Another Shore 14. Reading the Text of the World: The Geography of Meaning and the Making of the Soul Epilogue Appendix: Exercises for Refining the Heart as an Organ of Perception Bibliography with Commentary: The Wisdom of the Earth Poets Notes Indexshow more

Review Text

The Intelligence of the Heart in Direct Perception of Nature.show more