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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.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 55 commentaires
106 internautes sur 108 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Beautiful and Profound 5 mars 2007
Par Dr. Richard G. Petty - Publié sur
Format: Broché
This is an intriguing book about our essential connection with the plant kingdom. Herbalists around the world are lamenting the loss of plants that have medicinal properties, some of which have not yet been discovered.

There is a great, and little explored puzzle: virtually every known group of humans has developed sophisticated plant-based medicines and agents for altering states of consciousness. Many are only used in complex mixtures. Too much of one ingredient and not enough of another, and the concoction is either inert or toxic. Yet to have found all these plants and all of their combinations by trial and error would have taken armies or researchers and hundreds of thousands of years. Throughout the world, traditional healers report that they learned about these properties from the plants themselves. They speak of using intuition and the "intelligence of the heart" for the direct perception of nature. Stephen Buhner suggests that this perception comes from the neural network within the physical heart that beats in our chests.

Throughout the book he presents countless examples of people from Thoreau to Luther Burbank and Goethe, who saw deeply into Nature, not through the intellect, but through the heart. He shows us how these people obtained their direct knowledge. It is very clear that Stephen Buhner is not reciting something that he read, but he is telling us about his own direct and deep perception of Nature. He explains how we can all share in this communion with Nature. He goes on to teach us how we, like the shamans of old, can learn the medicinal uses of plants directly from the plants themselves. He also shows us how this opening up to the world of plants can have profound effects upon us.

The fundamental premise is extremely interesting and the second part of the book is excellent. So why "only" four stars? There are two reasons. First, I am not convinced that the connection between living beings can be reduced to electromagnetic fields. The author had some excellent material, but seems almost to lose his nerve, and to try too hard to find a "scientific" explanation for his observations, while not giving enough credence to the evidence suggesting that the web of life is a more subtle underlying property of the Universe.

The second is the style of his writing. He describes the first half of the book as linear and the second half as not. He calls the two halves systole and diastole, to reflect the major cycles of the heart. And he invites the reader to read the book in any order. He tries quite deliberately to move away from a linear, verbal and analytical presentation. Many of the pages are broken up by italicized words or phrases on separate lines and quotations, poems and comments that don't always seem to be in the right place. It may be that he is trying to stir us up and make us think. Or rather to not think: to apply our intuition to his words. But it can make reading a little difficult.

Despite my two quibbles, I hope that this book is widely read for its stories, anecdotes and Buhner's encyclopedic knowledge about plants. It is an interesting but not always an easy read.
77 internautes sur 78 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Valuable spiritual insight. 9 octobre 2005
Par Miriam R. Peachy - Publié sur
Format: Broché
The following review was written for a class in Botanical Medicine as part of a degree program in Naturopathic Medicine.

Buhner's book can be divided into two distinct parts. In the first half of the book, Buhner explores the ideas of linear versus nonlinear thought. He explains that nature is a culmination of fractal patterns and fluctuations, and extrapolates this idea into the concept of the human thought process. According to Buhner, the brain thinks linearly, defined by logic, language and life experience, but the heart has its own vibrational consciousness. When the heart is used as an organ of perception, the entire body is healthier and more in tune with its natural surroundings. I related to the story about the author's exposure to nature after living in the suburbs, which immediately brought up memories of my own childhood and similar feelings about being in natural versus manmade surroundings.

The second half of the book is devoted to applying the concept of heart consciousness to communication with plants and with people. He explains how native peoples around the world have learned over time to use plants for medicine, ritual and food - when asked, they always say they learned from the plants themselves. In this section I found some very powerful, unique concepts about plants. One was the idea that a person's deep-seated need will be communicated through their energy, expressed via the heart consciousness, and that plants respond to this on various levels. They not only begin to produce medicinal chemicals in response to the need, but they respond and tell the person how to use them. Buhner explores methods of communicating with plants and shows how to bring about an open dialogue for learning from the plant itself. He then goes on to show that this heart communication with the plant can also be used in the same way to communicate as a healer with people, their disease, and their organs. This type of communication involves a spiritual link with the person seeking healing and involves much introspection and time on the healer's part. He teaches how to use all of your senses to perceive information about a patient on many different levels and how to integrate this information into a complete picture, finally feeling for the right plant to heal that person.

In Buhner's paradigm, to be a healer you must be completely honest and in touch with yourself and your heart in order to be able to communicate with other sentient beings. He concludes the book by exploring how to access this heart consciousness through introspection. Part of this is undoing the damage of socialization and education so that we come closer to our primitive state and feel with our hearts - until we think with our hearts and there is no difference between thinking and feeling. Thus linear thinking is abolished and the individual is in true communion with all living beings. Buhner ends with a series of exercises for "refining the heart as an organ of perception."

Reading this book has been a defining moment in my education, not only as a Naturopath, but as a spiritual being. Although parts of the book were somewhat tedious and not well written, the ideas expressed therein spoke to me on a deep level. I have always felt drawn to plants and natural environments, and have had a communicative, interactive experience with the few plants I have been fortunate enough to cultivate and learn about. Being in a medical school and focusing on linear, scientific methodology has sometimes taken me away from the path of spirit that I feel more comfortable with Buhner's book helped refresh in my conscious mind what I have always known to be true - I must think and feel with my heart in order to be true to myself and those around me.
64 internautes sur 67 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An Incredibly Profound Earth Poet 12 décembre 2004
Par L. Fishler - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Stephen Buhner's writing style is captivating, humble and poetic, and mirrors the non-linear beauty of Nature. He invites you to skip around the book and read whatever interests you, and if you love all things in Nature like I do, you will surely end up reading everything twice, just like I did. This is honestly, one of the most incredible books I have read in quite some time. I am a currently enrolled in a Master's program in the Health Arts and I think this book should be required reading.

Though there are so many people in society today that take credit for something that has, in fact, been around for years, this is not the case with Stephen Buhner. His intentions are genuine as he writes for and about Nature. He never claims ownership of any of the ideas presented in his book, rather, he takes the words of the wise people who came long before him, and weaves them eloquently through-out his own, demonstrating how the idea of the heart as an organ of perception is not new. That we all have the capability, it has simply been unintentionally taught out us out.

I am also the Director of a medical research foundation, and often times I am appalled by how close minded so many in the realm of medicine/science can be. Though their intentions may once have been sincere, the unfortunate truth is, somewhere along the way, their motivations changed and they lost the ability to see the big picture.

I highly recommend this book. Society is ready for this book. The environment needs for society to read this book. I found the following quote by G. Leonard, in Mu Soeng's commentary on the Heart Sutra, and I think it is appropriate to insert it here:

At the heart of each of us, whatever our imperfections, there exists a silent pulse of perfect rhythm, a complex of waveforms and resonances, which is absolutely individual and unique, and yet which connects us to everything in the universe. The act of getting in touch with this pulse can transform our personal experience and in some way alter the world around us.

By reading this book, perhaps we can learn to come out of our heads, and back into our hearts. By doing so, I am hopeful we, like Stephen Buhner, will be able to feel once again, hear what Nature has to teach us...and listen.
30 internautes sur 32 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Exquisite...... 17 août 2005
Par Dianne Foster - Publié sur
Format: Broché
A scene takes place in the film Patton, where the General stands on the site of an ancient battlefield and describes his experiences as a combatant in a previous life on that very field. In THE SECRET TEACHING OF PLANTS, Stephen Harrod Buhner describes a similar experience on a battlefield here in Virginia where the narrator "felt" the presence of the dead and dying soldiers. While this episode might seem farfetched, Buhner has woven a story that will lead you to believe this event can and did take place, no matter how rational you think you are.

Buhner's book is about plants, but more than that it is about the human heart and its capacity to understand more than the head. The heart does indeed have its own reasons, and has much to communicate if we would listen. As one who has a deep affinity for living organisms especially, birds, dogs, cats, and trees, and having lived with said creatures all my life and knowing for a fact that they all communicate with me, I do not believe that humans are the "be all end all" they believe themselves to be no matter how much they have recorded their own self importance in ancient texts. In the end, belief is belief, but Buhner suggests there is much one may be missing if she does not listen to her heart. THE SECRET TEACHING OF PLANTS is a delicious wonderful treat, and I have taken weeks to read and reread a man who may indeed be a reincarnation of Thoreau or Goethe.
22 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Talks to both sides of your brain 16 octobre 2005
Par Tanner Griffins - Publié sur
Format: Broché
This is a book to read and reread. As an experienced herbalist and intuitive healer, Stephen Harrod Buhner knows what he is talking about first hand. The author leads workshops in the Green Mountain State (Vermont). That must be a feat to attend.

The first part of this book talks to the left side of your hemisphere as it is based in science, proof and logic. He discusses among other subjects the basis for an energetic field of the body and of the heart.

The second part of the book appeals to the right side of the brain as it is based on experience, visions and intuition. The ressource section is impeccable with plenty of material to chew on and an appendice with explorations to exercise the perception of the heart.
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