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

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

5 out of 5 (1 rating)


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.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages, 4 b&w illustrations
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions Bear and Company
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Popular medicine & health
  • ISBN: 9781591430353



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The Secret Teachings of Plants is a book that does much more than remind us of the importance of Nature in our lives. It provides simple skills to help us make a much deeper connection to the natural world and bring our lives back into balance. Too often we get so caught up in the busyness of the human world that we become numb to ourselves. It is at times like this when we need a sage like Stephen Buhner to guide us back to the wisdom the other living beings of this planet have for us. The book is based on a wonderfully insightful concept of the “intelligence of the heart.” Recent discoveries in neuroscience have proven that more than 50% of the heart is comprised of neural cells. It is from our hearts that we process our energetic connection to everything we come in contact with. The problem is that we have cut ourselves off from this connection by allowing ourselves to be caught up in our rational, analytical minds. Buhner explains that the knowledge of plant medicines that ancient and indigenous peoples have, comes, not through trial and error experimentation, but is directly transmitted from the plants themselves. And while this may seem like a stretch to the rational, analytical mind caught up in the post-industrial, television-based world, deep within all of us this truth awaits rediscovery. The first part of the book contains scientific explanations and linear analysis. The second part is a stream of consciousness, full of quotes and practices for enhancing our relationship with plants. When I first started the book I loved the first part and was a bit skeptical of the 2nd half. But once I began reading that part, I realized that the first half was merely setting the stage and the second part is where the real understanding lies.The consciousness of plants may be vastly different from our understanding of consciousness. Interacting with plants is not simply about talking to them. It is much more about opening the lines of communication with them on an energetic level and sharing our lifeforce. By opening our hearts and experiencing nature in its fullness we can begin to realize this connection.Personally I have been cultivating my relationship with plants for many years, yet while reading this book I found my experience reaching a deeper level of understanding, to the point of profound wonder at this world we live in. See for yourself….read the peace,Aaron