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The Secret Teachings of Plants


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Table of Contents

A Note to the Reader


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

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

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


Appendix: Exercises for Refining the Heart as an Organ of Perception

Bibliography with Commentary: The Wisdom of the Earth Poets



About the Author

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.


"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 2010 *
"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 *

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