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Publisher's Summary

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. Listeners 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.

©2004 Stephen Harrod Buhner (P)2017 Tantor

What listeners say about The Secret Teachings of Plants

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narrator distracts from content

I've been trying to finish this book for a long time and find myself getting frustrated and switching to something else often. I think there are valuable things in this book. For the most part all content is obscured by the reader's over-performative cadence. Sounds like he is telling a really juicy story, only the tone is the same for hours and the emphasis is usually in meaningless verbal patterns, like a tempo. Sounds like he loves the sound of his own voice and is not focusing on the content. Simple reading would be better.

34 people found this helpful

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The readers voice is false

And unbearable. His tone pretentious and precious making it nearly impossible to hear the words of this fantastic book.

10 people found this helpful

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Nice info, but the reader, well...

You get distracted from the info, by the reader's perfomance. It is nice not to sound monotonous and give some emotion to the text, but this gentleman, exagerates juuuuuust a little.

17 people found this helpful

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Superb!

I loved this book and thought the usage of all the quotes... and there were many, was masterfully done and it deepened the journey. It touched my heart in a powerful way and I will never experience plants the same.

5 people found this helpful

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Amazing new info I have never had the pleasure of hearing before!

This man in truly gifted. I have never heard about the connection of plants and their spiritual connections. I love the balance of scientific, healing and spiritual focuses in this book! Amazing!

5 people found this helpful

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not the right narrator! I can hardly stand it.

I wish I could hear this in Buhner's own voice. This guy's reading does not fit the material for me, at all. Very incongruous, awful to listen to for me.

4 people found this helpful

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A philosophy for living and sensing more

I liked the author’s encouragement to sense more, to recognize and appreciate the multi dimensional reality of nature, the intertwining of quotes from fellow philosophers, and the inclusion of assignments for developing one’s own ability perceive more. As a student of stoic philosophy, I found this book to be a meaningful read at this stage of my life — adding another layer of understanding about the living world we share with others. If you want to better understand what it means to be present in the moment, you will find something useful in this book.

12 people found this helpful

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The Secret Teachings of the Heart

I had two very different reading experiences working my way through The Secret Teachings of Plants: The Intelligence of the Heart in the Direct Perception of Nature, by Stephen Harrod Buhner.

The first six chapters or so provide a fascinating reeducation concerning the heart. The physical organ in our chests. Buhner is a poet, but “The Intelligence of the Heart” in the title of this book is not a metaphor. This opening section is a detailed scientific (and to some extent sociological) treatise on the physical human heart as a “second brain” – and even perhaps as the primary one, making the brain in our skull a mere supporting player.

The heart is no simple pump for our blood. It’s a complete intelligence/sensory system that sets and maintains our natural rhythm, keeps us in synchrony with the rhythms of our environment, and participates in constant responsive communication with the people, animals, and plants around us via a complex array of electric fields. Buhner convincingly argues that if we’re only living in our heads, oblivious to the output and input of the sensory system of the heart, we are not aware of our full human potential, let alone fulfilling it.

The rest of The Secret Teachings of Plants shares a path of application of this knowledge to waking up our own hearts and reclaiming the ability to communicate directly with all of Nature, and here, especially, with plants. I have to admit I stumbled a bit here, mostly because I was listening to the audiobook edition during my daily commute, and lacked the ability to safely do any of the exercises. I will have to revisit the second half of this book one day under more settled circumstances to be able to evaluate it fairly.

I will say now, though, that the pace of the two halves of the book are jarringly different. The first, “intellectual half” can be absorbed in just a few mesmerizing hours. The second, “now apply this heart-knowledge to yourself and the world” half, approached seriously, would take months, even years, to engage. That I found the pace change disconcerting is probably evidence I am out of touch with my “heart brain,” and that I’m in serious need of these techniques. One day I’ll get there, I promise...

Before buying this audiobook, I read a few disparaging comments in reviews regarding the narrator, Steven Bel Davies. I want to say out loud here that I thought his performance was a delight – cheery, intimate, personable. He’s the polar opposite of monotone, which I guess bothers some people. But I found that his enthusiastic reading held my attention even in spots where the text did not. Well done.

2 people found this helpful

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My best read in a long while!

There is so much information here! On to the 3rd listening! Great self-help tools. Enjoy!

2 people found this helpful

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Best book ever worst narrator

Greatest book ever, we NEED this book and info so badly rn, but it's nearly unbearable with the corny narrator, gawd,,

5 people found this helpful

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  • Antony Christie
  • 04-09-18

Quite possibly the best book I ever 'ingested'

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Secret Teachings of Plants?

Section Two: The Heart; amazing lesser-known facts about the heart including its measurable magnetic field and how the heart acts as a sensory organ. Also how to develop our hearts so we can communicate with plants to gain wisdom about our own, or other peoples, bodies in the pursuit of harmony.

Any additional comments?

Can't wait for more Buhner books to come out in audio format!!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-09-19

very scientific

be ready for something very scientific, not specially what you’d expect from a book with this name.

1 person found this helpful

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  • ruth thomas
  • 10-23-20

The hours have flown by listening to this.

A really engaging listen for anyone who whats to deepen there understanding of working with plants and the like and their energetic offerings. Lots of tips on how to open oneself up to communicating.
The hours flew by listening to this and I wouldn’t mind listening to it again as I really enjoyed the language.

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  • Niall Rooney
  • 08-04-19

fantastic

a review requires at least 15 words. this book is fantastic, that is all. thanks

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-23-19

(for me) Unlistenable

The writing sounded poetic and somewhat interesting, and i was keen to learn something from this book but i could not get past the narrator's voice. i tried persevering and listened to this book for an hour over about 3 sessions but could not listen to it anymore.

Also, the book chapters are preluded by several epigrams (quotes or poems from other sources), and epigrams are also included within the main body of chapters, but they get lost in the narration of the text and so you think you are listening to the main text until the narrator finishes the epigram by citing the original authour, such as "Goethe" or "Lao Tzu". it's annoying, but is not the narrator's fault. it may be that audio-book producers could work out a way of notifying a listener that they are about to be read an epigram. when you read a physical book, you can see the epigram (in an indented paragraph, in italics, or whatever) but there is no such differentiation in an audiobook.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-12-20

Freedom

The level of understanding and empowerment achieved from reading this masterpiece is extraordinary. As a person shut down and shouted at by people in the shallow stream driven by the machines logic, i feel freer then ever. Those of us who travel space with an open heart can read this and find a way through the negativity of the lost and find a world that sings deep into our hearts. Much love to Stephen and hearty thanks.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-18-19

MINDBLOWN

In a book like this you expect good information and insightful perspectives. The poetic writing style, and clever use of quotes were a complete surprise. This book is a complete paradigm shift. Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-27-18

Expanding awareness

Beautiful book with scientific background to expand our awareness and consciousness on topics often overlooked. Great storytelling and made my heart sing. The narrator a little too enthusiastic on quotes

1 person found this helpful

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  • JAMES KARPIN
  • 06-20-20

What a voice

Pretty sure this Narration is the doctor from the 1st Total Recall movie, Amazing! Great content also haha!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-03-19

This book is a rare wisdom keeper

There are many good books out there, this book though is densely filled with wisdom. This is rare and I am grateful I have found it. Highly recommend.