My Friends are Green

Earth's crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God.
But only he who sees takes off his shoes. The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.

E. B. Browning

Many of us seek healing. And in our seeking, many of us turn to plants. But when we look to herbs for healing, we only want them for their bodies. If you need help from someone, do you need to eat some of their body?

Like an iceberg, and like human beings, the most important part of a plant is invisible. What if, as with humans, befriending plants is more valuable than merely “using” them?

If one has a friend, what need has one of medicines?


Health means wholeness. It’s said that illness ultimately stems from disconnection. In other words, all sickness is lovesickness. The idea that plants have no spirit, no feelings, and no ability to communicate is convenient when you just want to feed your body, but it doesn’t feed your soul.

Not every culture thinks consciousness only comes with two eyes and legs. Such anthropocentrism is a symptom of the disease of disconnection. And it's the pain of isolation that brings -- the superficial relationships, the idea that we are alone this world without friends -- that is slowly killing us.

Nobody sees a flower, really – it is so small – we haven’t time, and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.

Georgia O’Keefe

In this workshop, we will “stop and tell the flowers” the one thing that truly matters: how much we love them. If you don’t feel gratitude for your green elders, you can learn. We will go outside and we will go "inside" to meet the plants and get to know them better. They've been waiting!

Regardless of how conscious you consider plants to be, you can still regain relationship with the natural world, the panacea that kept our predecessors sane and healthy. The earth is our body; we're just hairs on her skin. It's this recognition of unity that will make or break us. To heal yourself, know thyself. Know all life as sacred. For the key to wholeness is gratitude, and the doorway is love.

A young woman came to me supposedly for relaxation and stress management. She was, in fact, suffering from the results of early childhood trauma, and we ended up spending considerable time working through that as we developed her theta brainwaves [i.e., access to the subconscious].

During the first session she told me she had never meditated. She was even unfamiliar with the word. I hooked her up to the EEG and took her on a guided fantasy. Almost immediately her beta reduced dramatically [the brainwaves associated with focus and anxiety], and her alpha, theta, and delta came out in a beautiful meditation pattern.

After the relaxation was over, I asked her if this was a new experience. She said, “Oh no! I feel this way all of the time when I sit in a field of flowers.

Anna Wise