Zen Mind, Zen Horse: The Science and Spirituality of Working with Horses

Zen Mind, Zen Horse: The Science and Spirituality of Working with Horses

3.6 8
by Allan J. Hamilton
     
 

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Mindful work with horses, says neurosurgeon Allan J. Hamilton, can enlighten the human handler as much as it benefits the horse. Evolving over 30 million years to become the quintessential prey animal, equines have developed acute right-brain survival skills, such as leadership, awareness, empathy, and cooperation. In particular the horse has finely honed abilities

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Overview

Mindful work with horses, says neurosurgeon Allan J. Hamilton, can enlighten the human handler as much as it benefits the horse. Evolving over 30 million years to become the quintessential prey animal, equines have developed acute right-brain survival skills, such as leadership, awareness, empathy, and cooperation. In particular the horse has finely honed abilities to lead, communicate, and connect not with words, but with the vital emotional energy described in the Buddhist tradition as chi. When we learn the language of chi, we become more effective as leaders, more attuned to others, and more joyful as human beings.

Zen Mind, Zen Horse begins by examining how the equine and human brains function, often related to their respective roles as prey and predator. Going on to draw insights and wisdom from spiritual traditions such as Zen Buddhism, Ayurvedic healing, and Yaqui shamanism and from the great horse cultures of the Mongolians, Bedouins, and Native Americans, Dr. Hamilton shows the importance of developing right-brain awareness and quieting the left-brain dominance of our Western brains.

Seamlessly integrating spiritual principles and practical applications, Dr. Hamilton shows how to apply the chi-based approach to every aspect of horse-human communication, including:
•    The act of grooming as a spiritual practice
•    Techniques of alpha-horse leadership that make others gladly follow
•    Gaze, stance, and gesture as training tools
•    The irresistible power of infinite patience

Ultimately, the author shows the depth of insight humans gain into themselves, as well as horses, after working with these amazing animals.

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Editorial Reviews

Stephen Kiesling
Combining brain science, horse sense, and fine storytelling, this spiritual handbook points toward a special and completely real form of enlightenment.
Susan Richards
Zen Mind, Zen Horse is far more than a book about how to care for a horse, though it stands out as one of the best on the subject. Rather, Hamilton has given humans a way to achieve our highest good by allowing horses to be our guides. This beautiful testament to the power and magic of equine energy captures the soul of a horse perfectly.
Linda Kohanov
Zen Mind, Zen Horse is both practical and profound, offering sound advice for tapping the wisdom of horses as natural mindfulness teachers.
Andrew Weil
Combining brain science, horse sense, and fine storytelling, this spiritual handbook points toward a special and completely real form of enlightenment.
From the Publisher
Zen Mind, Zen Horse is far more than a book about how to care for a horse, though it stands out as one of the best on the subject. Rather, Hamilton has given humans a way to achieve our highest good by allowing horses to be our guides. This beautiful testament to the power and magic of equine energy captures the soul of a horse perfectly.

Zen Mind, Zen Horse is both practical and profound, offering sound advice for tapping the wisdom of horses as natural mindfulness teachers.

These deceptively simple techniques embody a powerful set of spiritual techniques.

Library Journal
Calling his work with horses an avocation, Hamilton, a neurosurgeon, consultant for Grey's Anatomy, and nationally known horse trainer, emphasizes the spiritual connection that can exist between horses and humans. He argues that people need to quiet their inner voices, allowing the intuitive right side of the brain to guide human/equine relationships and communication. He compares horses to a band of legendary Zen masters, perfect teachers that help uncover their trainers' real motivations. Hamilton builds on Parelli's principles of natural horsemanship, explaining equine and human brain function, chi (life energy), and the seven chakras that all play into nonverbal communication. He provides groundwork for his concepts as well as specific instructions for readers. Personal stories and equine legends are interspersed throughout the text. VERDICT Hamilton's ideas will resonate with anyone who has ever formed a close relationship with a horse. The sometimes lyrical writing is clear and persuasive, and the examples and illustrations are good for novices and experts alike. Recommended.—Janet M. Schneider, James A. Haley Veterans Hosp., Tampa

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781603425650
Publisher:
Storey Books
Publication date:
09/01/2011
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
202,378
Product dimensions:
9.76(w) x 7.08(h) x 0.98(d)

Meet the Author

Allan J. Hamilton, MD, is a Harvard-trained brain surgeon, a renowned horse trainer, a developer of equine-assisted learning programs, and the author of Lead with Your Heart, and Zen Mind, Zen Horse (Gold Nautilus Award winner). He is a professor of neurosurgery at the University of Arizona and a medical script consultant for the hit television series Grey’s Anatomy. He raises Lipizzan horses on a small ranch on the outskirts of Tucson, Arizona.
 

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Zen Mind, Zen Horse 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
lovingly_lisa More than 1 year ago
Just borrowed this book from library and love love it. Any one who loves horses an or works with horses should read this book. Definatley purchasing it. Kinda want hard copy versus digital as this book has great diagrams for learning chi placement and manipulation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I must say this is one of the best books I have read. It's as if your standing right because the writer listening. In the 20 years I've been around horses this book gave me much more insight to being with my horses. Love it and will pass it on... Thanks Debbiexo
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ancientramsay More than 1 year ago
enlightening and inspiring
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not as expected
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Listened to an interview of Dr. Hamilton . Thought I could learn some thing new on the matter of natural horsemansip. I was very disappointed.