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

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-09-01
  • Publisher: Workman Pub Co

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

Author Biography

Dr. Allan Hamilton is a Harvard-trained brain surgeon and renowned horse trainer who has given clinics all over the United States and in Europe. He is the author of The Scalpel and the Soul: Encounters with Surgery, the Supernatural, and the Human Power of Hope, which received the Silver Nautilus Award in 2009-for nonfiction works in spirituality. Dr. Hamilton serves as the medical script consultant for the television series Grey's Anatomy and also consults for the spin-off show, Private Practice. He raises Lipizzan horses and pasture-fed Angus cattle on a small ranch on the outskirts of Tucson, Arizona.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. vi
Introductionp. 1
Days of Thunderp. 11
The Two Sides of Mep. 22
Chi & Equusp. 33
Grooming as a Tea Ceremonyp. 46
Searching For Chip. 65
Grooming as an Act of Lovep. 74
The Magic Dogp. 90
Prey, Predator & The Rules of Learningp. 108
Patiencep. 124
Leading the Wayp. 134
Now & The Ocean Linerp. 152
Tiny Bubbles of Chip. 156
Picking Up The Pacep. 178
Minding Your Mannersp. 184
Sending Out & Backing Upp. 197
Tending To Horsesp. 215
Sidepassing & Jumpingp. 228
Come To Mep. 235
From Sack to Saddlep. 244
A Leg Upp. 257
Stopping & Spookingp. 269
Trailering (or not)p. 278
Epiloguep. 286
Twenty Exercisesp. 289
Acknowledgmentsp. 297
Bibliographyp. 301
Indexp. 306
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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