Heart-Centered Perception

"The intellect is powerless to express thought without the aid of the heart.
--Henry David Thoreau

"Love like your life depends upon it...because it does."
--Michael Franti

"The Heart brings us authentic tidings of invisible things."
--James Hillman 
In our understanding of how to connect and communicate with the energy body or spirit of the beehive, we have been greatly influenced by the work of Stephen Buhner. In Secret Teachings of the Plants, Stephen describes how all things in our physical reality have electromagnetic and chemical communication systems that operate "whether or not our human minds recognize it." "The heart", he states, "is the organ that can re-learn how to perceive the messages coming from these energy realms and how to communicate back". 
This work of shifting consciousness from a brain/head- centered location to a heart-centered one is the work we must all learn to do if we are to remember our place in the web of life, and remember our way of balance within this web. If we can learn to recognize the aliveness that surrounds us, and learn to respectfully communicate with the beings that are all around us, then humans can begin to heal, and to wake up the human heart as an organ of perception. Then nature can be our teacher and help us to bring ourselves and the Earth back into balance.
Stephen Buhner's particular focus is with plants. He teaches us how to recognize the plants as our teachers, guides, healers, and allies, and how to seek guidance, respectfully. In Grateful Beauty Sanctuary, we practice in this manner with our plants. We recognize that each plant has its own unique gifts and way that it communicates. We respect the wisdom of the plants and will offer the opportunity to meditate with particular plants throughout our sanctuary.
In our practice as beekeepers, we start from this place of heart-centered relationship with the bees. We cultivate experience within ourselves that helps us become aware of the spirit of the hive - the Great Bee, the Spiritual Bee, the "Bien" - and how to reach out to this being through our hearts - to communicate with our hearts. Respect, the ability to let go of all forms of hierarchical thinking, and a sincere desire to transform ourselves are essential to this process.
By practicing in this way with a sincere heart, we are able to be guided by the hives in the development of the holistic beekeeping methods we are creating.