Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Honoring the Medicine: The Essential Guide to Native American Healing
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on April 5, 2004
There are some fluffy 1-2-3 recipe books out there about Native America, and worse-how to become an instant shaman manuals. This is NOT one of those. And if you entertain angry feelings that here is another non Native American ripping off someone else's culture, well, please take a slow deep breath of purifying sage, think some loving thoughts, and set aside your politics and your doubts. Kenneth Cohen has written a beautiful book, that emerges from a place of honoring Indigenous cultures and the Native Americans he has known over his lifetime of seeking, as he says- his "roots". Respect and appreciation for the interconnectedness of life and a wholistic understanding of healing and Spirit. The fact that he associated himself with wise and beloved Elders like Rolling Thunder, Grandmother Twylah Nitsch, and Grandmother Keewaydinoquay says a lot too. He writes with love and tenderness about these Elders, and others, sharing some of their wisdom and spirit. I knew one of the abovementioned Elders very well, now watching over us from the Spirit World, and coming across Mr Cohen's words and references to them, brought a smile to me- as I could tell by the tenderness and care with which he described them, that he had been a good grandson,and had listened well.

The author goes to great detail to clarify some common stereotypes of the Native world, to teach respect and consideration for Native American traditions, Peoples, and the natural world. He furthers understanding of our role as human beings, and how to live in a way that honors and respects everything around us. The tranformative power of the natural world and its relationship to healing. Harmony. Surrrounding subtle energies. The book is something of a blueprint to live in a kinder, more compassionate way, closer to our Mother Earth and with reverence for the past(Ancestors), the present, and the future(our grandchildren who will inherit this world). The plants and animals can survive quite well without us pitiful 2 leggeds, but, we cannot survive without them.

It is a great story of Kenneth Cohen's personal journey. There is something here for everyone. I am certain he put down tobacco and prayed before and during this writing- there is a flow of the work of Spirit here.Thank you for a sensitve sharing of these teachings, and being a bridge between people.

Ahau! Migwech, (thank you)

Sincerely, The STONEGATHERER IN LELAND
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on August 24, 2003
I have participated in many Native-American circles organized by the author in the Colorado Mountains. These were invaluable, paradigm-expanding experiences, especially for a conventionally trained scientist such as myself. However, as such a scientist, I thirsted for written resources that could supplement the extensive, but often soon forgotten, knowledge imparted by the author in his discussions and demonstrations. This book satiated this thirst.
Given the book shares the author's knowledge accrued through several decades of study and reflects the wisdom of many of the 20th Century's most prominent Elders, it is a must read for those interested in learning about the heart and soul of Native American healing. Although much informative, thought-provoking material was provided on specific healing practices, it is this big-picture, heart-and-soul context that the specifics are place within that is the book's foremost strength. True understanding of any of the specifics would be greatly limited without this overarching mind-body-spirit context. As reflective in all superior books, the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts.
Developing this big-picture context was clearly augmented by the author's extensive in-depth, scholarly knowledge of 1) many other healing traditions, including allopathic, Eastern, and assorted indigenous healing approaches, and 2) diverse spiritual perspectives and practices. Although most alternative-medicine authors have in-depth expertise on their specific subject, relatively few have Kenneth Cohen's broad, integrative perspective that not only expands our healing spectrum, but, more importantly, unifies it. Anyone, such as myself, that is a product of mainstream biomedical thinking will very much appreciate the author's integrative, big-picture viewpoint.
In the appendix, the author discusses the many remarkable elders, such as the legendary Rolling Thunder, who have mentored him over the years, and whose thought, wisdom and influence is reflected throughout the book. You cannot develop a good appreciation of Native American, mind-body-spirit medicine without considering its spiritual components. Because many of these spiritual components were astonishingly outlawed until 1975, about when the author started his studies, in-depth awaremness of Native American healing has been obscured until relatively recently. Through this book, the author has taken this obscured knowledge - not just the superficialities - acquired through oral and experiental transmission to the few and transmuted it to a form readily assimilated into the mass consciousness. It is a considerable achievement.
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on February 3, 2004
Once in a long time a person is privileged to read a book that contains wisdom and power on almost every page. This is such a book. The writer, who is not by birth a Native American, has not only studied but lived the philosophy and practice of Native healing. He presents the reader with a multitude of different aspects of Native healing, not least of which is the healing of the spirit and the bases for establishing a truly healthy lifestyle.
I find it presumptuous to attempt to review this book. It contains important lessons about values, spiritual qualities and our connection to the web of life and it reminds us that healing is wellness of the mind and spirit as well as of the body.
If these are important to you, you will find this book truly valuable.
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on January 1, 2005
Ken Cohen brings us an outstanding overview of Native American healing. Cohen, also known as "Bear Hawk," is an adopted member of the Cree Nation, and has studied with many medicine persons over four decades. This clear and lucid summary explains the medicine traditions and approaches of many of the Native American nations.

As Cohen explains, this book will not teach you to be a healer in this tradition because Native American healing is not learned from books. What it will do is to give you a breadth and depth of appreciation of the rich folklore that has much to offer those of us who are raised in the (relatively) sterile tradition of Western medicine which addresses the disease the person has, often ignoring the person who has the disease. The point is well made by Cohen that the person who is the healer, together with the person seeking the healing, shape and individualize the medicine that is needed for that specific healing.

Cohen writes with great wisdom and sensitivity, sharing his voluminous knowledge and many years of experience in studying and practicing Native American healing. He brings a lightness to this monumental work by sharing many personal stories of his encounters with the wise elders and healers of many Nations.

This is a must read for anyone interested in shamanic traditions.
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on September 29, 2005
I feel that this is one of the best books on the market on Nativer American Spirituality and teaching..Mr. Cohen has written it in terms that can be understood by anyone with a heart to opea and read..

Respectfully

Phillip Gray Wolf Rice

Munsee Lenape
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on February 3, 2004
Once in a long time a person is privileged to read a book that contains wisdom and power on almost every page. This is such a book. The writer, who is not by birth a Native American, has not only studied but lived the philosophy and practice of Native healing. He presents the reader with a multitude of different aspects of Native healing, not least of which is the healing of the spirit and the bases for establishing a truly healthy lifestyle.
I find it presumptuous to attempt to review this book. It contains important lessons about values, spiritual qualities and our connection to the web of life and it reminds us that healing is wellness of the mind and spirit as well as of the body.
If these are important to you, you will find this book truly valuable.
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on September 11, 2009
I found this book by lucky accident, "Honoring the Medicine: The Essential Guide to Native American Healing". I am interested in all kinds of healing and in Native Americans, so it seemed a great way to spend my time while waiting for a meeting. I ended up taking the book home and reading and rereading it.

It is the story of a modern man who discovers himself and finds his place among tribal people as a healer. Ken Cohen is able to share his path and enlighten the reader while weaving a facinating story. Spirituality is inseperable from healing and indiginous healers understand this. Modern medical people should read this book and change how medicine is practiced today. There is a basic understanding of humanity and wholistic healing that the Native American healers share.

I had friends who wanted to borrow it, but I was not willing to let it go. Thank goodness for amazon.com - I can buy copies for my friends and not have to give up my copy. I highly recommend this book.
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on December 11, 2011
"Honoring the Medicine" describes Native American healing practices, including hands-on healing, and the moral values Native American healers live by. For Native Americans, Medicine is a way of life, not just a treatment for illness.

Cohen tells the story about how the native healer Rolling Thunder and his group of students dramatically changed an arid landscape in Nevada with daily prayers. They literally created Sacred Space. "Prayers can heal both people and landscapes." A young Native American woman found healing by praying by a local river every morning for 90 days. Cohen notes that to Native Americans, connection is essential for healing - connection to Nature, connection to Spirit, connection to Community and Self. Isolation breeds illness. Healing for self, clients and family is intertwined with healing for the space where we live.
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on August 8, 2014
I was in search of NA culture and I found a lot of it here. This book was loaned to me and within four pages, I knew I had to own it. I return to it time and again, and likely will for a long time to come. It's a reference, not a read-at-a-sitting book.
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on October 25, 2012
I enjoyed reading this book, for it delivers on several levels. Not just a book about healing methods, it delves into the Native American culture in depth. Details about traditional life, customs, and ways of looking at the world are all woven into the chapters. Great philosophy for modern Americans, Native or not.
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