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The Enlightened Gardener

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  353 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Beset by daily life's trials and tribulations, many people search for the elusive wisdom that will help them make sense of their journey and find inner peace. So, too, do the characters in this wonderful story by Sydney Banks. In this simple but profound tale, four colleagues meet a remarkable gardener whose unique philosophy will forever change their lives. That philosoph ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published March 21st 2001 by Lone Pine Publishing (first published March 21st 1991)
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Feb 09, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Apart from some very few psychological concepts which are indeed used today in therapies such as CBT and ACT, this book is a load of nonsense on the clinical psychological side. I'm not even going to discuss the writing - it was too plain to achieve its goal. There are some good ideas in here, but the presentation is severely lacking in all areas. ...more
Irene Grindell
Jun 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lovely little read. Full of metaphors to keep working on the subconscious:)

3 Principles changed my life more than any other work I have done over the last 15 years. So simple yet soooooooo complex.
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating story and remarkable man. I love the book, particularly chapters 7 to 12 and 15 have touched me deeply. Very good read for the eternally curious.
I read this book in relatively small doses, no more than a couple of chapters at a time where possible, and I wouldn't want to try and read it in one go. It's not a heavy book by any means, but I don't think you'd get the most out of it by devouring it in a single sitting. You need to take your time and let the meaning develop and take hold.

That said, I don't think I got a lot out of it completing this in multiple sittings. I think this is a book that will make you think, and ponder, and which y
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
Especially the beginning was great and I was wondering there it would go...
But then it drifts off into very general statements, the sort of "we are all one" and the conversations seem very staged. I get the idea of just pointing at things and leaving it to the reader to get a hold of it through own experience - but I've read other books on the topic that did it in a much more easily accessible, down to earth kind of way.
Marian Brown
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
for truth, love and insight into who we are, truly this is the only book to read. Everything else is entertainment only. Change your thinking back towards the one you were meant to be, find that peace of mind, it exists, still, within!
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Horrible, horrible writing, but some good points in there, but man, it took me forever to read because, wow, it was just so poorly written!
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Sydney Banks changed my life. Probably sounds like I've joined some cult but it's not like that.
That said, his fiction is utterly horrible - this book included.
Feb 13, 2020 added it
Loved learning about the Three Principles but can’t recommend this book. Poor writing (and narrating) made it annoying.
Natasha Everitt
Nov 12, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I am loving exploring these three principles, this is the founding book by Sydney Bank that is an enjoyable read. You wont regret it.

According to Banks, the three principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought explain the entire range of human behaviour and feeling states.
You cannot have a feeling without first having a thought. Our feelings are caused 100% by our thoughts. Thoughts come first, our thinking leads to our feelings and emotions. Every thought has a corresponding feeling attached.
Nov 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful, thought provoking read

I came across the work of author Sydney Banks after discovering The Three Principles movement.

This book is a beautiful exploration of what The Three Principles is, explained through a parable featuring a group of psychologists and therapists from the USA who visit England and meet a gardener who shares wisdom that changes their views on mental health.

I wish I could explain the Three Principles better, but thinking about how to do that is more difficult than you
Kat Quinn
Mar 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
The story is twee AF. But it is a nice way to learn more about the 3 principles. It’s fundamentally a no frills parable for explaining Banks’ enlightened beliefs. It was never going to be a literary marvel. I doubt he meant it to be either - how fancy does it need to be when you’re an enlightened mystic?

I had to keep reminding myself that it was set in a time before we knew about the importance of our thoughts, as I couldn’t help thinking that these 4 psychologists were absolute rubbish when th
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
I hate to say it but I struggled to get through this book. I have myself found so much new depth to life since coming across the 3 Principles understanding a year ago. I hoped going to the source by reading Sydney Banks would help to increase my understanding however the book seemed so slow and poorly written. I didn't feel engaged with any of the hollow characters. It is also pretty dated, for example I disliked how the gardner always referred to the female psychologist as 'luv'. Overall it mad ...more
Apr 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Oh, dear. I found this book because I read The Little Book of Big Change and The Inside-Out Revolution.
I thought I'd go back to the source of these ideas and books. And, well. I'd stick to new books that explain and expand on the Enlightened Gardener.
It is unfortunately poorly written and describes the field of psychology with a number of misconceptions showing that the author does not really understand or know what psychiatrists and psychologists do.
But the book is the inspiration for a numb
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
Intro book into consciousness theory presented in an easy to read, and somewhat entertaining format, about a gardener who "knows things". Probably good for those who have not been exposed to the various greater consciousness ideas. Not a lot of depth or explanation. Maybe a step beyond the Law of Attraction ideas.

For those exposed to Robert Monroe, Tom Campbell, William Buhlman, the Seth books or even the ones by Ester and Jerry Hicks, this will be nothing new.
Alistair Miller
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating book about the 3 Principles espoused by Sydney Banks. The 'story' is really a backdrop for explaining how the 3 Principles work. As someone who is interested in the 3 Principles, I found it engrossing. Having the wisdom come from a character, rather than in a factual manner, made it more interesting. It also made it more palatable to understand. This is definitely a book to come back to, then think about for a while, then return. ...more
Barry Connolly
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book

Excellent book, a personal development book written in novel form. One of the more enjoyable books in personal development to read with great wisdom on how thought affects our lives
Lucy's Weight
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read

A must read if you want to deepen your understanding of the three principles. It has made see them in a different light and you can see the transaction of the characters as their understanding deepens.

A book for life for me.
Charles Clarke
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic read.

Quite an intelligent novel. Immediately you can relate to the characters within the story, as the author cleverly weaves Wisdom throughout the pages. I'm sure I will revisit this book again and again.
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Overall good read. The narrative and the dialogue between the characters makes the quite challenging philosophical and psychological discussion easy to relate to. Some of the story context feels a bit stereotypical and irrelevant, but nevertheless the flow and the subject is really interesting.
Ronnie Connick
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Deceptively easy to read, this is a book worth savouring, let the chapters sink in before moving on.
A bit late to be recommending a book that’s been around for almost 50 years but if you haven’t read it, do.
Pam Toth
Feb 15, 2022 rated it it was ok
A very jumbled and simplistic story. No character depth and the references to therapy methods and concepts seems unbelievable to me. If what is described is true, many older generations never had a chance of understanding or recovering from their illnesses. Makes me sad.
Hans Peter
I didn't read it to the end. It may be a good book for others, but it didn't manage to catch my attention. ...more
Maryline David
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this book to be very effective at introducing Sydney Banks' three principles. ...more
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although I like the Three Principle idea, you may find it better explained from Antti Vanhanen or Neill’s Inside Out.
Jan 06, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: new-agey
Brian Wright
Jan 10, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Like a beautiful sunrise that you can't quite see the whole of, it leaves you with a positive state of mind and a free spirit, a neverending source of self discovery.
Feb 05, 2016 rated it liked it
A sweet little book, an easy read, and yet, plenty of opportunities to really get mind-boggled here. I enjoy this way to present the three principles of mind, thought and consciousness, and strongly suggest the book for anyone who want's to get reflective on the way human beings create our very own worlds. ...more
Jan 14, 2009 rated it liked it
What a great "How to" and little reminder that we need to look beyond the "human factor" and remember that we are all important in our own ways. It is up to us, as individuals, to accept the challenge of diversity and grow within it. ...more
Shane Kennedy
Jun 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The philosophy contained in this novel has had the more profound effect on my life than any book I have read. The simple story leads to an exploration of how to be truly happy.
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