Bonsai and Tai Chi in harmony!

Bonsai, the ancient art of growing plants in containers to look like miniature trees and Tai Chi, a classic form of Chinese exercise which promotes balance and good health.  Both of these arts require  patience and commitment to the beauty of the outcome.

The art of bonsai creates an illusion over time of a tree that has aged and matured into it’s current form.  Nurturing and caring for the tree requires  time and patience and discipline in the form of styling and maintenance.  The art of bonsai teaches the inherent wisdom  that something true and lasting can only be created over time with patience. As in nature large and magnificent  oak  trees, for example, are developed over years of being pruned and  trained by the elements of nature.

This Chinese practice of meditative exercise is also a form of discipline learned over time. This discipline requires a commitment to learning this ancient art and sticking with it to understand and fully reap the benefits of a balanced mind and body.  The literal meaning of the words Tai Chi are a Chinese system of slow meditative physical exercise for relaxation, balance and health.  This ancient form of exercise can be described as meditation in action.

The movements of the series of poses  are beautiful and charged with symbolic meaning.  Shin-zen-bi, truth, goodness and beauty are the three virtues needed to create bonsai.  Growing bonsai trees is a Zen practice which brings a person closer to nature and ultimately closer to oneself. The diligence and patience needed to practice both of these art forms are similar but different.  In this disciplined form of exercise, tranquility and understanding can be reached through a series of poses perfected and learnt over time, it is a marriage of mind and body focusing together on a single outcome.  In growing bonsai trees the mind and the tree become one in an ancient form of creation, stretching the imagination of the artist as he contemplates the forces of nature that would work together to create this unique wonder of nature.

The benefits of Bonsai and Tai Chi are ancient and long lasting.  Art forms that create patience and understanding in the individual and society as a whole.

10 comments » Write a comment

  1. I never thought about bonsai tree growing as an art but you describe it so uniquely here I can definitely see how people would consider it that. I think these trees are really beautiful and think it would be really cool to see one grow.

  2. I received a bonsai tree one year as an anniversary present. I kept it alive for two years until it needed to be re-potted, but then it died. The calming effects of tending to plants is undeniable, I guess I just need to get better at their safe transfer to new homes!

  3. I’ve long wanted to get a bonsai tree. It looked and seemed like such a relaxing activity. In the last year or so I’ve discovered the joy of vegetable gardening and it’s been incredible. Those few hours a week spent outside with no worries, no computer screens, and no distractions are my favorites of the week.

  4. You rarely hear of anyone who seeks to do Tai Chi anymore. It seems that most are looking to explore the more violent forms of martial arts. Might be because there is not nearly as much in the media about Tai Chi as their is about stuff like MMA fighting (combined forms).

    • Jon, I agree with your comment that Tai Chi does not get much mention on the web.

      Tai Chi is about harmony and the balance in life with slow movement. Bonsai teaches us the balance between mother earth and sky. (Roots and leaves)

  5. You are absolutely right to say that, I quote you: “The benefits of Bonsai and Tai Chi are ancient and long lasting. Art forms that create patience and understanding in the individual and society as a whole.”

    Even if Tai chi is not mentioned that much on the web it is definitely practised around the world. And popular:-)

  6. The art of Bonsai inspires such a terrific sense of wonder, they make me think of doorways to impossibly small worlds. It is a subject area I find fascinating and also very intimidating. It isn’t the patience required to grow, but the knowledge needed to maintain the tree.

  7. Paul — my husband and I tried more than once to have a Bonsai plant. But we must have brown thumbs because they always died. I love having plants in my home — I get pleasure and it’s soothing even when they plants and flowers are artificial.

    • Hi Jeannette

      I understand the pleasure with some artificial plants. I have two Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise) growing and it took seven years for the first flower to appear, now it flowers every second year. Patience with beauty is required.

      Thanks for the comment.

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