Gardening Magazine

Bonsai and Tai Chi in Harmony!

By Polmast @bonsaiireland

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.

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