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Bonsai to promote ‘Zen’

Bonsai (bon-sai), is a Japanese word that literally means ‘tray planting’. It is the art of dwarfing trees or plants into small containers and trimming them into beautiful shapes. Although widely accepted that this skill originated in China, it is the Japanese that developed it into a highly skilled art form.


Bonsai can be created from almost any perennial woody tree or shrubs which produce true branches. They are miniaturized by confining root growth in small pots and the branches are shaped, clipped and teased to get the desired shape. Throughout the life of the plant they are continuously trimmed and pruned into the desired effect. Some species of trees are commonly groomed into bonsai because they have features that are bonsai friendly, such as small leaves or needles.


This practice appeared in China well over a thousand years ago and was known as ‘pun-sai’ or ‘pent-sai’ (tray plant) - the growth of landscapes and trees in pots. In fact it was the Chinese preoccupation with legends and mythical surroundings that began the idea. The Chinese ‘pun-sai’ incorporated images of fire dragons, mountains, serpents and was of greater importance than trees or plants.


In the descriptions, guides and books about bonsai growing, the influence of Buddhist monks is still seen very well. The texts tell about Zen-like state of mind and meditation while you are growing your bonsai tree. You should water your bonsai and meditate, prune its branches and think of Zen, wire its shoots and be as calm as a Buddhist monk. Cutting and shaping should be done in the meditative state of mind.


Bonsai art can be quite difficult. It must perfectly and accurately represent an ideal image that can be achieved over the course of years.  The true form of the tree is never complete, as the tree will continue to grow. This hobby is not to be taken lightly, as it requires many hours of care and quite a bit of passion.  If you like the look and idea of bonsai but simply do not have the time or patience required to grow and care for your own, silk bonsai are a great alternative.


Silk or artificial Bonsai are one of the most popular fake plants. Modern manufacturing techniques have allowed for ‘tray plants’ that have intricate detail and realism. Every aspect of the tree in high quality artificial bonsai.  Even by touching the leaves one cannot immediately tell the difference.


The artificial Bonsai looks most effective in a minimal setting, as Zen is about appreciating each moment and freeing your mind of all distraction.  Allow the stark beauty of the plant to dominate its surroundings. Using simple planters and trays, an artificial bonsai can completely transform a space or area and create a perfect ‘Zen’ environment.
 

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