The Meaning and Symbolism Behind the Lotus Flower Tattoo

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Lotus flowers are amazing and have strong symbolic ties to many Asian religions especially throughout India. The lotus flower starts as a small flower down at the bottom of a pond in the mud and muck. It slowly grows up towards the waters surface continually moving towards the light. Once it come to the surface of the water the lotus flower begins to blossom and turn into a beautiful flower.

Within Hinduism and Buddhism the lotus flower has become a symbol for awakening to the spiritual reality of life. The meaning varies slightly between the two religions of course but essentially both religious traditions place importance on the lotus flower.

In modern times the meaning of a lotus flower tattoo ties into it’s religious symbolism and meaning. Most tattoo enthusiast feel that the a lotus tattoo represent life in general. As the lotus flower grows up from the mud into a object of great beauty people also grow and change into something more beautiful (hopefully!). So the symbol represent the struggle of life at its most basic form.

Lotus flower tattoos are also popular for people who have gone through a hard time and are now coming out of it. Like the flower they have been at the bottom in the muddy, yucky dirty bottom of the pond but have risen above this to display an object of beauty or al ife of beauty as the case might be. Thus a lotus flower tattoo or blossom can also represent a hard time in life that has been overcome.

Lotus flower and peonies are also two flowers that are very popular among Japanese tattoo artists and they make a great compliment to Koi Fish tattoos. Ironically enough the two koi fish and lotus flowers can often be found in the same pond in front of a temple. The Koi fish is a symbol typically for strength and individualism.

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Source by Chris Ryerson

Tips For Painting And Decorating Your Restaurant’s Kitchen

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Styling the kitchen of your restaurant is vital because this is where production begins and ends. In fact, restaurant painting and decorating should start where the cooking is: at the kitchen. The design of the kitchen includes a bunch of other decorating stages, including choosing the paint colour, deciding the layout, and selecting the kitchen appliances. Effective kitchen design results in greater efficiency of kitchen staff, which translates to higher productivity and better quality.

Consider an overall design or theme. Kitchen design normally follows a basic pattern, which is then made extraordinary by the bits of detailing and styling. Communicate specific requirements with your painting contractors so that the outcome turns out exactly what you want and need for your restaurant. Work out the details from a basic design – the very foundation of the way you decorate your restaurant kitchen. The basic design likewise commands the other aspects or areas of your establishment, including the dining area, counter section, and restrooms.

When it comes to general design or theme, you actually have a long list of options. One of the common choice themes is white, which makes the restaurant looking tidy and spacious. If you want to evoke a classic, country appeal, go for browns and greens, or match white with blue. Professional decorators can offer suggestions on how best to decorate your kitchen. If you want a really impressive kitchen, go for the showy shades of red, yellow, orange or pink. For themes, you may want a Tuscan kitchen, a traditional Irish diner, or retro theme.

Painting and decorating the kitchen should be done with consideration for safety. Some paint gets damaged quickly when exposed to fire, heat, oil and water – which are common elements in the cooking area. Not all surfaces are best coated with paint; some are best covered in granite tile or marble tile, which are easier to clean and resist food spill damage. Some sections of the walls need backsplash that keeps walls dry and attractive regardless of the activities in the kitchen. However, synchronise the colour of your tiles, decors, furniture, equipment and paint to come up with a unified look.

Kitchen safety is enhanced with proper lighting and proper layout. Space and lighting are maximised or improved with your choice of paint colour. Dark colours can make your kitchen cramped and narrow while bright colours make it spacious and well-lit. Then too, colour helps create an ambiance for your restaurant that encourages appetite. It’s been found that the red, oranges and yellow makes an area cheerful and pleasant for cooking and dining. Painting and decorating your restaurant kitchen must be well-thought-out to make the area as efficient and attractive as you want it to be.

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Source by Eoin Cullen

How to Clean & Sort Sesame Seeds by Machines

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Sesame seeds

Sesame seeds are flat, tiny, oval type seeds that have a nutty taste and an almost undetectable crunch. Its scientific name is ‘Sesamum indicum’. Some variants are seen and found in India while some in Africa (mainly Nigeria, Sudan & Ethiopia).

These seeds grow in pods and are cultivated from edible seeds. The seeds come in several varieties and colors like white, black, yellow and red.

Benefits

Sesame seeds have multiple benefits and applications all over the world.

Very healthy

Contains important minerals

Holds zinc which is beneficial for our bones

Lowers cholesterol levels

Rich in dietary proteins and fiber

Rich in niacin (a B-complex vitamin)

They have different uses depending on your location. It is used in cakes in Greece, sprinkled over burger buns, as sweets in many Indian and middle-eastern dishes, in Turkish delight etc.

Processing

The processing is done in three steps- ‘cleaning, dehulling & sorting’ wherein each process is done separately and in stages. But the full method is carried out in a Sesame Seed Plant.

Process 1 – Cleaning

This stage is a pre-cleaning process, designed to clean raw sesame seeds by removing impurities like dust particles. The machine has several devices to clean.

First, the seeds are sieved which then transfers to a spiral blending device that propels the seeds forward into grader & de-stoner (for stones, wood, metals etc.).

It has three discharge holes for sewage, impurities & clean seeds. This saves water, energy thereby encouraging continuous production. It’s trustworthy and efficient increasing utilization.

Process 2 – Dehulling

The dehulling process is of two types- ‘the wet and dry dehulling’. The dry method is not usual in industries as commercial plants want high output and quality. The wet dehulling gives exactly that.

Wet dehulling has 5 stages: soaking, dehulling, separation, cleaning and drying.

Soaking – the seeds sop up water and expand for peeling.

Dehulling – with soft friction and vertical alignment, the hull is removed.

Separation – done through classifier, gravity separator, the hull and seeds are separated depending on the separation theory of buoyancy.

Cleaning – the seeds are cleaned again with washers (washing and fine washing).

Drying – the product is then dried in a single chamber fluid bed where the seeds float in air (hot) and polishes by friction.

Process 3 – Sorting

Here there are three types of sorting namely Fine Sorting, Magnetic Sorting and Color Sorting done by a single sorter machine. The machine uses optical sensing to detect foreign materials.

Fine sorting – the seeds are fined and sorted based on size.

Magnetic Sorting – the fined seeds go through a magnetic charge to relieve of any final metallic impurities.

Color Sorting – finally, the sorter separates the impurities like stones, foreign grains.

The cleaning solutions add value to the product and its quality. After this process, the final step involved in the whole process is bagging. Now, there is a machine that bags the seeds as well.

After that the final product is packaged and ready for export. The demand is quite high as the benefits are too much.

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Source by Fahad A. Khan

Data Collection – An Eclectic Approach

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We will start with the premise that data collection methods should align with research objectives. No one methodology is the best approach for all research designs. The criterion for deciding on a method should relate directly to the research requirements.

Consideration of secondary factors should influence the decision only after the primary objectives are satisfied. On occasion lower priority criteria, such as time in field, or a concern about professional survey takers, are used to decide which data collection approach to employ. These types of issues need to be addressed, but should not dominate the decision on data collection method for a study.

Taking an eclectic approach to data collection ensures the strengths and weaknesses of each approach will be evaluated in the context of the research objectives. For example, unaided awareness and preference studies are difficult to accomplish using a web-based approach, especially if the study is exploring multiple products or product types and needs to use probing questions.

Conversely, while not impossible, it would be highly undesirable to attempt a conjoint study using telephone interviews. Conjoint studies are much better suited to a web-based approach.

Web-Based Method

The web has far-reaching capabilities that allow researchers to extend the coverage of their research. More geographic coverage (larger number of countries), typically at a lower cost, is an attractive combination. The lower cost and/or more coverage can help the research team to add country coverage in emerging markets or where it may be difficult and expensive to conduct telephone interviews due to the lack of native-speaking interviewers (although this may work in reverse in some countries).

Speed of data collection is often the reason a web-based approach is selected. However, the caveat is that best practices may still require several weeks (3-4) to provide time to do waves of emails to complete a random stratified sample.

For some studies the web is the most desirable approach. It is the single best way to conduct a conjoint study. It’s also the preferred method for collecting information when long lists of items or complex statements are part of the research instrument design (e.g., multiple response questions with either an “all that apply” or k of N question structure).

The k of N question structure is a ratio, where there are N items listed and k is the maximum number of items the respondent is allowed to select (e.g., “select up to four”). The k of N question type requires respondents to listen to more information than they are likely to remember. Human heuristics research shows that with lists of more than 5-7 items only the first and last items heard tend to be remembered, which could bias the results (Note: list rotation helps, but cannot overcome this problem).

Another benefit of a web-based study is it allows respondents to participate when they have time, and to start-stop-and-restart if necessary. It also allows for interesting incentive programs that can combine downloadable content with other forms of incentives. In fact, it may be highly desirable to use downloadable content as an incentive, rather than a cash-based approach to avoid attracting professional survey takers. Immediately available value-added content will attract business managers, IT professionals, and other professional groups, but will have little value to the survey takers looking for cash payouts with little or no interest in the subject matter.

Telephone Interview Method

Among the most important advantages of telephone interviewing is the researcher’s ability to control the sample. Interviewers are able to find the person in an organization most qualified to respond. They can screen respondents and use probes to find the “right” respondent. Quotas for demographic strata and unique qualifications can be controlled directly with the help of a computer-aided telephone interviewing (CATI) system used by most field houses. Broad-based lists of companies, rather than opt-in email lists, can be used, which helps with randomization.

The use of unaided response questions is easier to implement with phone interviewing than it is with a web-based approach, which relies on a respondent to take the time to type responses. Interviewers can also probe and encourage respondents to consider more answers, using phrases such as: “Are there any other companies you can think of?”

Telephone interviewing, which is a more active recruitment method than web-based research, helps to avoid professional survey takers regardless of the incentives used. The quality of the list is clearly as important in telephone interviewing as it is in web-based data collection. However, a poor phone list is easily detected and substituted if it is not performing well.

Therefore, the ability to create highly stratified samples with multiple selection criteria and multiple sample quotas is a significant strength of the telephone approach. Data collection may be enhanced for some question types and, as stated, the type of question is an important criterion for selecting a data collection method. Not all questions are best suited to the telephone, but when the study requires probing and open-ended questions, the phone may be the method of choice.

Summary

The issue is not whether a study using a specific data collection approach is superior or inferior to another approach, but rather whether the research objectives are served better by one approach over another. Some research designs clearly align with specific data collection methods while in other cases more general strengths and weaknesses of the two methods can be used to decide the approach that will be used. In some cases, the differences between data collection approaches are less dramatic and issues such as availability of field resources, cost factors, and time in field are the deciding factors.

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Source by Carey Azzara

Advantages and Disadvantages of Acrylic Paint in Acrylic Art Paintings

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Acrylic paints first showed up on the market in the 1950s. This revolutionary new paint helped to bring about a new form of art. Acrylic art which could be produced at a much faster rate that artwork created with other types of paint. The acrylic art soon became a paint of choice for many artists, but there were also those who saw some disadvantages to this new paint. This made them hesitant to use them and to create acrylic artwork.

Fast Drying

One of the top reasons why so many artists were drawn to the idea of acrylic art paintings was the paints fast drying time. Previously it could take weeks for a piece to completely dry when they were created with oil paints. That waiting time could become tedious when an artist simply wanted a piece to be complete. Acrylic paints offered a quick drying time and that was very appealing to artists. On the other hand, the quick drying time often results in harsh looking acrylic art. This is because colors can’t easily be blended or softened.

A Familiar Appearance

Acrylic art also have the ability to be diluted with water. When this is done acrylic art paintings resemble watercolors or oil paintings. They are easily used to replace watercolors and oil paint. In many cases acrylic paints are preferred over watercolors because as the acrylic paint dries the color does not change as it does with watercolors. This allows for a more predictable final coloring of a piece.

Durability

Acrylic paints, when dry, are resistant to water damage. This makes it much easier to preserve acrylic art paintings and other acrylic artwork. They also do not yellow as oil paints often do. They resist cracking and changing at all. Some may actually see a problem with the fact that this paint is resistant to water because it makes altering an acrylic artwork very difficult if not impossible.

Toxicity

Many artists prefer acrylic paint because using this type of art requires far less exposure to toxins. Acrylic paint can be thinned with only water and does not require any type of toxic substance in the thinning process. Also brushes can be cleaned in just water without the use of toxic substances. However, the paint itself may contain some toxins and if an artist is trying to slow the drying time then toxic substances must be used.

The advantages and disadvantages of acrylic artwork is something the individual artist has to weigh for themselves. Some artists may find the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. It all really comes down to what look an artist in trying to achieve. Acrylic paints have a specific look and even though they may be able to somewhat mimic watercolors or oil paint, when acrylics are used it is usually a very distinguishable look. Besides that working with acrylic paint is a much different process. So, it really comes down to the artist and their preference of which type of paint to use.

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Source by Nicole Roberts

The Artistic Debate Over the Use of Acrylic Vs Oil Paints

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In the debate over which is better, acrylic paint or oils, it can only truly be answered by preference and in some cases, availability. Most artists would probably not be starving artists if they switched over to acrylic as they tend to be less expensive than oils. However, many artists may feel that acrylics somehow detract from their work and that by using a less expensive material they are somehow decreasing the value.

This of course, is the furthest thing from the truth. Paintings done in acrylics have recently sold for at least four times that of some of the most valuable oil paintings in the world. It always comes down to talent and the fame of the name of the artist when it comes to valuing the work, not the material that was used in creating it.

Many artists that are accustomed to the maneuverability of oils are a bit surprised at how acrylics handle. It is true that because an acrylic dries faster that it can be more difficult to use, but if the correct techniques are used then it can simulate oils quite well. There are many retarders on the market that can lessen the drying time. Not only can they be made to work as oils, but water can be added to the acrylic to create the consistency of water colors. Using too much water, however, can break down the material and it will no longer be able to dry and form correctly. This is a technique that must be practiced and some trial and error will occur.

The obvious advantage to using acrylics is their ability to dry very quickly. Once again, many artists find this as a hindrance, but works can be created in acrylics much faster than in oils. With oils, even after leaving the painting for several days to dry, the oil on canvas can still be corrected with a brush. This is not the case with acrylics. Some see this as making the acrylic artist more attuned to correct brush technique and ability, as they are not as easily able to make corrections. Therefore, it could be said that an artist that works with high quality acrylics has to be very accurate.

Some find that working with either is difficult depending on what they first started with. There is also quite a different in the way that the materials smell, feel and clean up. Oils are much easier to clean and smell of linseed. Acrylics can be harder to clean because they dry so quickly and don’t have a strong odor. In this case, acrylics could win out again because it forces the artist not to drop a single bit of the material because they will have to spend quite some time in removing it.

Some argue that oils have more depth than acrylics, while others mention the fact that acrylics have more possible palette colors. The materials used for oil paints can not hold as many color molecules as acrylics. For instance, there are no neon oil paints, yet there is a wide selection of neon colors available in acrylics.

Depending on the skill, talent and desire of the artist, either material can be used effectively. There are many high quality acrylic paintings on canvas as well as those created with oils. It will be left up to time and the artist’s preference to determine which is truly best.

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Source by Veny Arsenov

Swallow Tattoos – Exploring the Symbolic Meaning of Swallow Tattoo Designs

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Swallow tattoos have played a special symbolic part among various world cultures for thousands of years. Nowadays, these tattoos are still immensely popular and are often considered merely for the fashion and beauty aspect of swallow art. However, some of these designs have a deeper personal meaning as well.

Meaning of Swallow Tattoos

Since swallow tattoos have been an incredibly popular choice for body art fans, it naturally lends the question: What swallow tattoo meaning could apply to you?

The historic designs of swallow tattoos goes back hundreds of years and begins with the plight of sailors. When a crew was sailing a long distance on the ocean, typically 5,000 nautical miles or across the equator, the travels were often full of hardship, sickness, starvation, and quite commonly, death. One sign that their travels were nearing an end was the appearance of swallows. Because these birds never traveled far out to sea, their sighting meant that land was near and the long voyage was coming to an end. This fact led many sailors to start adopting swallow tattoo designs as a symbol of hope and a successful finish to a long journey. As a followup to this story, having a tattoo depicting 2 swallows indicated going on a very long journey (10,000 nautical miles or more) and a swallow tattoo with a dagger through its heart symbolized a memorial for a friend lost at sea.

A different anecdote describes swallow tattoos as a symbol of a mutiny that occurred on a ship called ‘The Swallow’. Each of the 7 sailors described in this story had a swallow bird design on their chest to show their support for the mutiny.

As time passed, swallow tattoos have come to symbolize different meanings to different people. Some see the swallow art as a symbol of success or triumph. Others decide to get swallow bird tattoos to signify the return home after a long departure, such as a soldier coming back from war. Another popular meaning is that of freedom, as some people released from prison have chosen this bird tattoo as a sign of their entrance back into society. Yet another interpretation is for an everlasting love and loyalty, related to the fact that swallows mate for life.

Swallow Tattoos – Learn About Early Swallow Art and Culture

When it came to the artistic depictions of swallow tattoos, it is interesting to note that for centuries humans bestowed upon these birds a symbolism of both good luck as well as bad. Therefore, by learning the origins of swallow art history, you can rest assured that the exact symbolic meaning you wish to convey is indeed the one that gets tattooed. Here are some examples of swallow art depictions from various cultures:

  • In ancient times, prior to swallow tattoos gaining prominence, the birds themselves were associated with the all-powerful gods, as well as the souls of the dead. For instance, according to Greek and Roman mythology, deities were able to change their form into a swallow. On the other hand, grieving mothers considered the bird to be sacred, as it was thought to carry the soul of their deceased children. Consequently, killing a swallow was deemed unlucky.
  • Similarly, an ancient Egyptian artwork depicts a swallow as it enters the underworld, however, Egyptian poetry made a departure to a more positive tone, describing the swallow as bringing the first sign of a new love.
  • The expression “one swallow does not make a summer” is derived from a fable by Aesop and is intended as an advice for being cautious and deliberative.
  • During the yearly pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, the swallow was considered to be the symbol of faith and steadiness.
  • In classical Chinese paintings, the swallow represented happiness and the arrival of spring, and was often depicted as part of the flowering peach branch. Additional portrayals show the bird as: daring, risk-seeking, and a symbol of change for good in the future.
  • Despite a mostly favorable characterization of swallows as representing lifelong partnership, in Japan, swallows symbolized unfaithfulness and were described in legends as flying through the house while carrying tidings of displeasure and bad luck from the gods.

All in all, the meaning conveyed by swallow art is that of a region-specific symbolism, which you may wish to further consider for your own swallow tattoos.

Swallow Tattoos – Get to Know the Species

There are literally thousands of bird species, so what makes the swallow a popular bird to ink? Notably, to make sure you get the right tattoo, it is useful to know that the swallow is sometimes mistaken for the bluebird. The eastern Bluebird and the Barn Swallow have similar coloring, with bright accents of orange and blue, converging on both yellow and red. Therefore, you and your tattoo artist should know the right colors and patterns needed to ink an accurate and attractive swallow tattoo. Additionally, the sheer fact that the swallow bird species makes its appearance most prominently during spring can be applied to swallow tattoos as a representation of fertility, hope, and happiness.

These are the main reasons for getting this particular body art, as it seems each new generation and culture finds its own symbolic meaning of the time-honored, simple yet beautiful, swallow tattoos.

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Source by Ben A Silver

Why Do Black Belt Martial Artists Get Beat Up By Street Fighters?

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If you want to learn to defend yourself, you join a karate school, right? After all, anyone who has a high ranking black belt and a slew of shiny trophies proudly displayed in their window should be able to teach you how to survive one of the worst situations that could ever happen to a human being… Right?

I think you and I are both old enough and experienced enough in the world right now to know that appearances are often very deceiving. What seems to be one thing is often something very different. And, learning self-defense from a karate-expert, at least a modern-day one, is no exception.

How can I say this? What do I have against karate students, teachers, and black belts?

I’ll start by saying that I have absolutely nothing against dedicated students and teachers of the martial arts – regardless of rank or style. In fact, I commend and respect them for their dedication, motivation, and discipline toward attaining both skill and rank in their chosen form.

Why do I question their ability to defend themselves, even in light of their having attained black belt or been awarded trophies in one or more tournaments or competitions? One word…

Statistics.

Crime reports and statistics are rife with accounts of people trained in the martial arts, many holding black belt rank, falling prey to the brutal attacks of common street thugs – fighters with no formal training in the martial or any other combat arts.

How can this be? After all, aren’t these people learning how to deal with a violent attacker? Isn’t that what you learn in a karate class?

To be honest with you, it’s very difficult to go into all the reasons that this logic falls through. If you want to really understand how and why this type of situation happens, and more often than you might think, you really need to read the book, “The Karate-Myth: Why Most Martial Arts and Self-Defense Programs Are Wrong.” This one powerful book, and it’s supporting materials, should be the first thing that anyone serious about learning to protect themselves reads before taking a single step towards enrolling in a class.

For now, let’s just explore the possibility that maybe, just maybe, there’s more to being able to defend yourself than merely learning a few cool moves. Maybe, just maybe, belt color or the size or number of trophies, tell us little to nothing about how someone will fair in a real world self-defense situation against an enraged or demonic attacker bent on getting more from you than a plaque or trophy. Maybe.

Let me just finish by saying that, just as there are dozens of reasons why someone may take up karate or martial arts training, there are dozens of benefits that one can derive from them as well. But, and this is a big “but,” if your goal is to learn how to effectively, efficiently, and confidently defend yourself against a real life bad guy, it will take more than a piece of cloth that represents how much time you’ve been practicing a set of punches, kicks, and blocks. It will take more than a big shiny trophy or two, unless of course you plan on using the trophies as weapons (I would…).

In fact, it will take many of the same things that the street fighter brings to the situation – things that I find to be seriously lacking in most of the conventional karate programs I’ve witnessed being taught across North America. If you’re going to win against an assailant who has nothing to lose and everything to gain, you’re going to have to make sure that you arm yourself with the same tools he’s carrying in his arsenal. And, I’m talking about guns, knives, or any other weapon of the sort. I’m talking about…

  • A commitment to winning – no matter what

  • Survival Instinct
  • Superior Attitude
  • A Complete Disregard for “doing it right,”
  • and…

  • No Delusional Belief about so-called “fair-play”

Until karate students can separate the traits developed for sportsmanship and being a positive member of society from those needed to survive in a dangerous and potentially life-threatening situation, I’m afraid the outcome will always be the same. And that is…

…he that is fighting to win – to survive – will always win over those who are simply going through the motions.

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Source by Jeffrey Miller

Bonsai Tree Meaning

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A lot of people wonder about the meaning behind the bonsai tree. Well, let’s start with the meaning of the word itself. Bonsai, first of all, is a Japanese word and could be translated as ‘a tree in a pot’. The art of bonsai growing, however, did not originate in Japan but in China. It started over a thousand years ago and at that time the trees were called ‘pun-sai’. The art of pun-sai growing was called penjing.

 

It is believed that in those days, people were trying to create the trees that look like dragons, serpents, birds and other animals. All of these forms are deeply rooted in Chinese myths and legends.

 

Later on, when the Japanese learned of this new art form, the meaning changed as well. The Buddhist monks that brought bonsai growing to Japan viewed these trees as a symbol for harmony between nature, man and soul. With that, the form of the trees also changed. Gone were the bizarre and grotesque shapes of twisting serpents and fierce dragons. From then on the bonsai were all about harmony, peace and balance. They started to represent all that was good.

 

Buddhist monks had a great influence on the art and practice of bonsai growing that has never quite disappear. Even these days a lot of books that are dedicated to bonsai gardening and are published in the western world talk about meditation and zen. They will describe how growing a bonsai requires a meditative state and how all the pruning and cutting should be approached with a zen-like state of mind.

 

That being said, most of the bonsai tree meaning was lost to the general public in the last couple of decades. Most westerners now look on these trees as merely a decoration; a little touch of Asia to put in our homes. I’ll leave it to you to decide if that’s a good thing or not.

 

However, if you do become a bonsai artist and start growing your own trees, instead of just observing them or buying trees that someone else has made for you, you will find that taking care of bonsai still possessed a spiritual note. You will have to connect to the tree, understand it, see where it wants to grow and then gently direct it into the desired direction. You will have to find balance between what you want and what a tree is willing to give you. You will have to find patience inside of you and allow a tree to dictate how fast it wants to develop. And throughout all this process, you might discover something new inside of you. You might discover that indescribable thing that has captivated so many. With that, you just might find your own meaning of bonsai trees.

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Source by Carolyn Anderson