How Watching People Restore Bonsai Trees Became My Form of Meditation

Image of a Bonsai tree on a table
Photo by Luca Finardi on Pixabay

What is Bonsai?

What’s so great about watching people groom trees?

For whatever reason, my Youtube algorithm decided to suggest a Bonsai restoration video to watch. Thinking back to twelve-year-old me, sitting starry-eyed at those Bonsai Club meetings watching old men get excited about old trees, I initially just clicked on it for the nostalgia.

I broke the branch, so I had to pretend that I had intended to break it all along.

- Peter Chan

Apart from the fact that Peter is hilarious, even a complete novice like me can tell he has fully mastered the Art of taking proper care of Bonsai trees.

Life is stressful

Let’s face it.

Natural Art

I love being out and about, going camping, and just enjoying being outside. Humans yearn for the great outdoors, being one with nature and just relax for a second. Bonsai trees resemble a microcosm of the great outdoors. Watching a master work on a tree, you can feel the deep respect for its natural shape. The tree isn’t strictly pruned and wired to fit into some desired form. The natural shape is just nudged in the right direction, resulting in arguably the most natural form of Art.


We’re living in an extremely fast-paced society. The sweet spot for a youtube video length is usually around 5–6 minutes. You spend your day hopping from one task to another, checking the latest Instagram feed in between, and maybe chug down a cup of Huel because you can’t find the time to actually prepare a meal. This is an extreme exaggeration I know, but you get what I mean.


Maybe this is a bit far-fetched, but watching that old man thoroughly taking care of and restoring the juniper tree, I subconsciously drew a connection to myself. Without realizing it, for the next couple of days, I took more time in the morning to take care of my skin, beard, and general appearance (we all know that pandemic look).



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David Kippels

David Kippels


Freelance UI/UX Designer | Random thoughts on Design, Finance, and other things |