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Body and Mind in Chinese / Japanese...

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Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Body and Mind
  2. Mind, Body and Spirit
  3. Strong Body, Strong Mind
  4. Strong Mind Strong Body
  5. Energy Sword Body in Concert
  6. Ghost / Soul / Spirit
  7. 7. Right Mindfulness / Right Memory / Perfect Mindfulness
  8. Exercise
  9. Happiness / Contentment
10. Offering / Puja
11. Shingitai / Shin Gi Tai
12. Clarity
13. You are only as old as you feel


Body and Mind

China shēn xīn
Japan shin shin
Body and Mind

身心 means, "body and mind" or "mental and physical" in Chinese and Japanese.

In the Buddhist context, body and mind encompass the five elements (skandha) of a sentient being.
The body is the physical material (rūpa) of life. Mind embraces the other four skandhas which are consciousness, perception, action, and knowledge.

Mind, Body and Spirit

China shēn xīn líng
Japan mi shin rei
Mind, Body and Spirit

This is probably the best way to express the idea of "Body, Mind and Spirit" in Chinese and old Korean Hanja. We are actually using the word for "heart" here because for thousands of years, the heart was thought to be the place where your thoughts, feelings and emotions came from. We do something similar in the west when we say "warm-hearted" or "I love you with all of my heart." In this context, heart = mind in Asian language and culture.

The very literal translation of these three characters is "body, heart & spirit" which could also be interpreted as "body mind & soul."

We have arranged these characters in this order because it simply "feels" like the proper order in the Chinese language. Word lists like this are not so common for calligraphy artwork, so we have to be careful to put them in the most natural order. It should be noted that this is not a common title in Asia, nor is it considered an actual phrase (as it lacks a clear subject, verb, and object).


霊In Japanese Kanji, they use an alternate form of the character for soul or spirit. If you want this using the Japanese alternate, please click on the Kanji shown to the right instead of the button above.

Japanese disclaimer: This is not a natural phrase/list in Japanese. While not totally-natural in Chinese, this word list is best if your audience is Chinese.

Strong Body, Strong Mind

Japan tsuyo i karada tsuyo i kokoro
Strong Body, Strong Mind

強い体強い心 is a way to write "strong mind, strong body" in Japanese.

Each of the two lines starts with 強い (tsuyoi) which means: strong; powerful; mighty; potent; resistant; resilient; durable; tough; stiff; hard; inflexible.

Body is represented with 体 (ancient version is 體, romanized as karada) which means: body; build; physique; posture; torso; trunk; health.

Mind is represented with 心 (kokoro) which can mean heart, mind, or soul depending on context.

This is not a common phrase in Japanese, so it's not the most natural title for calligraphy. In English, you might want to write it, "strong mind, strong body" but, "strong mind, strong body," is more natural in Japanese.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Strong Mind Strong Body

China qiáng zhuàng de shēn tǐ jiān qiáng de xīn tài
Strong Mind Strong Body

This is the Chinese phrase for "Strong Mind, Strong Body," however, the character order is actually "Strong Body, Strong Mind," as that's the more natural word order in Chinese.

Energy Sword Body in Concert

Spirit, Sword & Body as One
Japan ki ken tai icchi
Energy Sword Body in Concert

This often gets translated as "Mind Sword Body," or "Spirit, Sword and Body as One." But I think these translations don't tell you enough about what this is really saying.

In this context, 気, which is the modern Japanese version of 氣, means spiritual and unseen energy or "life energy." In some cases, 気 can be translated as spirit, feeling, or nature. If defined as mind, it's more about invisible or intangible part of one's mind (or soul).

剣 is the Japanese version of 劍 meaning sword.

体 is the modern Japanese version of 體 meaning body.

The Kanji 一 means one, and in this case suggests "all in one." The Kanji 到 means to send, deliver, or convey. But together, 一到 suggests all these things in agreement, union cooperation, or in concert.

Ghost / Soul / Spirit

China hún pò
Japan kon paku
Ghost / Soul / Spirit

魂魄 is a Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja term for ghost, soul, or spirit.

It's used in the context of Buddhism as:
Animus and anima; the spiritual nature or mind, and the animal soul; the two are defined as mind and body or mental and physical, the invisible soul inhabiting the visible body, the former being celestial, the latter terrestrial.

7. Right Mindfulness / Right Memory / Perfect Mindfulness

Samyak Smriti / Samyak Smrti / Samma Sati
China zhèng niàn
Japan sei nen
7. Right Mindfulness / Right Memory / Perfect Mindfulness

正念 is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right Mindfulness, along with Right Effort and Right Concentration constitute the path to Concentration or Perfect Thought.

Right Mindfulness is about remaining focused on one's body, feelings, mind and mental qualities. It's also about being ardent, aware, and mindful, and supposes that you've already put aside worldly desire and aversion.

Monk Bhikkhu Bodhi described this as: The mind is deliberately kept at the level of bare attention, a detached observation of what is happening within us and around us in the present moment. In the practice of right mindfulness the mind is trained to remain in the present, open, quiet, and alert, contemplating the present event.

Another definition: Ongoing mindfulness of body, feelings, thinking, and objects of thought.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

Exercise

(for body or mind)
China duàn liàn
Exercise

鍛煉 / 鍛鍊 means exercise in much the same way we use the word exercise in English. This can be exercising your body at the gym, or exercising your mind in studies. Most of the time, this refers to physical exercise.

This can also be translated as to temper, to toughen, to train, to drill, to forge, or simply discipline.

Happiness / Contentment

Japan ko fuku
Happiness / Contentment

鼓腹 means happiness and contentment in Japanese Kanji.

The first Kanji represents your internal beat or drum.
The second Kanji represents your mind and body.
Together, it suggests that your internal rhythm or beat is regular, soothing, and at proper tempo.


See Also:  Satisfaction | Pleasure | Well-Being

Offering / Puja

China gòng yǎng
Japan ku you
Offering / Puja

供養 is the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean rough equivalent to the Sanskrit word, Pūjā.

The meaning is: To make offerings (to the Gods); to supply; to provide for one's elders; to support one's parents; memorial service for the dead; holding a service; any offering for body or mind; to make offerings of whatever nourishes (e.g. food, goods, incense, lamps, scriptures, the doctrine).

The final meaning varies greatly depending on the context it which the word is used.

Shingitai / Shin Gi Tai

China xīn jì tǐ
Japan shin gi tai
Shingitai / Shin Gi Tai

心技体 is the Japanese title "shin gi tai" or "shingitai."

This can refer to the three elements of Sumo wrestlers or martial artists, "heart-technique-physique."

Here is what each character represents:

心 shin) mind, heart and spirit.

技 (gi) skill, knowledge and experience.

体 (ti) body and physical effort.

心技体 have the same meanings in Chinese, though this title is used much more often in Japanese.

Clarity

China qīng
Japan sei
Clarity

清 means clarity or clear in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja. Looking at the parts of this character, you have three splashes of water on the left, "life" on the top right, and the moon on the lower right.

Because of something Confucius said about 2500 years ago, you can imagine that this character means "live life with clarity like bright moonlight piercing pure water." The Confucian idea is something like "Keep clear what is pure in yourself, and let your pure nature show through." Kind of like saying, "Don't pollute your mind or body, so that they remain clear."

This might be stretching the definition of this single Chinese character but the elements are there, and "clarity" is a powerful idea.


Korean note: Korean pronunciation is given above but this character is written with a slight difference in the "moon radical" in Korean. However, anyone who can read Korean Hanja, will understand this character with no problem (this is considered an alternate form in Korean). If you want the more standard Korean Hanja form (which is an alternate form in Chinese), just let me know.

Japanese note: When reading in Japanese, this Kanji has additional meanings of pure, purify, or cleanse (sometimes to remove demons or "exorcise"). Used more in compound words in Japanese than as a stand-alone Kanji.

You are only as old as you feel

You're only old if you think you're old
China bú pà rén lǎo zhǐ pà xīn lǎo
You are only as old as you feel

This literally translates as: Do not be concerned about being old; be concerned about a mind which is old.

Figuratively, this means: Your are not as old as you look, you are only as old as you think you are.

Search for Body and Mind in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary




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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Body and Mind 身心shin shin / shinshinshēn xīn / shen1 xin1 / shen xin / shenxin shen hsin / shenhsin
Mind, Body and Spirit 身心靈 / 身心霊
身心灵
mi shin rei
mishinrei
shēn xīn líng
shen1 xin1 ling2
shen xin ling
shenxinling
shen hsin ling
shenhsinling
Strong Body, Strong Mind 強い體強い心
強い体強い心
tsuyo i karada tsuyo i kokoro
tsuyoikaradatsuyoikokoro
Strong Mind Strong Body 強壯的身體堅強的心態
强壮的身体坚强的心态
qiáng zhuàng de shēn tǐ jiān qiáng de xīn tài
qiang2 zhuang4 de shen1 ti3 jian1 qiang2 de xin1 tai4
qiang zhuang de shen ti jian qiang de xin tai
ch`iang chuang te shen t`i chien ch`iang te hsin t`ai
chiang chuang te shen ti chien chiang te hsin tai
Energy Sword Body in Concert 気剣体一致 / 氣劍體一致
气剑体一致
ki ken tai icchi
kikentaiicchi
ki ken tai ichi
kikentaiichi
Ghost
Soul
Spirit
魂魄kon paku / konpakuhún pò / hun2 po4 / hun po / hunpo hun p`o / hunpo / hun po
7. Right Mindfulness
Right Memory
Perfect Mindfulness
正念sei nen / seinenzhèng niàn
zheng4 nian4
zheng nian
zhengnian
cheng nien
chengnien
Exercise 鍛煉 / 鍛鍊
锻炼
duàn liàn
duan4 lian4
duan lian
duanlian
tuan lien
tuanlien
Happiness
Contentment
鼓腹ko fuku / kofuku
Offering
Puja
供養
供养
ku you / kuyou / ku yo / kuyogòng yǎng
gong4 yang3
gong yang
gongyang
kung yang
kungyang
Shingitai
Shin Gi Tai
心技体shin gi tai
shingitai
xīn jì tǐ
xin1 ji4 ti3
xin ji ti
xinjiti
hsin chi t`i
hsinchiti
hsin chi ti
Clarity seiqīng / qing1 / qing ch`ing / ching
You are only as old as you feel 不怕人老隻怕心老
不怕人老只怕心老
bú pà rén lǎo zhǐ pà xīn lǎo
bu2 pa4 ren2 lao3 zhi3 pa4 xin1 lao3
bu pa ren lao zhi pa xin lao
buparenlaozhipaxinlao
pu p`a jen lao chih p`a hsin lao
pupajenlaochihpahsinlao
pu pa jen lao chih pa hsin lao
In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.

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All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.

When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.

Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!

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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.

A professional Chinese Calligrapher

Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.

There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.

Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.

A high-ranked Chinese master calligrapher that I met in Zhongwei

The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.


Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.

Some people may refer to this entry as Body and Mind Kanji, Body and Mind Characters, Body and Mind in Mandarin Chinese, Body and Mind Characters, Body and Mind in Chinese Writing, Body and Mind in Japanese Writing, Body and Mind in Asian Writing, Body and Mind Ideograms, Chinese Body and Mind symbols, Body and Mind Hieroglyphics, Body and Mind Glyphs, Body and Mind in Chinese Letters, Body and Mind Hanzi, Body and Mind in Japanese Kanji, Body and Mind Pictograms, Body and Mind in the Chinese Written-Language, or Body and Mind in the Japanese Written-Language.