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Focus in Chinese / Japanese...

Buy a Focus calligraphy wall scroll here!

Start your custom "Focus" project by clicking the button next to your favorite "Focus" title below...

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Devotion / Dedication / Attentive / Focused
  2. 7. Right Mindfulness / Right Memory / Perfect Mindfulness
  3. Purity of Mind
  4. Sacrifice / Devotion / Dedication
  5. Mindfulness
  6. Determination
  7. Discipline


Devotion / Dedication / Attentive / Focused

China zhuān xīn
Japan sen shin
Devotion / Dedication / Attentive / Focused

The first character means "for a particular person, occasion, or purpose," "focused on one single thing," "concentrated" and sometimes, "special."

The second character means "heart" or "mind" by itself.

Together, these two characters make a word that means, "paying attention with your heart." It's often translated as, "dedication," as in "be absorbed in" or "concentrate one's efforts." It's also used to mean, "with single mind," "whole-heartedly," "paying attention," "undivided attention," "concentration (-ed)," "engrossed," "devotionally (listening/watching)," and/or "attentive."

My favorite translation, which comes from the Oxford Advanced Chinese/English Dictionary is, "wholehearted devotion."

If it seems like the meaning of this word is quite open, you are correct. The context in which the word is used matters a lot. It can mean different things depending on how you use it. This makes it kind of nice as you can decide what this means to you (within some limits). This word is always positive in meaning, so even if a Chinese person reads it differently than you, it will still have a good meaning.


専In Japanese, they tend to use a variation of the second character which has one less stroke. If you want your calligraphy written this Japanese form, please click on the Kanji shown to the right instead of the button above. Note: Japanese and Chinese people will recognize either form.


See Also:  Faith | Devotion

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

Purity of Mind

China xīn chéng jìng
Japan shin chou jou
Purity of Mind

心澄淨 is the Buddhist concept of the pure and calm mind. It is believed that once you achieve a meditative state of pure focused thought, the mind becomes clear and calm. Although, others will say this means that achieving a calm mind will allow you to reach pure thought.

From Sanskrit, this is known as citta-prasāda. The concept of citta-prasāda is sometimes defined as, "clear heart-mind," or "the single and definitive aspiration."

Sacrifice / Devotion / Dedication

(complete bodily devotion)
China xiàn shēn
Japan ken shin
Sacrifice / Devotion / Dedication

獻身 is used to describe being so devoted to something that you will make sacrifices for that goal/thing/person. You can also translate this word as any of the following:
Give one's life for...
Sacrifice one's life for...
To dedicate oneself to...
Self-devotion
Dedication
Commit ones energy to...
Devote to...
Self-sacrifice
Giving your whole body to...

This can be a dedication to or for someone but more often is used in reference to a dedication or making sacrifices for your country, public service, or a cause. For instance, an Olympic athlete makes great sacrifices to train in his/her sport for their country and compatriots.


献
身
While the form shown to the upper-left is considered an ancient Japanese version, in modern Japan, they use the simplified version of the first Kanji (shown to the right). Click on the Kanji at the right instead of the button above if you want this modern Japanese version.

If you are looking for a more religious meaning of devotion, see Faith.


See Also:  Confidence | Dedication

Mindfulness

China niàn
Japan nen
Mindfulness

念 is the simplest way to write "mindfulness" in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

念 can be defined these ways: To read; to study (a degree course); to read aloud; to miss somebody (keeping them in your mind); idea; remembrance; sense; thought; feeling; desire; concern; attention; recollection; memory; to think on/about; reflect; repeat, intone; a moment.

Obviously, the context in which the character is used determines which definition or meaning is perceived. As a single character, it's open and perhaps ambiguous. Thus, it can be read with any or all of these meanings.

念 is used in a Buddhist context (often written as 正念 or "right mindfulness") with similar meanings of thought and contemplation.

In Japanese, this character is sometimes used as a name "Nen."


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

Determination

China jué xīn
Japan kesshin
Determination

This Chinese, Japanese, and Korean word holds the dictionary definition of "determination" but literally means, "determined heart."

The first character means "to determine" or "determined."

The second character means "heart," "mind" or "soul," so you can imagine that this form of "determination" partially means to put your heart into something. It can also be translated as resolve, resolution, or decision (as in a decision made and followed).


See Also:  Devotion | Tenacious | Passion | Dedication | Will-Power

Discipline

China jì lǜ
Discipline

Discipline: There are a few different ways to define this word in English. This Asian word conveys the idea of extreme self-control and perhaps self-sacrifice, and obedience. This matches what I was taught as the meaning of "discipline" when I was in the Marine Corps. There is also an additional idea of maintaining order or being orderly in your tasks.

This idea would also fit an athlete training for the Olympics who gives up many pleasures to stay focused on their training.


See Also:  Self-Control | Will-Power

Search for Focus 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
Devotion
Dedication
Attentive
Focused
專心 / 専心 / 耑心
专心
sen shin / senshinzhuān xīn
zhuan1 xin1
zhuan xin
zhuanxin
chuan hsin
chuanhsin
7. Right Mindfulness
Right Memory
Perfect Mindfulness
正念sei nen / seinenzhèng niàn
zheng4 nian4
zheng nian
zhengnian
cheng nien
chengnien
Purity of Mind 心澄淨shin chou jou
shinchoujou
shin cho jo
shinchojo
xīn chéng jìng
xin1 cheng2 jing4
xin cheng jing
xinchengjing
hsin ch`eng ching
hsinchengching
hsin cheng ching
Sacrifice
Devotion
Dedication
獻身
献身
ken shin / kenshinxiàn shēn
xian4 shen1
xian shen
xianshen
hsien shen
hsienshen
Mindfulness nenniàn / nian4 / nian nien
Determination 決心
决心
kesshin / keshinjué xīn / jue2 xin1 / jue xin / juexin chüeh hsin / chüehhsin
Discipline 紀律
纪律
jì lǜ / ji4 lv4 / ji lv / jilv chi lü / chilü
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.

Successful Chinese Character and Japanese Kanji calligraphy searches within the last few hours...

Adams
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Heart of a Lion
Hello
Holy Spirit
Honor
I Love You
Integrity
Iris
Jasmine
Kung Fu
Life is Beautiful
Lion
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Love
Loyal
Mind Body Spirit
Musashi
Music
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Passion
Prosperity
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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!

When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.


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 Focus Kanji, Focus Characters, Focus in Mandarin Chinese, Focus Characters, Focus in Chinese Writing, Focus in Japanese Writing, Focus in Asian Writing, Focus Ideograms, Chinese Focus symbols, Focus Hieroglyphics, Focus Glyphs, Focus in Chinese Letters, Focus Hanzi, Focus in Japanese Kanji, Focus Pictograms, Focus in the Chinese Written-Language, or Focus in the Japanese Written-Language.