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禪宗 is one way to title "Zen Buddhism." Because the original pronunciation of Zen in Chinese is Chan, you'll also see this expressed as Chan Buddhism.
From the Buddhist Dictionary:
The Chan, meditative or intuitional, sect usually said to have been established in China by Bodhidharma, the twenty-eighth patriarch, who brought the tradition of the Buddha-mind from India. This sect, believing in direct enlightenment, disregarded ritual and sūtras and depended upon the inner light and personal influence for the propagation of its tenets, founding itself on the esoteric tradition supposed to have been imparted to Kāśyapa by the Buddha, who indicated his meaning by plucking a flower without further explanation. Kāśyapa smiled in apprehension and is supposed to have passed on this mystic method to the patriarchs. The successor of Bodhidharma was 慧可 Huike, and he was succeeded by 僧璨 Sengcan; 道信 Daoxin; 弘忍 Hongren; 慧能 Huineng, and 神秀 Shenxiu, the sect dividing under the two latter into the southern and northern schools: the southern school became prominent, producing 南嶽 Nanyue and 靑原 Qingyuan, the former succeeded by 馬祖 Mazu, the latter by 石頭 Shitou. From Mazu's school arose the five later schools.
Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your inner light search...
If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese
|Simple Dictionary Definition|
| xīn dēng / xin1 deng1
The lamp of the mind; inner light, intelligence; mind-lamp
| chán zōng / chan2 zong1
ch`an tsung / chan tsung
The Chan, meditative or intuitional, sect usually said to have been established in China by Bodhidharma, v. 達, the twenty-eighth patriarch, who brought the tradition of the Buddha-mind from India. Cf. 楞 13 Laṅkāvatāra sūtra. This sect, believing in direct enlightenment, disregarded ritual and sūtras and depended upon the inner light and personal influence for the propagation of its tenets, founding itself on the esoteric tradition supposed to have been imparted to Kāśyapa by the Buddha, who indicated his meaning by plucking a flower without further explanation. Kāśyapa smiled in apprehension and is supposed to have passed on this mystic method to the patriarchs. The successor of Bodhidharma was 慧可 Huike, and he was succeeded by 僧璨 Sengcan; 道信 Daoxin; 弘忍 Hongren; 慧能 Huineng, and 神秀 Shenxiu, the sect dividing under the two latter into the southern and northern schools: the southern school became prominent, producing 南嶽 Nanyue and 靑原 Qingyuan, the former succeeded by 馬祖 Mazu, the latter by 石頭 Shitou. From Mazu's school arose the five later schools, v. 禪門; meditation school
| yī dào shén guāng / yi1 dao4 shen2 guang1
i tao shen kuang
ichidō no shinkō
Inner light; intuitive wisdom; spiritual luminosity of the single path
| zōng mén / zong1 men2
shuumon / shumon / しゅうもん
doctrine; creed; sect; (given name) Muneto
Originally the general name for sects. Later appropriated to itself by the 禪 Chan (Zen) or Intuitional school, which refers to the other schools as 教門 teaching sects, i. e. those who rely on the written word rather than on the 'inner light'; a school
| míng xūn / ming2 xun1
The inner light, enlightenment censing and overcoming ignorance, like incense, perfuming and interpenetrating; perfumed by illumination (?)
| dá mó / da2 mo2
daruma(p);daruma / だるま(P);ダルマ
| (1) (kana only) daruma; tumbling doll; round, red-painted good-luck doll in the shape of Bodhidharma, with a blank eye to be completed when a person's wish is granted; (2) (kana only) Bodhidharma; (3) prostitute; (personal name) Daruma; (given name) Tatsumaro; (surname) Tatsuma
dharma; also 達摩; 達麼; 達而麻耶; 曇摩; 馱摩 tr. by 法. dharma is from dhara, holding, bearing, possessing, etc.; and means 'that which is to be held fast or kept, ordinance, statute, law, usage, practice'; 'anything right.' M.W. It may be variously intp. as (1) characteristic, attribute, predicate; (2) the bearer, the transcendent substratum of single elements of conscious life; (3) element, i.e. a part of conscious life; (4) nirvāṇa, i.e. the Dharma par excellence, the object of Buddhist teaching; (5) the absolute, the real; (6) the teaching or religion of Buddha; (7) thing, object, appearance. Also, Damo, or Bodhidharma, the twenty-eighth Indian and first Chinese patriarch, who arrived in China A.D. 520, the reputed founder of the Chan or Intuitional School in China. He is described as son of a king in southern India; originally called Bodhitara. He arrived at Guangdong, bringing it is said the sacred begging-bowl, and settled in Luoyang, where he engaged in silent meditation for nine years, whence he received the title of wall-gazing Brahman 壁觀婆羅門, though he was a kṣatriya. His doctrine and practice were those of the 'inner light', independent of the written word, but to 慧可 Huike, his successor, he commended the Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra as nearest to his views. There are many names with Dharma as initial: Dharmapāla, Dharmagupta, Dharmayaśas, Dharmaruci, Dharmarakṣa, Dharmatrāta, Dharmavardhana, etc.
| tiān tái zōng / tian1 tai2 zong1
t`ien t`ai tsung / tien tai tsung
tendaishuu / tendaishu / てんだいしゅう
Tiantai school of Buddhism
Tendai sect (of Buddhism); (personal name) Tendaishuu
The Tiantai, or Tendai, sect founded by 智顗 Zhiyi. It bases its tenets on the Lotus Sutra 法華經 with the 智度論, 涅盤經, and 大品經; it maintains the identity of the Absolute and the world of phenomena, and attempts to unlock the secrets of all phenomena by means of meditation. It flourished during the Tang dynasty. Under the Sung, when the school was decadent, arose 四明 Ciming, under whom there came the division of 山家 Hill or Tiantai School and 山外 the School outside, the latter following 悟恩 Wuen and in time dying out; the former, a more profound school, adhered to Ciming; it was from this school that the Tiantai doctrine spread to Japan. The three principal works of the Tiantai founder are called 天台三部, i. e. 玄義 exposition of the deeper meaning of the Lotus; 文句 exposition of its text; and 止觀 meditation; the last was directive and practical; it was in the line of Bodhidharma, stressing the 'inner light'; Tiantai zong
|sokobikari / そこびかり||
(noun/participle) inner glow or light; deep gloss or luster (lustre)
| wù dào / wu4 dao4
Enlightenment by the inner light, independent of external teaching; to become Buddha by one's own power, e. g. Śākyamuni who is called 自然釋迦; spontaneous enlightenment
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|shin tou / shintou / shin to / shinto||xīn dēng / xin1 deng1 / xin deng / xindeng||hsin teng / hsinteng|
|一道神光||ichidou no shinkou|
ichido no shinko
|yī dào shén guāng|
yi1 dao4 shen2 guang1
yi dao shen guang
|i tao shen kuang
|zen shuu / zenshuu / zen shu / zenshu||chán zōng|
|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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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.
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.
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.
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