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Meditation in Chinese / Japanese...

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

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Meditation
  2. Zen / Chan / Meditation
  3. Sit in Meditation
  4. Reach Peace and Calm by Meditation
  5. Sit Quietly in Meditation
  6. Appreciation of Truth by Meditation
  7. Inner Bliss and Peace from Meditation
  8. Om


Meditation

China míng xiǎng
Japan mei sou
Meditation Wall Scroll

This encompasses the idea of meditation. It's also a term used to describe a deep form of day-dreaming, exploring one's imagination, the act of contemplating, or the idea of contemplation. This is often associated with Buddhism, however, the word "Zen" in Japanese (or "Chan" in Chinese) is probably more commonly used (or better known in the west).


See Also:  Zen

Zen / Chan / Meditation

...as in Zen Buddhism
China chán
Japan zen
Zen / Chan / Meditation Wall Scroll

First let's correct something: The Japanese romanization for this character, "Zen" has penetrated the English language. In English, it's almost always incorrectly used for phrases like "That's so zen." Nobody says "That's so meditation" - right? As the title of a sect, this would be like saying, "That's soooo Baptist!"

禪 by itself just means "meditation." In that context, it should not be confined to use by any one religion or sect.

Regardless of the dictionary definition, more often than not, this character is associated with Buddhism. And here is one of the main reasons:
Zen is used as the title of a branch of Mahayana Buddhism which strongly emphasizes the practice of meditation.
However, it should be noted that Buddhism came from India, and "Chan Buddhism" evolved and developed in medieval China. The Chinese character "Chan" was eventually pronounced as "Zen" in Japanese. Chan Buddhists in China have a lot in common with Zen Buddhists in Japan.

More about the history of Zen Buddhism here.

Please also note that the Japanese Kanji character for Zen has evolved a little in Japan, and the two boxes (kou) that you see at the top of the right side of the character have been replaced by three dots with tails. Japanese Zen Kanji The original character would still be generally understood and recognized in Japanese (it's considered an ancient version in Japan) but if you want the specifically modern Japanese version, please click on the zen Kanji to the right. Technically, there is no difference in Tensho and Reisho versions of Zen since they are ancient character styles that existed long before Japan had a written language.

Chinese Zen/Chan CharacterThere is also an alternate/shorthand/simplified Chinese version which has two dots or tails above the right-side radical. This version is also popular for calligraphy in China. If you want this version, just click the character to the right.


Further notes: Zen is just one of seven sects of Buddhism practiced in Japan. The others are 律 Ritsu (or Risshū), 法相 Hossō, 論 Sanron 華嚴 Kegon, 天台 Tendai, and 眞言 Shingon.

Sit in Meditation

Zazen
China zuò chán
Japan za zen
Sit in Meditation Wall Scroll

This describes the act of sitting in the state of deep meditation. You'll notice that the second character is Chan/Zen, which is often used to title the meditative form of Buddhism. In Korean Hanja, this means "religious meditation" (basically the same as the Chinese definition). This can also be defined as abstract meditation, fixed abstraction, or contemplation.

Buddhists may define this as, sitting in dhyāna, abstract meditation, fixed abstraction, or contemplation.


座禅Japanese note: This will make sense in Japanese but the Kanji shown to the left are partially in ancient/traditional Japanese form. Japanese Buddhists may use 坐禪, 坐禅, 座禪, or 座禅. The most standard/modern Japanese form of this word is shown to the right. Click on the Kanji to the right (instead of the button above) if you want this specifically Japanese version.

Reach Peace and Calm by Meditation

China ān chán
Reach Peace and Calm by Meditation Wall Scroll

These two Chinese characters create a title that means to reach peace and calm through meditation. This is an excellent wall scroll for your relaxation or meditation room.

This is also a Buddhist-related term that encompasses the idea of entering into dhyana meditation.

Sit Quietly in Meditation

A state of mind
China rù jìng
Sit Quietly in Meditation Wall Scroll

This title is used in Taoism and Qi Gong to describe the state you can reach while sitting quietly in meditation. It contains the ideas of achieving a highly-tranquil and peaceful state. Some may describe this state as "sleeping while still awake."

If you have a relaxation or meditation room, this is the calming wall scroll that you would want hanging in that room.

Appreciation of Truth by Meditation

China xīn yìn
Japan shin nin
Appreciation of Truth by Meditation Wall Scroll

心印 is a Buddhist concept that simply stated is "appreciation of truth by meditation."

It's a deep subject, but my understanding is that you can find truth through meditation, and once you've found the truth, you can learn to appreciate it more through further meditation. This title is not commonly used outside of the Buddhist community (your Asian friends may or may not understand it). The literal translation would be something like "the mind seal," I've seen this term translated this way from Japanese Buddhist poetry. But apparently, the seal that is stamped deep in your mind is the truth. You just have to meditate to find it.

Soothill defines it this way: Mental impression, intuitive certainty; the mind is the Buddha-mind in all, which can seal or assure the truth; the term indicates the intuitive method of the Chan (Zen) school, which was independent of the spoken or written word.


Reference: Soothill-Hodous Dictionary of Chinese Buddhism


See Also:  Zen

Inner Bliss and Peace from Meditation

China chán yuè
Inner Bliss and Peace from Meditation Wall Scroll

This term transcends a few religions, including Taoism and Buddhism. This title refers to the inner bliss and peace that you can achieve from meditation. It can also be translated as "joy of the mystic trance" or simply "meditative bliss."

Amazing that such a complex idea can be expressed in just two Chinese characters. Note that the first character is Chan/Zen (Chinese/Japanese) which means "meditation" in both languages.

Om

Meditation Chant
China ō mū
Om Wall Scroll

噢姆 is how to write the phonetic way to say "om" in Chinese. 噢姆 is "om" as in the meditation sound used in yoga, Buddhism, and other meditation styles.




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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
Meditation 冥想mei sou / meisou / mei so / meisomíng xiǎng
ming2 xiang3
ming xiang
mingxiang
ming hsiang
minghsiang
Zen
Chan
Meditation

zenchán / chan2 / chan ch`an / chan
Sit in Meditation 坐禪
坐禅
za zen / zazenzuò chán / zuo4 chan2 / zuo chan / zuochan tso ch`an / tsochan / tso chan
Reach Peace and Calm by Meditation 安禪
安禅
ān chán / an1 chan2 / an chan / anchan an ch`an / anchan / an chan
Sit Quietly in Meditation 入靜
入静
rù jìng / ru4 jing4 / ru jing / rujing ju ching / juching
Appreciation of Truth by Meditation 心印shin nin / shinninxīn yìn / xin1 yin4 / xin yin / xinyin hsin yin / hsinyin
Inner Bliss and Peace from Meditation 禪悅
禅悦
chán yuè / chan2 yue4 / chan yue / chanyue ch`an yüeh / chanyüeh / chan yüeh
Om 噢姆ō mū / o1 mu1 / o mu / omu
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...

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