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Quick links to words on this page...
| 1. Mindfulness
2. 7. Right Mindfulness / Right Memory / Perfect Mindfulness
3. Morality of Mind
4. Heart / Mind / Spirit
5. Lingering Mind
| 6. Mind of the Beginner|
7. Learning is Eternal
8. Devotion / Dedication / Attentive / Focused
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."
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.
The idea of "morality of mind" goes along with "wu de" (martial morality or virtues of the warrior).
Here, the first character is a representation of your heart or mind.
The second character refers to morality or virtue.
This can also be translated as "morality of heart," "virtue of heart," or "virtue of the mind."
Note that since ancient times in Asia, the idea of your mind (the place where your soul resides, and your thought originate from) has been associated with the heart. Just as in western culture where we say "it comes from the heart," or "heartfelt emotions," there is a belief that your heart and mind are one and the same (medical science now begs to differ).
心 would often be translated as "heart".
However, because it was believed in Chinese culture thousands of years that your consciousness and thoughts came from the big red organ in the middle of your chest, it also means "mind" or "spirit" and sometimes even "soul."
In Korean, beyond heart, mind, and spirit, this character can mean moral, nature, mind, affections, intentions, core, and center. In fact, it is used in Chinese to mean "center" as well but only with another character in front of it. For instance, "medical center" or even "shopping center." Separately and alone, it will not be read with that "center" meaning unless thought of as "the center of your soul."
First off, this should only be used in context of Japanese martial arts. In Chinese, it's a rather sad title (like a broken heart). In Chinese, the first character alone means destroyed, spoiled, ruined, injured, cruel, oppressive, savage, incomplete, disabled. However, in Japanese, it's remainder, leftover, balance, or lingering.
The second character means heart, mind, soul, or essence in both languages.
This is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo), and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet. Under that context, places such as the Budo Dojo define it this way: The spirit of zanshin is the state of the remaining or lingering spirit. It is often described as a sustained and heightened state of awareness and mental follow-through. However, true zanshin is a state of focus or concentration before, during, and after the execution of a technique, where a link or connection between uke and nage is preserved. Zanshin is the state of mind that allows us to stay spiritually connected, not only to a single attacker but to multiple attackers and even an entire context; a space, a time, an event.
In modern Japan (and Simplified Chinese), they use a different version of the first character, as seen to the right. Click on this character to the right instead of the button above if you want this modern Japanese version of lingering mind / zanshin.
初心 is often translated in Japanese as "beginner's mind" or "beginner's spirit."
In Chinese, the dictionary definition is "one's original intention."
The first character means first, initial, primary, junior, beginning, or basic.
The second character means heart, mind, soul, or essence.
初心 is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo), and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet. Under that context, places such as the Budo Dojo define it this way: The state of shoshin is that of a beginners mind. It is a state of awareness the remains always fully conscious, aware, and prepared to see things for the first time. The attitude of shoshin is essential to continued learning.
This Chinese philosophy tells of how we continue to learn throughout our lives. This proverb can be translated in a few ways such as "Study has no end," "Knowledge is infinite," "No end to learning," "There's always something new to study," or "You live and learn."
The deeper meaning: Even when we finish school we are still students of the world gaining more knowledge from our surroundings with each passing day.
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.
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.
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).
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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|
|Mindfulness||念||nen||niàn / nian4 / nian||nien|
|7. Right Mindfulness
|正念||sei nen / seinen||zhèng niàn
|Morality of Mind||心德||xīn dé / xin1 de2 / xin de / xinde||hsin te / hsinte|
|心||kokoro||xīn / xin1 / xin||hsin|
|zan shin / zanshin||cán xīn / can2 xin1 / can xin / canxin||ts`an hsin / tsanhsin / tsan hsin|
|Mind of the Beginner||初心||sho shin / shoshin||chū xīn / chu1 xin1 / chu xin / chuxin||ch`u hsin / chuhsin / chu hsin|
|Learning is Eternal||學無止境|
|xué wú zhǐ jìng
xue2 wu2 zhi3 jing4
xue wu zhi jing
|hsüeh wu chih ching
|專心 / 専心 / 耑心|
|sen shin / senshin||zhuān xīn
|kesshin / keshin||jué xīn / jue2 xin1 / jue xin / juexin||chüeh hsin / chüehhsin|
|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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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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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.
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.
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 Mindfulness Kanji, Mindfulness Characters, Mindfulness in Mandarin Chinese, Mindfulness Characters, Mindfulness in Chinese Writing, Mindfulness in Japanese Writing, Mindfulness in Asian Writing, Mindfulness Ideograms, Chinese Mindfulness symbols, Mindfulness Hieroglyphics, Mindfulness Glyphs, Mindfulness in Chinese Letters, Mindfulness Hanzi, Mindfulness in Japanese Kanji, Mindfulness Pictograms, Mindfulness in the Chinese Written-Language, or Mindfulness in the Japanese Written-Language.