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Your Chinese / Japanese Calligraphy Search for "Zen Chan Meditation"...

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Zen / Chan / Meditation
  2. Appreciation of Truth by Meditation
  3. Meditation
  4. Sit in Meditation
  5. Inner Bliss and Peace from Meditation
  6. Zendo / The Zen Way
  7. Truth Flashed Through The Mind


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!"

This character 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has evolved a little in Japan, and the two boxes (kou) that you see at the top of the right side of the character have been replaced by three dots with tails.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.

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

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. 冥想 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

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.

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.

Zendo / The Zen Way

China chán dào
Japan zen dou
Zendo / The Zen Way Wall Scroll

This title is used in certain contexts but is not widely-known by the general population of China or Japan.

From Japanese, you will see this title romanized as "zendo," which is the brand name of a board game, and also a title used by some martial arts studios and karate dojos. Oddly, many translate this as "zen fist" although there is no "fist" in the title. If you literally translated this title, it would be "meditation way" or "meditation method."

In Chinese, this would be "chan dao" with the same literal meaning as the Japanese title. It's used in China by just a handful of martial arts styles/studios.

You should only order this title if you really understand the meaning, and it has some personal connection to you (such as practicing a martial art style that uses this title, or if you love the board game Zendo). Many who see your wall scroll will not be familiar with this title, and you'll have some explaining to do.


禪The first character can also be written in a more complex traditional way as shown to the right. Let us know in the special instructions for your calligraphy project if you want this style.

禅If you order this from the Japanese master calligrapher, the first character will automatically be written with an extra dot on top. This is the variant form of the original Chinese character which is commonly used in modern Japan Kanji. See sample to the right.

Truth Flashed Through The Mind

China cān wù
Truth Flashed Through The Mind Wall Scroll

參悟 is a Chan / Zen Buddhism concept that means "to understand (mystery) from meditation," or "to see truth flash through the mind."

參悟 is a pretty deep idea, therefore, your own study and contemplation may be required before you can fully appreciate it.




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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
Zen
Chan
Meditation

zenchán / chan2 / chan ch`an / chan
Appreciation of Truth by Meditation 心印shin nin / shinninxīn yìn / xin1 yin4 / xin yin / xinyin hsin yin / hsinyin
Meditation 冥想mei sou / meisou / mei so / meisomíng xiǎng
ming2 xiang3
ming xiang
mingxiang
ming hsiang
minghsiang
Sit in Meditation 坐禪
坐禅
za zen / zazenzuò chán / zuo4 chan2 / zuo chan / zuochan tso ch`an / tsochan / tso chan
Inner Bliss and Peace from Meditation 禪悅
禅悦
chán yuè / chan2 yue4 / chan yue / chanyue ch`an yüeh / chanyüeh / chan yüeh
Zendo
The Zen Way
禅道 / 禪道
禅道
zen dou / zendou / zen do / zendochán dào / chan2 dao4 / chan dao / chandao ch`an tao / chantao / chan tao
Truth Flashed Through The Mind 參悟
参悟
cān wù / can1 wu4 / can wu / canwu ts`an wu / tsanwu / tsan wu
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!

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