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

  1. Zen / Chan / Meditation
  2. Inner Bliss and Peace from Meditation
  3. Reach Peace and Calm by Meditation
  4. Sit in Meditation
  5. Zen Buddhism
  6. Zen Garden
  7. Zen Understanding
  8. Zendo / The Zen Way

Zen / Chan / Meditation

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

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has evolved a little in Japan, and the two boxes (kou) that you see at the top of the right side of the character have been replaced by three dots with tails.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

Inner Bliss and Peace from Meditation

China chán yuè
Inner Bliss and Peace from Meditation

This title refers to the inner bliss and peace that you can achieve from meditation.

This term transcends a few religions, including Taoism and Buddhism. 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.

Reach Peace and Calm by Meditation

China ān chán
Reach Peace and Calm by Meditation

These two Chinese characters create a title that means to reach peace and calm through meditation.

安禪 is an excellent wall scroll for your relaxation or meditation room.

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

Sit in Meditation

Zazen
China zuò chán
Japan za zen
Sit in Meditation

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.

Zen Buddhism

China chán zōng
Japan Zen shuu
Zen Buddhism

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.

Zen Garden

China chán yuán
Japan zen sono
Zen Garden

This literally means "meditation garden." The first character happens to be known as Zen in the west (pronunciation coming from Japanese) but this title is not often used in Japan (won't be recognized as a Japanese title). In fact, the title "Zen Garden" is basically made up by westerners.

Zen Understanding

China cān chán
Zen Understanding

This title speaks of reaching an understanding (of Zen or the world). It also means "to practice meditation." The two concepts lead you to the idea that meditation leads to understanding. 參禪 is pretty deep, so you can do your own research, or decide what this means for you.

This can also be defined in a more complex way as "thoroughly penetrating with meditative insight."

Zendo / The Zen Way

China chán dào
Japan zen dou
Zendo / The Zen Way

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.


Not the results for 禅 that you were looking for?

Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your search...

Characters

If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Pronunciation
Romanization
Simple Dictionary Definition

see styles
Japanese yuzuru / ゆずる    yuzuri / ゆずり    zen / ぜん    shizuka / しづか    satori / しずか
Zendo / The Zen Way
Japanese (1) (Buddhist term) dhyana (profound meditation); (2) (abbreviation) Zen (Buddhism); (female given name) Yuzuru; (surname) Yuzuri; (surname) Zen; (female given name) Shidzuka; (female given name) Shizuka; (female given name) Satori


see styles
Mandarin chán / chan2
Taiwan ch`an / chan
Japanese yuzuri / ゆずり    zen / ぜん
Chinese to abdicate; dhyana (Sanskrit); Zen; meditation (Buddhism)
Japanese (out-dated kanji) (1) (Buddhist term) dhyana (profound meditation); (2) (abbreviation) Zen (Buddhism); (surname) Yuzuri; (personal name) Zen
To level a place for an altar, to sacrifice to the hills and fountains; to abdicate. Adopted by Buddhists for dhyāna, 禪 or 禪那, i.e. meditation, abstraction, trance. dhyāna is 'meditation, thought, reflection, especially profound and abstract religious contemplation'. M.W. It was intp. as 'getting rid of evil', etc., later as 靜慮 quiet meditation. It is a form of 定, but that word is more closely allied with samādhi, cf. 禪定. The term also connotes Buddhism and Buddhist things in general, but has special application to the 禪宗 q.v. It is one of the six pāramitās, cf. 波. There are numerous methods and subjects of meditation. The eighteen brahmalokas are divided into four dhyāna regions 'corresponding to certain frames of mind where individuals might be reborn in strict accordance with their spiritual state'. The first three are the first dhyāna, the second three the second dhyāna, the third three the third dhyāna, and the remaining nine the fourth dhyāna. See Eitel. According to Childers' Pali Dictionary, 'The four jhānas are four stages of mystic meditation, whereby the believer's mind is purged from all earthly emotions, and detached as it were from his body, which remains plunged in a profound trance.' Seated cross-legged, the practiser 'concentrates his mind upon a single thought. Gradually his soul becomes filled with a supernatural ecstasy and serenity', his mind still reasoning: this is the first jhāna. Concentrating his mind on the same subject, he frees it from reasoning, the ecstasy and serenity remaining, which is the second jhāna. Then he divests himself of ecstasy, reaching the third stage of serenity. Lastly, in the fourth stage the mind becomes indifferent to all emotions, being exalted above them and purified. There are differences in the Mahāyāna methods, but similarity of aim.

参禅

see styles
Japanese sanzen / さんぜん
Zendo / The Zen Way
Japanese (noun/participle) Zen meditation; meditative consultation with the head abbot

參禪


参禅

see styles
Mandarin cān chán / can1 chan2
Taiwan ts`an ch`an / tsan chan
Japanese noshi wo ri
Chinese to practice Chan Buddhist meditation; to practice Zen meditation; to sit in meditation
To inquire, discuss, seek religious instruction; to thoroughly penetrate with meditative insight

坐禅

see styles
Japanese zazen / ざぜん
Zendo / The Zen Way
Japanese (Buddhist term) zazen (seated Zen meditation, usu. in a cross-legged position)

坐禪


坐禅

see styles
Mandarin zuò chán / zuo4 chan2
Taiwan tso ch`an / tso chan
Japanese zazen
Chinese to sit in meditation; to meditate
To sit in dhyāna, i.e. abstract meditation, fixed abstraction, contemplation; its introduction to China is attributed to Bodhidharma (though it came earlier), and its extension to Tiantai; sitting meditation

安禪


安禅

see styles
Mandarin ān chán / an1 chan2
Taiwan an ch`an / an chan
Japanese anzen
To enter into dhyāna meditation; sitting meditation

禅宗

see styles
Japanese zenshuu / zenshu / ぜんしゅう
Zendo / The Zen Way
Japanese Zen (Buddhism)

禅道

see styles
Japanese zendou / zendo / ぜんどう
Zendo / The Zen Way
Japanese (1) Zen ascetic practices; Zen meditation; (2) Zen teachings; Zen

禪宗


禅宗

see styles
Mandarin chán zōng / chan2 zong1
Taiwan ch`an tsung / chan tsung
Japanese Zenshū
Chinese Zen Buddhism
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

禪悅


禅悦

see styles
Mandarin chán yuè / chan2 yue4
Taiwan ch`an yüeh / chan yüeh
Japanese zenetsu
Joy of the mystic trance. 禪悅食 Its mystic nourishing powers.

一禪


一禅

see styles
Mandarin yī chán / yi1 chan2
Taiwan i ch`an / i chan
Japanese Ichizen
This term is used in Buddhism, but due to a licensing issue, we cannot show the definition

三禪


三禅

see styles
Mandarin sān chán / san1 chan2
Taiwan san ch`an / san chan
Japanese sanzen
The third dhyāna heaven of form, the highest paradise of form; third meditation

二禪


二禅

see styles
Mandarin èr chán / er4 chan2
Taiwan erh ch`an / erh chan
Japanese nizen
This term is used in Buddhism, but due to a licensing issue, we cannot show the definition

修禪


修禅

see styles
Mandarin xiū chán / xiu1 chan2
Taiwan hsiu ch`an / hsiu chan
Japanese shūzen
This term is used in Buddhism, but due to a licensing issue, we cannot show the definition

入禪


入禅

see styles
Mandarin rù chán / ru4 chan2
Taiwan ju ch`an / ju chan
Japanese nyūzen
This term is used in Buddhism, but due to a licensing issue, we cannot show the definition

八禪


八禅

see styles
Mandarin bā chán / ba1 chan2
Taiwan pa ch`an / pa chan
Japanese hachi zen
This term is used in Buddhism, but due to a licensing issue, we cannot show the definition

初禪


初禅

see styles
Mandarin chū chán / chu1 chan2
Taiwan ch`u ch`an / chu chan
Japanese shozen
This term is used in Buddhism, but due to a licensing issue, we cannot show the definition

劉禪


刘禅

see styles
Mandarin liú chán / liu2 chan2
Taiwan liu ch`an / liu chan
Chinese Liu Chan 劉禪|刘 (207-271), son of Liu Bei, reigned as Shu Han emperor 233-263

友禅

see styles
Japanese yuuzen / yuzen / ゆうぜん Japanese (abbreviation) (See 友禅染) type of dyeing method or pattern; silk printed by the Yuzen process; (personal name) Yuuzen

受禪


受禅

see styles
Mandarin shòu shàn / shou4 shan4
Taiwan shou shan
Chinese to accept abdication

吹禅

see styles
Japanese suizen / すいぜん Japanese (obscure) Zen blowing meditation (performed with shakuhachi)

命禪


命禅

see styles
Mandarin mìng jan / ming4 jan2
Taiwan ming jan
Japanese Myōzen
This term is used in Buddhism, but due to a licensing issue, we cannot show the definition

四禪


四禅

see styles
Mandarin sì chán / si4 chan2
Taiwan ssu ch`an / ssu chan
Japanese shizen
(四禪天) The four dhyāna heavens, 四靜慮 (四靜慮天), i. e. the division of the eighteen brahmalokas into four dhyānas: the disciple attains to one of these heavens according to the dhyāna he observes: (1) 初禪天 The first region, 'as large as one whole universe' comprises the three heavens, Brahma-pāriṣadya, Brahma-purohita, and Mahābrahma, 梵輔, 梵衆, and 大梵天; the inhabitants are without gustatory or olfactory organs, not needing food, but possess the other four of the six organs. (2) 二禪天 The second region, equal to 'a small chiliocosmos' 小千界, comprises the three heavens, according to Eitel, 'Parīttābha, Apramāṇābha, and Ābhāsvara, ' i. e. 少光 minor light, 無量光 infinite light, and 極光淨 utmost light purity; the inhabitants have ceased to require the five physical organs, possessing only the organ of mind. (3) 三禪天 The third region, equal to 'a middling chiliocosmos '中千界, comprises three heavens; Eitel gives them as Parīttaśubha, Apramāṇaśubha, and Śubhakṛtsna, i. e. 少淨 minor purity, 無量淨 infinite purity, and 徧淨 universal purity; the inhabitants still have the organ of mind and are receptive of great joy. (4) 四禪天 The fourth region, equal to a great chiliocosmos, 大千界, comprises the remaining nine brahmalokas, namely, Puṇyaprasava, Anabhraka, Bṛhatphala, Asañjñisattva, Avṛha, Atapa, Sudṛśa, Sudarśana, and Akaniṣṭha (Eitel). The Chinese titles are 福生 felicitous birth, 無雲 cloudless, 廣果 large fruitage, 無煩 no vexations, atapa is 無熱 no heat, sudṛśa is 善見 beautiful to see, sudarśana is 善現 beautiful appearing, two others are 色究竟 the end of form, and 無想天 the heaven above thought, but it is difficult to trace avṛha and akaniṣṭha; the inhabitants of this fourth region still have mind. The number of the dhyāna heavens differs; the Sarvāstivādins say 16, the 經 or Sutra school 17, and the Sthavirāḥ school 18. Eitel points out that the first dhyāna has one world with one moon, one mem, four continents, and six devalokas; the second dhyāna has 1, 000 times the worlds of the first; the third has 1, 000 times the worlds of the second; the fourth dhyāna has 1, 000 times those of the third. Within a kalpa of destruction 壞劫 the first is destroyed fifty-six times by fire, the second seven by water, the third once by wind, the fourth 'corresponding to a state of absolute indifference' remains 'untouched' by all the other evolutions; when 'fate (天命) comes to an end then the fourth dhyāna may come to an end too, but not sooner'.

封禅

see styles
Japanese houzen / hozen / ほうぜん Japanese ancient Chinese sacrificial ritual

座禅

see styles
Japanese zazen / ざぜん Japanese (Buddhist term) zazen (seated Zen meditation, usu. in a cross-legged position)

律禪


律禅

see styles
Mandarin lǜ chán / lv4 chan2
Taiwan lü ch`an / lü chan
Japanese ritsuzen
The two schools of Discipline and Intuition.

打禪


打禅

see styles
Mandarin dǎ chán / da3 chan2
Taiwan ta ch`an / ta chan
Chinese to meditate (of Buddhist)

放禪


放禅

see styles
Mandarin fàng chán / fang4 chan2
Taiwan fang ch`an / fang chan
Japanese hōzen
This term is used in Buddhism, but due to a licensing issue, we cannot show the definition

教禪


教禅

see styles
Mandarin jiào chán / jiao4 chan2
Taiwan chiao ch`an / chiao chan
Japanese kyō zen
This term is used in Buddhism, but due to a licensing issue, we cannot show the definition

Search for in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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 / chanch`an / chan
Inner Bliss and Peace from Meditation禪悅
禅悦
chán yuè / chan2 yue4 / chan yue / chanyuech`an yüeh / chanyüeh / chan yüeh
Reach Peace and Calm by Meditation安禪
安禅
ān chán / an1 chan2 / an chan / anchanan ch`an / anchan / an chan
Sit in Meditation坐禪
坐禅
za zen / zazenzuò chán / zuo4 chan2 / zuo chan / zuochantso ch`an / tsochan / tso chan
Zen Buddhism禪宗
禅宗
Zen shuu / Zenshuu / Zen shu / Zenshuchán zōng
chan2 zong1
chan zong
chanzong
ch`an tsung
chantsung
chan tsung
Zen Garden禪園
禅园
zen sono / zensonochán yuán
chan2 yuan2
chan yuan
chanyuan
ch`an yüan
chanyüan
chan yüan
Zen Understanding參禪
参禅
cān chán / can1 chan2 / can chan / canchants`an ch`an / tsanchan / tsan chan
Zendo
The Zen Way
禅道 / 禪道
禅道
zen dou / zendou / zen do / zendochán dào / chan2 dao4 / chan dao / chandaoch`an tao / chantao / chan tao
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.