Zen Buddhism in Chinese / Japanese...

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  1. Zen Buddhism

  2. Appreciation of Truth by Meditation

  3. Zen / Chan / Meditation

  4. Zen Contemplation

  5. Zen Understanding

  6. Enso - Japanese Zen Circle


Zen Buddhism

 chán zōng
 zen shuu
Zen Buddhism Scroll

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 is 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.

Appreciation of Truth by Meditation

 xīn yìn
 shin nin
Appreciation of Truth by Meditation 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

Zen / Chan / Meditation

...as in Zen Buddhism

 chán
 zen
 
Zen / Chan / Meditation 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 so 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 meditation practice.
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 much 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 between the 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.

Zen Contemplation

 rù dìng
Zen Contemplation Scroll

入定 is a title that can be defined as Zen contemplation in Japanese or sitting quietly in (Buddhist) meditation in Chinese. It also carries a similar meaning in Korean Hanja. Therefore, this is a universal term for meditation in the context of Buddhism throughout the Orient.

Can also be translated as “Meditatively equipoised” or “enter into meditation by stilling the karmic activities of deed, speech, and thought.”

The original Sanskrit word is samapanna. In Tibetan: snyoms par zhugs pa.

Zen Understanding

 cān chán
Zen Understanding Scroll

參禪 is a title that 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 research or decide what this means for you.

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

Enso - Japanese Zen Circle

 en sou
Enso - Japanese Zen Circle Scroll

〇 is the famous Enso symbol, which you will see widely used by Japanese Zen Buddhists.

In a twist, I am starting to see Enso used more and more by Chinese Buddhists.

Enso Circle


Here is the typical appearance of Enso artwork by Japanese calligrapher Kougetsu.

Enso is not a Japanese Kanji character. It falls more into the category of a symbol. There is some debate, but many consider Enso to be a religious symbol.

Some call this “The Circle of Enlightenment.” Others call it the “Infinity Circle.” If you actually took the meanings of the two Kanji (円相) that make up the word “En-so,” you could read it as “Mutual Circle” or “Circle of Togetherness.” I think the Enso symbol can simply mean different things to different people. Therefore, you should let it have the meaning that you perceive.

The appearance of your Enso will be determined by the artist's personal style, feeling, mood, etc.





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Not the results for Zen Buddhism that you were looking for?

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

Characters

If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Pronunciation
Romanization
Simple Dictionary Definition

公案

see styles
gōng àn
    gong1 an4
kung an
 kouan / koan
    こうあん

More info & calligraphy:

Koan
judge's desk; complex legal case; contentious issue; koan (Zen Buddhism)
{Buddh} koan; kōan; Zen question for meditation (e.g. the sound of one hand clapping)
J. kōan; 因緣 A dossier, or case-record; a cause; public laws, regulations; case-law. Problems set by Zen masters, upon which thought is concentrated as a means to attain inner unity and illumination; public case

曹洞宗

see styles
cáo dòng zōng
    cao2 dong4 zong1
ts`ao tung tsung
    tsao tung tsung
 soutoushuu / sotoshu
    そうとうしゅう
Soto school (of Zen Buddhism); (o) Soto school (of Zen Buddhism)
Caodong Zong

Variations:
禅(P)
禪(oK)

see styles
 zen
    ぜん
(1) (abbreviation) {Buddh} (See 禅那・ぜんな) dhyana (profound meditation); (2) (abbreviation) (See 禅宗) Zen (Buddhism)


see styles
shàn
    shan4
shan
 yuzuri
    ゆずり

More info & calligraphy:

Zen / Chan / Meditation
to abdicate
(out-dated kanji) (1) (Buddhist term) dhyana (profound meditation); (2) (abbreviation) Zen (Buddhism); (surname) Yuzuri
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.

禅浄

see styles
 zenjou / zenjo
    ぜんじょう
(abbreviation) (from 禅宗 and 浄土宗) Zen Buddhism and Pure Land Buddhism

see styles
 yuzuru
    ゆずる

More info & calligraphy:

Zen / Chan / Meditation
(1) (Buddhist term) dhyana (profound meditation); (2) (abbreviation) Zen (Buddhism); (female given name) Yuzuru

禅宗

see styles
 zenshuu / zenshu
    ぜんしゅう

More info & calligraphy:

Zen Buddhism
Zen (Buddhism)

禪宗


禅宗

see styles
chán zōng
    chan2 zong1
ch`an tsung
    chan tsung
 Zenshū

More info & calligraphy:

Zen Buddhism
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

宋音

see styles
 souon / soon
    そうおん
(See 唐音・とうおん,宋・そう・1) sō-on; Song reading; on reading of a kanji based on Song dynasty and later Chinese (esp. in words related to Zen Buddhism)

庭詰

see styles
 niwazume
    にわづめ
{Buddh} waiting in front of a temple to be accepted for training (in Zen Buddhism)

旦過


旦过

see styles
dàn guō
    dan4 guo1
tan kuo
 tanga
    たんが
(1) {Buddh} staying the night (of an itinerant priest in Zen Buddhism); itinerant priest's lodging; (2) {Buddh} providing a room for an itinerant priest so that he may meditate for a long period of time; (place-name, surname) Tanga
boarding hall

禅法

see styles
 zenpou; zenbou / zenpo; zenbo
    ぜんぽう; ぜんぼう
{Buddh} method of Buddhist study and practice that is based in meditative concentration; meditative methods used in Zen Buddhism

竹篦

see styles
zhú bì
    zhu2 bi4
chu pi
 chikuhei
    しっぺい
bamboo comb
(ateji / phonetic) (1) (Buddhist term) bamboo stick used to strike meditators into greater wakefulness (in Zen Buddhism); (2) (kana only) striking someone's wrist with one's index and middle finger
bamboo clapper

起龕

see styles
 kigan
    きがん
{Buddh} ceremonial removal of the coffin from the house (lay person) or temple (priest) (Zen Buddhism)

開枕


开枕

see styles
kāi zhěn
    kai1 zhen3
k`ai chen
    kai chen
 kaichin
    かいちん
{Buddh} bringing out the pillows and futon (in Zen Buddhism); sleeping
To display the pillows, i.e. retire to bed; to bring out the pillows

黄檗

see styles
 kiwada
    きわだ
(abbreviation) Obaku school of Zen Buddhism; (surname) Kiwada

仏心宗

see styles
 busshinshuu / busshinshu
    ぶっしんしゅう
(rare) (See 禅宗) Zen (Buddhism)

如来禅

see styles
 nyoraizen
    にょらいぜん
(See 祖師禅) Zen Buddhism based on the original teachings of Buddha

普化宗

see styles
pǔ huà zōng
    pu3 hua4 zong1
p`u hua tsung
    pu hua tsung
 fukeshuu / fukeshu
    ふけしゅう
Fuke school (defunct sect of Zen Buddhism)
Fuke shū

祖師禅

see styles
 soshizen
    そしぜん
(See 如来禅) Zen Buddhism based on the teachings of Bodhidharma

臨済宗

see styles
 rinzaishuu / rinzaishu
    りんざいしゅう
Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism

達磨宗


达磨宗

see styles
dá mó zōng
    da2 mo2 zong1
ta mo tsung
 darumashuu / darumashu
    だるましゅう
(1) (archaism) (rare) (See 禅宗) Zen (Buddhism); (2) (derogatory term) (See 達磨歌) confusing style of middle-age Japanese poetry
The Damo, or Dharma sect, i.e. the 禪宗 Meditation, or Intuitional School; the school of Bodhidharma

黄檗宗

see styles
 oubakushuu / obakushu
    おうばくしゅう
Ōbaku school of Zen Buddhism

不立文字

see styles
bù lì wén zì
    bu4 li4 wen2 zi4
pu li wen tzu
 furyuumonji; furitsumonji / furyumonji; furitsumonji
    ふりゅうもんじ; ふりつもんじ
(expression) (yoji) Buddhist revelation through intuitive discernment; Spiritual awakening cannot be experienced with words and letters; Spiritual enlightenment can be attained only by means of communion of mind with mind (Zen Buddhism)
(不立文字教) The 禪 ch'an or intuitive School does 'not set up scriptures'; it lays stress on meditation and intuition rather than on books and other external aids: cf. Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra; no establishment of words and letters

久松真一

see styles
 hisamatsushinichi
    ひさまつしんいち
(person) Hisamatsu Shin'ichi (1889-1980) - philosopher, scholar of Zen Buddhism and master of the Japanese tea ceremony

五燈會元


五灯会元

see styles
wǔ dēng huì yuán
    wu3 deng1 hui4 yuan2
wu teng hui yüan
Song Dynasty History of Zen Buddhism in China (1252), 20 scrolls

教外別伝

see styles
 kyougebetsuden / kyogebetsuden
    きょうげべつでん
(yoji) (in Zen Buddhism) (See 不立文字) Buddhist revelation through intuitive discernment; spiritual awakening cannot be experienced with words and letters; spiritual enlightenment can be attained only by means of communion of mind with mind

Variations:
竹箆(ateji)
竹篦(ateji)

see styles
 shippei; shippe / shippe; shippe
    しっぺい; しっぺ
(1) {Buddh} bamboo stick used to strike meditators into greater wakefulness (in Zen Buddhism); (2) (kana only) (esp. しっぺ) striking someone's wrist with one's index and middle finger

円相

see styles
 ensou / enso
    えんそう
{Buddh} circle painted with a single stroke in Zen calligraphy (representing the perfect peace of mind)

円窓

see styles
 ensou / enso
    えんそう
circular window; round window; (given name) Ensou

Click here for more Zen Buddhism results from our dictionary

The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Zen Buddhism禪宗
禅宗
zen shuu / zenshuu / zen shuchán zōng
chan2 zong1
chan zong
chanzong
ch`an tsung
chantsung
chan tsung
Appreciation of Truth by Meditation心印shin nin / shinninxīn yìn / xin1 yin4 / xin yin / xinyinhsin yin / hsinyin
Zen
Chan
Meditation

zenchán / chan2 / chanch`an / chan
Zen Contemplation入定rù dìng / ru4 ding4 / ru ding / rudingju ting / juting
Zen Understanding參禪
参禅
cān chán / can1 chan2 / can chan / canchants`an ch`an / tsanchan / tsan chan
Enso - Japanese Zen Circleen sou / ensou / en so
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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Enso - Japanese Zen Circle Scroll
Enso - Japanese Zen Circle Scroll
Enso - Japanese Zen Circle Scroll
Enso - Japanese Zen Circle Scroll


And formats...

Enso - Japanese Zen Circle Vertical Portrait
Enso - Japanese Zen Circle Horizontal Wall Scroll
Enso - Japanese Zen Circle Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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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.


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Some people may refer to this entry as Zen Buddhism Kanji, Zen Buddhism Characters, Zen Buddhism in Mandarin Chinese, Zen Buddhism Characters, Zen Buddhism in Chinese Writing, Zen Buddhism in Japanese Writing, Zen Buddhism in Asian Writing, Zen Buddhism Ideograms, Chinese Zen Buddhism symbols, Zen Buddhism Hieroglyphics, Zen Buddhism Glyphs, Zen Buddhism in Chinese Letters, Zen Buddhism Hanzi, Zen Buddhism in Japanese Kanji, Zen Buddhism Pictograms, Zen Buddhism in the Chinese Written-Language, or Zen Buddhism in the Japanese Written-Language.

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