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心 would often be translated as “heart.”
However, because it was believed in Chinese culture for 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.”
隨心而行 is the closest way to express this idea in Chinese. Literally translated, this phrase means “Allow your heart to dictate your behavior” or “Let your heart guide your conduct” in Chinese. You could also translate this as “follow your heart.” Or, with a bit of imagination, it could mean: “let your spirit be your guide.”
Note that in some cases, “heart” can mean “mind,” “soul” or even “spirit” in Chinese. In ancient China, it was thought that the big pumping organ in your chest was where your thoughts came from, or where your soul resides.
Ancient western thought followed a similar belief. Thus phrases like “I love you with all my heart” and “I give you my whole heart.”
四拳波羅蜜大光明 is “shiken haramitsu daikōmyō,” a famous Japanese Buddhist mantra.
四拳 = shi-ken = four fists (many translate this as “four hearts”).
波羅蜜 = ha-ra-mitsu = A loanword representing pāramitā, or entrance into Nirvana. Awkwardly, it also means jackfruit.
大光明 = dai-kou-myo = big/great light bright (great bright light).
Shiken represents four hearts:
1. The Merciful Heart - Love and caring for all living things.
2. The Sincere Heart - Pursues righteousness, or the right path - sincerely trying to do what is right.
3. The Attuned Heart - Knows that nature and fate have their ways, and thus stay in tune with the universe.
4. The Dedicated Heart - Steadfast on the chosen path to the end.
改善 means betterment, improvement, to make better, or to improve - specifically incremental and continuous improvement.
改善 became very important in post-war Japan when Edwards Deming came to Japan to teach concepts of incremental and continuous improvement (for which the big 3 auto-makers did not want to hear about at the time - even kicking Deming out of their offices). The Japanese workforce absorbed this concept when their culture was in flux and primed for change.
This kaizen term is closely associated with the western title “Total Quality Management.” Perhaps dear to my heart since I spent years studying this at university before I moved to China where TQM did not seem to exist. Slowly, this concept has entered China as well (I've actually given lectures on the subject in Beijing).
If you are trying to improve processes at your business or need to remind yourself of your continuous TQM goals, this would be a great wall scroll to hang behind your desk or in your workplace.
See Also: Kansei
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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|
|心||kokoro||xīn / xin1 / xin||hsin|
|Listen to Your Heart|
Follow Your Heart
|suí xīn ér xíng|
sui2 xin1 er2 xing2
sui xin er xing
|sui hsin erh hsing
|Shiken Haramitsu Daikomyo||四拳波羅蜜大光明||shi ken ha ra mitsu dai kou myou|
shi ken ha ra mitsu dai ko myo
|改善||kai zen / kaizen||gǎi shàn / gai3 shan4 / gai shan / gaishan||kai shan / kaishan|
|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.
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 Big Heart Kanji, Big Heart Characters, Big Heart in Mandarin Chinese, Big Heart Characters, Big Heart in Chinese Writing, Big Heart in Japanese Writing, Big Heart in Asian Writing, Big Heart Ideograms, Chinese Big Heart symbols, Big Heart Hieroglyphics, Big Heart Glyphs, Big Heart in Chinese Letters, Big Heart Hanzi, Big Heart in Japanese Kanji, Big Heart Pictograms, Big Heart in the Chinese Written-Language, or Big Heart in the Japanese Written-Language.
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