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This is probably the best way to express the idea of "Body, Mind and Spirit" in Chinese and old Korean Hanja. We are actually using the word for "heart" here because for thousands of years, the heart was thought to be the place where your thoughts, feelings and emotions came from. We do something similar in the west when we say "warm-hearted" or "I love you with all of my heart". In this context, heart = mind in Asian language and culture.
The very literal translation of these three characters is "body, heart & spirit" which could also be interpreted as "body mind & soul".
We have arranged these characters in this order because it simply "feels" like the proper order in the Chinese language. Word lists like this are not so common for calligraphy artwork, so we have to be careful to put them in the most natural order. It should be noted that this is not a common title in Asia, nor is it considered an actual phrase (as it lacks a clear subject, verb, and object).
In Japanese Kanji, they use an alternate form of the character for soul or spirit. If you want this using the Japanese alternate, please click on the Kanji shown to the right instead of the button above.
Japanese disclaimer: This is not a natural phrase/list in Japanese. While not totally-natural in Chinese, this word list is best if your audience is Chinese.
This often gets translated as "Mind Sword Body", or "Spirit, Sword and Body as One". But I think these translations don't tell you enough about what this is really saying.
In this context, 気, which is the modern Japanese version of 氣, means spiritual and unseen energy or "life energy". In some cases, 気 can be translated as spirit, feeling, or nature. If defined as mind, it's more about invisible or intangible part of one's mind (or soul).
剣 is the Japanese version of 劍 meaning sword.
体 is the modern Japanese version of 體 meaning body.
The Kanji 一 means one, and in this case suggests "all in one". The Kanji 到 means to send, deliver, or convey. But together, 一到 suggests all these things in agreement, union cooperation, or in concert.
魂 means soul or spirit as in the immortal soul that can be detached from the body.
This can also refer to one's Yang energy or spirit.
In the Buddhist context, this can be the soul, conscious mind, or vijñāna.
魂魄 is a Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja term for ghost, soul, or spirit.
It's used in the context of Buddhism as:
Animus and anima; the spiritual nature or mind, and the animal soul; the two are defined as mind and body or mental and physical, the invisible soul inhabiting the visible body, the former being celestial, the latter terrestrial.
This Japanese phrase is often translated as "train both body and spirit".
Here's the breakdown of the words in this phrase:
拳 means fist.
禅 is zen, which means meditation.
一如 is a word that means "to be just like", "oneness", "true nature", or "true character".
So to get to the translation of "train both body and spirit", you must understand that "fist" is representing "body" and the idea of mediation is representing "mind".
I have to say, this is not how I would translate this. To me, it's really about training with your mind and remembering that mediation is a huge part of training, not just your fist. As the Shaolin Buddhist monks show us, meditation is just as important as physical training in martial arts.
三位一體 is the Chinese and old Korean way to write Holy Trinity.
This would be understood in Japanese as well, but they tend to write it with the last character simplified like 三位一体 in modern Japan.
三位一體 can be translated literally as "Three Thrones, One Body".
Asian Christians will understand this to be the Trinity, as in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
魂の伴侶 is a Japanese-only title for soulmates.
魂 means soul, spirit, immortal soul (the part of you that lives beyond your physical body), or the conscious mind. In the Buddhist context, this is vijñāna or viññāṇa (consciousness, life force, or mind).
の is a possessive article that connects everything together here.
伴侶 means mates, companions, partners, spouses.
心技体 is the Japanese title "shin gi tai" or "shingitai".
This can refer to the three elements of Sumo wrestlers or martial artists, "heart-technique-physique".
Here is what each character represents:
心 (shin) mind, heart and spirit.
技 (gi) skill, knowledge and experience.
体 (ti) body and physical effort.
心技体 have the same meanings in Chinese, though this title is used much more often in Japanese.
龍 is the character for dragon in Chinese, old Korean Hanja, and Japanese Kanji.
The dragon is the creature of myth and legend that dominates Chinese, Japanese, and even European folklore. In China, the dragon is the symbol of the Emperor, strength and power, and the Chinese dragon is known as the god of water.
From the Chinese Zodiac, if you were born in the year of the Dragon, you . . .
Have a strong body and spirit.
Are full of energy.
Have vast goals.
Have a deep level of self-awareness.
Will do whatever you can to "save face".
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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|
|Mind, Body and Spirit||身心靈 / 身心霊|
|mi shin rei|
|shēn xīn líng|
shen1 xin1 ling2
shen xin ling
|shen hsin ling
|Energy Sword Body in Concert||気剣体一致 / 氣劍體一致|
|ki ken tai icchi|
ki ken tai ichi
|魂||tamashi / kon||hún / hun2 / hun|
|魂魄||kon paku / konpaku||hún pò / hun2 po4 / hun po / hunpo||hun p`o / hunpo / hun po|
|Ken Zen Ichi Nyo||拳禪一如|
|ken zen ichi nyo|
|The Holy Trinity||三位一體|
|sān wèi yì tǐ|
san1 wei4 yi4 ti3
san wei yi ti
|san wei i t`i
san wei i ti
|Spiritual Soul Mates||魂の伴侶||tamashii no han ryo|
tamashi no han ryo
Shin Gi Tai
|心技体||shin gi tai|
|xīn jì tǐ|
xin1 ji4 ti3
xin ji ti
|hsin chi t`i
hsin chi ti
|ryuu / tatsu|
ryu / tatsu
ryu / tatsu
|lóng / long2 / long||lung|
|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.
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