Buddha Mind in Chinese / Japanese...

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  1. Merciful Heart / The Light from a Buddha Mind

  2. Buddha Heart / Mind of Buddha

  3. Seeing one’s Nature and becoming a Buddha

  4. The Bodhi Mind

  5. The Original Mind

  6. Open Mind

  7. The Nature of Enlightenment in One's Mind

  8. Appreciation of Truth by Meditation

  9. Blue Lotus

10. Brahmavihara

11. Purified Spirit / Enlightened Attitude

12. Ten perfect Mahayana rules

13. Zen Buddhism


Merciful Heart / The Light from a Buddha Mind

 xīn guāng
 shin kou
Merciful Heart / The Light from a Buddha Mind Scroll

心光 can mean the light from a Buddha's mind or “merciful heart.”

This would especially be the light emanating from Amitābha.

Note that the character 心 can mean mind or heart. 光 means light or brightness - but in this context can suggest a glow of mercy or compassion. This can also be a Japanese surname that is romanized as Shinkou or Shinko.

Buddha Heart / Mind of Buddha

 fó xīn
 busshin
Buddha Heart / Mind of Buddha Scroll

佛心 means the Buddha's mind, Buddha-heart, or the spiritually enlightened heart/mind.

The Buddha Heart is detached from good and evil and other such constructs. The Buddha Heart has mercy, compassion, and loving-kindness for all sentient life, the good, the wicked, and all in between.

The heart and mind (心) are the same concepts in the ancient Orient, so you can use heart and mind interchangeably in this context.

Seeing one’s Nature and becoming a Buddha

 jiàn xìng chéng fó
 ken shou jou butsu
Seeing one’s Nature and becoming a Buddha Scroll

見性成佛 is a universal phrase that suggests that one may see one's nature and accomplish Buddhahood.

見性 suggests penetrating deep inside oneself to see one's “Original finally Mind.”

成佛 refers to a sentient being who dispenses with illusions and delusions through ascetic practice, is enlightened to the truth, and becomes a Buddha.

This is used by Mahayana, Chan, and Zen Buddhists in China, Korea, and Japan.


You will also see this with the last character written as 仏 in Japanese. In the religious context, 佛 is commonly used to mean Buddha. If you want the other version, see Kenshō Jōbutsu 見性成仏

The Bodhi Mind

 pú tí xīn
 bo dai shin
The Bodhi Mind Scroll

菩提心 means Bodhi-mind or Bodhi-heart.

This title represents the will to realize supreme enlightenment. The awakening of the Bodhi-mind is of utmost importance in Buddhist training.

Other definitions include the mind for or of bodhi, the awakened, enlightened mind, or having Buddha-nature.

The Original Mind

 běn xīn
 hon shin
The Original Mind Scroll

In Zen Buddhism, 本心 means “original mind” or “original heart,” which refers to one's Buddha-nature present from birth.

This can also be translated as true feelings, real intention, one's own heart, one's right mind, one's senses, one's conscience, or fundamental mind.

Note: 心 can mean heart or mind - thought in ancient Asia to be the same organ.

 kāi jué
 kaikaku
Open Mind Scroll

開覺 is a Buddhist term meaning “open mind.”

The more full definition as used in Buddhism is, “To arouse, awaken; to allow the original Buddha-nature to open and enlighten the mind.”

The Nature of Enlightenment in One's Mind

 jué xìng
 kakushou
The Nature of Enlightenment in One's Mind Scroll

覺性 represents “The enlightened mind free from all illusion,” “The nature of enlightenment in one's mind,” or “The Buddha-nature.”

To reach this “enlightened nature,” one must form their mind into and utilize their mind as the agent of knowledge, or enlightenment.

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

 qing lián
 seiren
Blue Lotus Scroll

靑蓮 is a common title for Blue Lotus.

靑蓮 is often used in a Buddhist context for blue lotus from the Sanskrit “utpala.” This often refers to the clarity and purity of the lotus blue eyes possessed by a Living Buddha. It can also represent the purity of mind (without desire, suffering, fear, etc.).

Brahmavihara

 sì wú liàng xīn
 shi mur you shin
Brahmavihara Scroll

四無量心 is the cattāri brahmavihārā or catvāri apramāṇāni.

The four immeasurables, or infinite Buddha-states of mind. These four dhyānas include:
1. 慈無量心 boundless kindness, maitrī, or bestowing of joy or happiness.
2. 悲無量心 boundless pity, karuṇā, to save from suffering.
3. 喜無量心 boundless joy, muditā, on seeing others rescued from suffering.
4. 捨無量心 limitless indifference, upekṣā, i.e., rising above these emotions or giving up all things.

Purified Spirit / Enlightened Attitude

A Japanese martial arts title/concept

 xǐ xīn
 sen shin
Purified Spirit / Enlightened Attitude Scroll

The first Kanji alone means to wash, bathe, primness, cleanse or purify.

The second Kanji means heart, mind, soul, or essence.

Together, these two Kanji create a word defined as “purified spirit” or “enlightened attitude” within Japanese martial arts.

洗心 is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo) and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet. Under that context, it's often defined as a spirit that protects and harmonizes the universe. Senshin is a spirit of compassion that embraces and serves all humanity and whose function is to reconcile discord in the world. It holds all life to be sacred. It is the Buddha mind.

This title will only be familiar to Japanese who practice certain martial arts. Others may not recognize this word at all.

洗心 does not show up as a word in too many Chinese dictionaries, but it can be read and has the same meaning in Chinese.


先心 There is an issue with the first character. The original, and probably most correct version is shown above. However, many dojo documents and other sources have used a more simple first character. Arguments ensue about which version is correct. If you want to be correct in the Japanese language, use the "Select and Customize" button above. If you want to match the Kanji used by your dojo, click the Kanji shown to the right. There is a slightly different meaning with this first character which means before, ahead, previous, future, precedence.

Ten perfect Mahayana rules

 shí fǎ
 jippou
Ten perfect Mahayana rules Scroll

十法 is the title of the ten perfect or perfecting Mahāyāna rules.

The order of rules is as follows:
1. right belief.
2. right conduct.
3. right spirit.
4. the joy of the bodhi mind.
5. joy in the dharma.
6. joy in meditation.
7. pursuing the correct dharma.
8. obedience to, or accordance with dharma.
9. departing from pride, desire, etc.
10. comprehending the inner teaching of Buddha and taking no pleasure in attaining such knowledge or noting the ignorance of others.

This title is only used in the context of Buddhism. Japanese and Chinese people who are not familiar with Buddhism will not recognize this title.

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.




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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
Merciful Heart
The Light from a Buddha Mind
心光shin kou / shinkou / shin koxīn guāng
xin1 guang1
xin guang
xinguang
hsin kuang
hsinkuang
Buddha Heart
Mind of Buddha
佛心busshin / bushinfó xīn / fo2 xin1 / fo xin / foxinfo hsin / fohsin
Seeing one’s Nature and becoming a Buddha見性成佛
见性成佛
ken shou jou butsu
kenshoujoubutsu
ken sho jo butsu
jiàn xìng chéng fó
jian4 xing4 cheng2 fo2
jian xing cheng fo
jianxingchengfo
chien hsing ch`eng fo
chienhsingchengfo
chien hsing cheng fo
The Bodhi Mind菩提心bo dai shin
bodaishin
pú tí xīn
pu2 ti2 xin1
pu ti xin
putixin
p`u t`i hsin
putihsin
pu ti hsin
The Original Mind本心hon shin / honshinběn xīn / ben3 xin1 / ben xin / benxinpen hsin / penhsin
Open Mind開覺
开觉
kaikaku / kaikakukāi jué / kai1 jue2 / kai jue / kaijuek`ai chüeh / kaichüeh / kai chüeh
The Nature of Enlightenment in One's Mind覺性
觉性
kakushou / kakushojué xìng / jue2 xing4 / jue xing / juexingchüeh hsing / chüehhsing
Appreciation of Truth by Meditation心印shin nin / shinninxīn yìn / xin1 yin4 / xin yin / xinyinhsin yin / hsinyin
Blue Lotus靑蓮
靑莲
seirenqing lián / qing lian2 / qing lian / qinglianch`ing lien / chinglien / ching lien
Brahmavihara四無量心
四无量心
shi mur you shin
shimuryoushin
shi mur yo shin
sì wú liàng xīn
si4 wu2 liang4 xin1
si wu liang xin
siwuliangxin
ssu wu liang hsin
ssuwulianghsin
Purified Spirit
Enlightened Attitude
洗心
先心
sen shin / senshinxǐ xīn / xi3 xin1 / xi xin / xixinhsi hsin / hsihsin
Ten perfect Mahayana rules十法jippou / jiposhí fǎ / shi2 fa3 / shi fa / shifashih fa / shihfa
Zen Buddhism禪宗
禅宗
zen shuu / zenshuu / zen shuchán zōng
chan2 zong1
chan zong
chanzong
ch`an tsung
chantsung
chan tsung
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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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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