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Concentration in Chinese / Japanese...

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

  1. Concentration

  2. 8. Right Concentration / Perfect Concentration

  3. Devotion / Diligence / Vigorous / Energetic

  4. 6. Right Effort / Right Endeavor / Perfect Effort

  5. 7. Right Mindfulness / Right Memory / Perfect Mindfulness

  6. Devotion / Dedication / Attentive / Focused

  7. Lingering Mind

  8. Mindfulness


Chung shin tong il
Japan seishintouitsu
Concentration Vertical Wall Scroll

精神統一 means concentration of mind, or mental concentration in old Korean Hanja and Japanese.

This concentration title is one of the 8 Key Concepts of Tang Soo Do.

You'll often see this romanized from Korean as "Chung Shin Tong Il."

If you want to order the modern Korean Hangul version, click on the Hangul in the pronunciation box. Otherwise, this title is valid Korean Hanja (from the 1600 years that Korea used Chinese characters).

8. Right Concentration / Perfect Concentration

Samyak Samadhi / Samma Samadhi
China zhèng dìng
Japan sei jou
8. Right Concentration / Perfect Concentration Vertical Wall Scroll

正定 is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right Concentration, along with Right Effort and Right Mindfulness constitute the path to Concentration or Perfect Thought.

Right Concentration has to do with leaving behind sensuality, unwholesome states, as well as pleasure and pain. 正定 is a complex idea but once you have achieved the shedding of worldly sensation, you can truly concentrate and find a higher level of awareness.

Another definition: Concentration of mind that finds its highpoint in the four absorptions.

This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.

See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment | Noble Eightfold Path

Devotion / Diligence / Vigorous / Energetic

China jīng jìn
Japan shoujin
Devotion / Diligence / Vigorous / Energetic Vertical Wall Scroll

精進 is a wide-ranging word that is used in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

It can mean devotion, diligence, concentration, aggressive, enterprising, vigorous, energetic, purification, pushing, asceticism, assiduity, or virility. 精進 is deep, and these two characters can express ideas that take a full English phrase to describe such as, "concentration of mind," "to forge ahead vigorously," or "to dedicate oneself to progress."

Used in the context of Buddhism, it means, "making earnest efforts to cultivate virtue and get rid of evil," or "zeal in one's quest for enlightenment."

6. Right Effort / Right Endeavor / Perfect Effort

Samyag Vyayama / Samma Vayama
China zhèng jīng jìn
Japan sei shou jin
6. Right Effort / Right Endeavor / Perfect Effort Vertical Wall Scroll

正精進 is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right Effort, along with Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration constitute the path to Concentration or Perfect Thought.

Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake in each moment, the effort to overcome laziness and defilement, the effort to make each activity of our day meditation. This concept is about pursuing wholesome things that promote good karma.

Another definition: Cultivation of what is karmically wholesome and avoidance of what is karmically unwholesome.

This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.

See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment | Noble Eightfold Path

7. Right Mindfulness / Right Memory / Perfect Mindfulness

Samyak Smriti / Samyak Smrti / Samma Sati
China zhèng niàn
Japan sei nen
7. Right Mindfulness / Right Memory / Perfect Mindfulness Vertical Wall Scroll

正念 is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right Mindfulness, along with Right Effort and Right Concentration constitute the path to Concentration or Perfect Thought.

Right Mindfulness is about remaining focused on one's body, feelings, mind and mental qualities. It's also about being ardent, aware, and mindful, and supposes that you've already put aside worldly desire and aversion.

Monk Bhikkhu Bodhi described this as: The mind is deliberately kept at the level of bare attention, a detached observation of what is happening within us and around us in the present moment. In the practice of right mindfulness the mind is trained to remain in the present, open, quiet, and alert, contemplating the present event.

Another definition: Ongoing mindfulness of body, feelings, thinking, and objects of thought.

This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.

See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment | Noble Eightfold Path

Devotion / Dedication / Attentive / Focused

China zhuān xīn
Japan sen shin
Devotion / Dedication / Attentive / Focused Vertical Wall Scroll

The first character means "for a particular person, occasion, or purpose," "focused on one single thing," "concentrated" and sometimes, "special."

The second character means "heart" or "mind" by itself.

Together, these two characters make a word that means, "paying attention with your heart." It's often translated as, "dedication," as in "be absorbed in" or "concentrate one's efforts." It's also used to mean, "with single mind," "whole-heartedly," "paying attention," "undivided attention," "concentration (-ed)," "engrossed," "devotionally (listening/watching)," and/or "attentive."

My favorite translation, which comes from the Oxford Advanced Chinese/English Dictionary is, "wholehearted devotion."

If it seems like the meaning of this word is quite open, you are correct. The context in which the word is used matters a lot. It can mean different things depending on how you use it. This makes it kind of nice as you can decide what this means to you (within some limits). This word is always positive in meaning, so even if a Chinese person reads it differently than you, it will still have a good meaning.

専In Japanese, they tend to use a variation of the second character which has one less stroke. If you want your calligraphy written this Japanese form, please click on the Kanji shown to the right instead of the button above. Note: Japanese and Chinese people will recognize either form.

See Also:  Faith | Devotion

Lingering Mind

China cán xīn
Japan zan shin
Lingering Mind Vertical Wall Scroll

First off, this should only be used in context of Japanese martial arts. In Chinese, it's a rather sad title (like a broken heart). In Chinese, the first character alone means destroyed, spoiled, ruined, injured, cruel, oppressive, savage, incomplete, disabled. However, in Japanese, it's remainder, leftover, balance, or lingering.
The second character means heart, mind, soul, or essence in both languages.

殘心 is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo), and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet. Under that context, places such as the Budo Dojo define it this way: The spirit of zanshin is the state of the remaining or lingering spirit. It is often described as a sustained and heightened state of awareness and mental follow-through. However, true zanshin is a state of focus or concentration before, during, and after the execution of a technique, where a link or connection between uke and nage is preserved. Zanshin is the state of mind that allows us to stay spiritually connected, not only to a single attacker but to multiple attackers and even an entire context; a space, a time, an event.

残In modern Japan (and Simplified Chinese), they use a different version of the first character, as seen to the right. Click on this character to the right instead of the button above if you want this modern Japanese version of lingering mind / zanshin.


China niàn
Japan nen
Mindfulness Vertical Wall Scroll

念 is the simplest way to write "mindfulness" in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

念 can be defined these ways: To read; to study (a degree course); to read aloud; to miss somebody (keeping them in your mind); idea; remembrance; sense; thought; feeling; desire; concern; attention; recollection; memory; to think on/about; reflect; repeat, intone; a moment.

Obviously, the context in which the character is used determines which definition or meaning is perceived. As a single character, it's open and perhaps ambiguous. Thus, it can be read with any or all of these meanings.

念 is used in a Buddhist context (often written as 正念 or "right mindfulness") with similar meanings of thought and contemplation.

In Japanese, this character is sometimes used as a name "Nen."

See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

Search for Concentration 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
8. Right Concentration
Perfect Concentration
正定sei jou / seijou / sei jo / seijozhèng dìng
zheng4 ding4
zheng ding
cheng ting
shoujin / shojinjīng jìn / jing1 jin4 / jing jin / jingjinching chin / chingchin
6. Right Effort
Right Endeavor
Perfect Effort
sei shou jin
sei sho jin
zhèng jīng jìn
zheng4 jing1 jin4
zheng jing jin
cheng ching chin
7. Right Mindfulness
Right Memory
Perfect Mindfulness
正念sei nen / seinenzhèng niàn
zheng4 nian4
zheng nian
cheng nien
專心 / 専心 / 耑心
sen shin / senshinzhuān xīn
zhuan1 xin1
zhuan xin
chuan hsin
Lingering Mind殘心
zan shin / zanshincán xīn / can2 xin1 / can xin / canxints`an hsin / tsanhsin / tsan hsin
Mindfulnessnenniàn / nian4 / niannien
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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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.

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