Meditation in Chinese / Japanese...

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Personalize your custom “Meditation” project by clicking the button next to your favorite “Meditation” title below...


  1. Meditation

  2. Zen / Chan / Meditation

  3. Sit in Meditation

  4. Sit Quietly in Meditation

  5. Reach Peace and Calm by Meditation

  6. Appreciation of Truth by Meditation

  7. Mokuso - Silent Meditation

  8. Inner Bliss and Peace from Meditation

  9. Zen Contemplation

10. Om

11. Shaolin Chan

12. Samadhi

13. Zen Understanding

14. Ken Zen Ichi Nyo

15. Truth Flashed Through The Mind

16. Reflect

17. Zendo / The Zen Way

18. Content and Motionless

19. Zen Garden

20. Koan

21. Namu Myoho Renge Kyo / Homage to Lotus Sutra

22. Samadhi

23. 6. Right Effort / Right Endeavor / Perfect Effort

24. Ten perfect Mahayana rules

25. Tai Chi Chuan / Tai Ji Quan

26. Qi Gong / Chi Kung


Meditation

míng xiǎng
mei sou
Meditation Scroll

This encompasses the idea of meditation.

It's also a term used to describe a deep form of day-dreaming, exploring one's imagination, the act of contemplating, or the idea of contemplation. 冥想 is often associated with Buddhism, however, the word "Zen" in Japanese (or "Chan" in Chinese) is probably more commonly used (or better known in the west).


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 soooo 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 the practice of meditation.
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 a lot 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 in 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.

Sit in Meditation

Zazen
zuò chán
za zen
Sit in Meditation Scroll

This describes the act of sitting in the state of deep meditation. You'll notice that the second character is Chan/Zen, which is often used to title the meditative form of Buddhism. In Korean Hanja, this means "religious meditation" (basically the same as the Chinese definition). This can also be defined as abstract meditation, fixed abstraction, or contemplation.

Buddhists may define this as, sitting in dhyāna, abstract meditation, fixed abstraction, or contemplation.


座禅Japanese note: This will make sense in Japanese but the Kanji shown to the left are partially in ancient/traditional Japanese form. Japanese Buddhists may use 坐禪, 坐禅, 座禪, or 座禅. The most standard/modern Japanese form of this word is shown to the right. Click on the Kanji to the right (instead of the button above) if you want this specifically Japanese version.

Sit Quietly in Meditation

A state of mind
rù jìng
Sit Quietly in Meditation Scroll

This title is used in Taoism and Qi Gong to describe the state you can reach while sitting quietly in meditation. It contains the ideas of achieving a highly-tranquil and peaceful state. Some may describe this state as "sleeping while still awake".

If you have a relaxation or meditation room, this is the calming wall scroll that you would want hanging in that room.

Reach Peace and Calm by Meditation

ān chán
an zen
Reach Peace and Calm by Meditation Scroll

These two Chinese characters create a title that means to reach peace and calm through meditation.

安禪 is an excellent wall scroll for your relaxation or meditation room.

安禪 is also a Buddhist-related term that encompasses the idea of entering into dhyana meditation.

安禪 is also used in Japanese, but in modern times, the second character has changed, so it's 安禅 now. If you want the modern Japanese version, just choose a Japanese calligrapher, and let me know when you place your order.

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

Mokuso - Silent Meditation

mokusou / mokuso
Mokuso - Silent Meditation Scroll

黙想 is a quiet meditation or silent contemplation.

Mokuso is often performed by Japanese practitioners of martial arts and some Japanese Buddhists.

Inner Bliss and Peace from Meditation

chán yuè
Inner Bliss and Peace from Meditation Scroll

This title refers to the inner bliss and peace that you can achieve from meditation.

This term transcends a few religions, including Taoism and Buddhism. It can also be translated as "joy of the mystic trance" or simply "meditative bliss".

Amazing that such a complex idea can be expressed in just two Chinese characters. Note that the first character is Chan/Zen (Chinese/Japanese) which means "meditation" in both languages.

Zen Contemplation

rù dìng
Zen Contemplation Scroll

This title can be defined as Zen contemplation in Japanese, or sit quietly in (Buddhist) meditation in Chinese. It also carries a similar meaning in Korean Hanja. Therefore, this is a rather 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.

Om

Meditation Chant
Om Scroll

噢姆 is how to write the phonetic way to say "om" in Chinese.

噢姆 is "om" as in the meditation sound used in yoga, Buddhism, and other meditation styles.

Shaolin Chan

shǎo lín chán
sho rin zen
Shaolin Chan Scroll

少林禪 literally translates as "Little Forest Meditation".

少林禪 is part of a movement to provide spiritual and mental health by integrating the practices of martial arts and meditation.

More information at Shaolin Chan Foundation.

Samadhi

sān mèi
san mai
Samadhi Scroll

三昧 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja way to write Samādhi.

Samadhi is the state of intense concentration achieved through meditation.

Some will define Samādhi as putting together, composing the mind, intent contemplation, perfect absorption, or union of the meditator with the object of meditation.

Zen Understanding

cān chán
Zen Understanding Scroll

This title 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 own research, or decide what this means for you.

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

Ken Zen Ichi Nyo

ken zen ichi nyo
Ken Zen Ichi Nyo Scroll

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.

Truth Flashed Through The Mind

cān wù
Truth Flashed Through The Mind Scroll

參悟 is a Chan / Zen Buddhism concept that means "to understand (mystery) from meditation", or "to see truth flash through the mind".

參悟 is a pretty deep idea, therefore, your own study and contemplation may be required before you can fully appreciate it.

Reflect

fǎn xǐng
hansei / hanse
Reflect Scroll

反省 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja means several things including: to reflect upon oneself; to examine one's conscience; to question oneself; to search one's soul; reflection; reconsideration; introspection; meditation; contemplation; regret; repentance; remorse.

Zendo / The Zen Way

chán dào
zen dou
Zendo / The Zen Way Scroll

This title is used in certain contexts but is not widely-known by the general population of China or Japan.

From Japanese, you will see this title romanized as "zendo", which is the brand name of a board game, and also a title used by some martial arts studios and karate dojos. Oddly, many translate this as "zen fist" although there is no "fist" in the title. If you literally translated this title, it would be "meditation way" or "meditation method".

In Chinese, this would be "chan dao" with the same literal meaning as the Japanese title. It's used in China by just a handful of martial arts styles/studios.

You should only order this title if you really understand the meaning, and it has some personal connection to you (such as practicing a martial art style that uses this title, or if you love the board game Zendo). Many who see your wall scroll will not be familiar with this title, and you'll have some explaining to do.


禪The first character can also be written in a more complex traditional way as shown to the right. Let us know in the special instructions for your calligraphy project if you want this style.

禅If you order this from the Japanese master calligrapher, the first character will automatically be written with an extra dot on top. This is the variant form of the original Chinese character which is commonly used in modern Japan Kanji. See sample to the right.

Content and Motionless

The condition of perfect meditation
an juu fu dou
Content and Motionless Scroll

安住不動 means at peace and immovable.

This refers to the ideal state of Zen meditation.

The first two Kanji mean being content with one's present position or well composed.
The last two Kanji mean immobile, firmness, fixed, and/or motionless.

Zen Garden

chán yuán
zen sono
Zen Garden Scroll

禪園 literally means "meditation garden".

The first character happens to be known as Zen in the west (pronunciation coming from Japanese) but this title is not often used in Japan (won't be recognized as a Japanese title).

In fact, the title "Zen Garden" is basically made up by westerners.

gōng àn
kouan
Koan Scroll

In Buddhist context, this is a Zen question for meditation.

From the Buddhist dictionary this is:
Problems set by Zen masters, upon which thought is concentrated as a means to attain inner unity and illumination.

The secular meaning of this word can mean a judge's desk, complex legal case, contentious issue, a dossier, case record, public laws, regulations, or case-law.

Namu Myoho Renge Kyo / Homage to Lotus Sutra

nán wú miào fǎ lián huá jīng
na mu myou hou ren ge kyou
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo / Homage to Lotus Sutra Scroll

南無妙法蓮華經 is sometimes translated as the "Devotion to the Law of the Lotus Flower Scripture".

This is a meditation chant and homage to the Lotus Sutra, used by Nichiren Buddhists in Japan.
This is also a chant used in China by certain sects of Buddhism that celebrate the deity Guanyin.

Also romanized as "Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō" or without accents as "Nam Myoho Renge Kyo".


經
Original
Traditional
Version

The last character was originally written as seen on the left. Sometimes, you will see it written in the Japanese variant form as shown on the right. If you want this Japanese variant, click on the "Modern Japanese Variant" text instead of the button up by the main title of this entry.

Samadhi

dìng
sada
Samadhi Scroll

定 is the single-character way to express the idea of Samadhi in Chinese and Japanese.

A single-character title like this is open to a lot of interpretation. So 定 can mean to set, to fix, to determine, to decide, to order, certainly, truly, settle, or composing the mind.

In the Buddhist context, this means, "Perfect absorption of thought into the one object of meditation", "The mind fixed in one direction", "Internal state of imperturbability or tranquility", or "Exempt from all external sensations".

6. Right Effort / Right Endeavor / Perfect Effort

Samyag Vyayama / Samma Vayama
zhèng jīng jìn
sei shou jin
6. Right Effort / Right Endeavor / Perfect Effort 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

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 are as follows:
1. right belief.
2. right conduct.
3. right spirit.
4. 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 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.

Tai Chi Chuan / Tai Ji Quan

tài jí quán
tai kyoku ken
Tai Chi Chuan / Tai Ji Quan Scroll

太極拳 is the famous Taoist meditation and martial art exercise. The direct translation of these characters would be something like "grand ultimate fist" but that does not quite hit the mark for what this title really means.

An early-morning walk through any city in China near a park or open area will yield a view of Chinese people practicing this ancient technique.

The typical scene is an old man of no less than 80 years on this earth, with a wispy white beard and perhaps a sword in one hand. He makes slow moves that are impossibly smooth. He is steady-footed, and always in balance. For him, time is meaningless and proper form and technique is far more important than speed.

For the younger generation, faster moves may look impressive and seem smooth to the casual observer. But far more discipline and mental strength is needed to create perfectly smooth moves in virtual slow motion.

Note: There are two ways to Romanize these Chinese characters as seen in the title above. The pronunciation and actual characters are the same in Chinese. If you really used English sounds/words to pronounce this, it would be something like "tie jee chew-on" (just make the "chew-on" as one flowing syllable).

Qi Gong / Chi Kung

qì gōng
kikou
Qi Gong / Chi Kung Scroll

Qigong is the title of a technique that is somewhere between a medical practice, meditation, and in some cases a religion. The definition is blurred depending on which school of Qigong you are following. In some cases, it is even incorporated with martial arts.

Some people (even Chinese people) mix this title with Tai Chi (Tai Qi) exercises.

Lately in China, people will claim to practice Tai Chi rather than Qigong because the Qigong title was recently used as a cover for an illegal pseudo-religious movement in China with the initials F.G. or F.D. (I can not write those names here for fear of our website being banned in China).

You can learn those names and more here: Further info about Qigong

If you are wondering about why I wrote "Qi Gong" and "Chi Kung" as the title of this calligraphy entry, I should teach you a little about the various ways in which Chinese can be Romanized. One form writes this as "Chi Kung" or "Chikung" (Taiwan). In the mainland and elsewhere, it is Romanized as "Qi Gong" or "Qigong". The actual pronunciation is the same in Taiwan, mainland, and Singapore Mandarin. Neither Romanization is exactly like English. If you want to know how to say this with English rules, it would be something like "Chee Gong" (but the "gong" has a vowel sound like the "O" in "go").

Romanization is a really confusing topic and has caused many Chinese words to be mispronounced in the west. One example is "Kung Pao Chicken" which should actually be more like "Gong Bao" with the "O" sounding like "oh" for both characters. Neither system of Romanization in Taiwan or the Mainland is perfect in my opinion and lead to many misunderstandings.




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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
Meditation冥想mei sou / meisou / mei so / meisomíng xiǎng
ming2 xiang3
ming xiang
mingxiang
ming hsiang
minghsiang
Zen
Chan
Meditation

zenchán / chan2 / chanch`an / chan
Sit in Meditation坐禪
坐禅
za zen / zazenzuò chán / zuo4 chan2 / zuo chan / zuochantso ch`an / tsochan / tso chan
Sit Quietly in Meditation入靜
入静
rù jìng / ru4 jing4 / ru jing / rujingju ching / juching
Reach Peace and Calm by Meditation安禪
安禅
an zen / anzenān chán / an1 chan2 / an chan / anchanan ch`an / anchan / an chan
Appreciation of Truth by Meditation心印shin nin / shinninxīn yìn / xin1 yin4 / xin yin / xinyinhsin yin / hsinyin
Mokuso - Silent Meditation黙想mokusou / mokuso
mokuso / mokuso
mokuso / mokuso
Inner Bliss and Peace from Meditation禪悅
禅悦
chán yuè / chan2 yue4 / chan yue / chanyuech`an yüeh / chanyüeh / chan yüeh
Zen Contemplation入定rù dìng / ru4 ding4 / ru ding / rudingju ting / juting
Om噢姆mū / o1 mu1 / o mu / omu
Shaolin Chan少林禪
少林禅
sho rin zen
shorinzen
shǎo lín chán
shao3 lin2 chan2
shao lin chan
shaolinchan
shao lin ch`an
shaolinchan
shao lin chan
Samadhi三昧san mai / sanmaisān mèi / san1 mei4 / san mei / sanmei
Zen Understanding參禪
参禅
cān chán / can1 chan2 / can chan / canchants`an ch`an / tsanchan / tsan chan
Ken Zen Ichi Nyo拳禪一如
拳禅一如
ken zen ichi nyo
kenzenichinyo
Truth Flashed Through The Mind參悟
参悟
cān wù / can1 wu4 / can wu / canwuts`an wu / tsanwu / tsan wu
Reflect反省hansei / hansefǎn xǐng / fan3 xing3 / fan xing / fanxingfan hsing / fanhsing
Zendo
The Zen Way
禅道 / 禪道
禅道
zen dou / zendou / zen do / zendochán dào / chan2 dao4 / chan dao / chandaoch`an tao / chantao / chan tao
Content and Motionless安住不動
安住不动
an juu fu dou
anjuufudou
an ju fu do
anjufudo
Zen Garden禪園
禅园
zen sono / zensonochán yuán
chan2 yuan2
chan yuan
chanyuan
ch`an yüan
chanyüan
chan yüan
Koan公案kouan / koangōng àn / gong1 an4 / gong an / gongankung an / kungan
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo
Homage to Lotus Sutra
南無妙法蓮華經 / 南無妙法蓮華経
南无妙法莲华经
na mu myou hou ren ge kyou
namumyouhourengekyou
na mu myo ho ren ge kyo
namumyohorengekyo
nán wú miào fǎ lián huá jīng
nan2 wu2 miao4 fa3 lian2 hua2 jing1
nan wu miao fa lian hua jing
nanwumiaofalianhuajing
nan wu miao fa lien hua ching
nanwumiaofalienhuaching
Samadhisadadìng / ding4 / dingting
6. Right Effort
Right Endeavor
Perfect Effort
正精進
正精进
sei shou jin
seishoujin
sei sho jin
seishojin
zhèng jīng jìn
zheng4 jing1 jin4
zheng jing jin
zhengjingjin
cheng ching chin
chengchingchin
Ten perfect Mahayana rules十法jippou / jiposhí fǎ / shi2 fa3 / shi fa / shifashih fa / shihfa
Tai Chi Chuan
Tai Ji Quan
太極拳
太极拳
tai kyoku ken
taikyokuken
tài jí quán
tai4 ji2 quan2
tai ji quan
taijiquan
t`ai chi ch`üan
taichichüan
tai chi chüan
Qi Gong
Chi Kung
氣功
气功
kikou / kikoqì gōng / qi4 gong1 / qi gong / qigongch`i kung / chikung / chi kung
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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Qi Gong / Chi Kung Scroll
Qi Gong / Chi Kung Scroll
Qi Gong / Chi Kung Scroll
Qi Gong / Chi Kung Scroll


And formats...

Qi Gong / Chi Kung Vertical Portrait
Qi Gong / Chi Kung Horizontal Wall Scroll
Qi Gong / Chi Kung Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

Lookup Meditation in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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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.


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.

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

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