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3. No Worries
失意泰然 is a very old Japanese proverb that suggests, "keeping calm and collected at times of disappointment", or "maintaining a serene state of mind when faced with adversity".
It's hard to relate individual character meanings into the overall meaning unless you also understand Japanese grammar. The word order is very different than English. That being said, here's the character meaning breakdown:
失 To miss, lose or fail.
意 Feelings, thoughts, meaning.
泰 Safe, peaceful.
然 Like that, in that way, however, although.
Using these definitions in English, we might say, "Although you may fail or lose, have a feeling of peace and calm".
This is a kind of complex ten-character proverb composed by Zhuge Liang about 1800 years ago.
This Chinese proverb means "Leading a simple life will yield a clear mind, and having inner peace will help you see far (into the world)".
What I have translated as "simple life" means NOT being materialistic and NOT competing in the rat race.
The last word means "far" but the deeper meaning is that you will surpass what you can currently see or understand. Perhaps even the idea of opening up vast knowledge and understanding of complex ideas.
The whole phrase has a theme that suggests if you are NOT an aggressive cut-throat person who fights his way to the top no matter how many people he crushes on the way, and instead seek inner peace, you will have a happier existence and be more likely to understand the meaning of life.
See Also: Serenity
My Australian friends always say "No worries mate". It's caught on with me, though I drop the "mate" part since it confuses my fellow Americans.
If you would like to express the idea of "no worries" this is the best and most natural way to say it in Chinese.
The characters you see to the left can be translated as "put your mind at rest" or "to be at ease". You could literally translate "no worries" but it doesn't "flow" like this simple Chinese version.
For your info, the first character means to release, to free, to let go, to relax, or to rest. The second character means your heart or your mind.
Note that in Japanese and Korean, this holds the similar meaning of "peace of mind" but can also mean absentmindedness or carelessness depending on context.
靜心 is how to write "peaceful heart" in Chinese.
The first character means peaceful, calm, and quiet. The second means heart but can also mean mind, soul, or spirit.
Because the word for heart / mind / soul is interchangeable in Chinese, this can also be translated as "a peaceful soul" or "a quiet mind".
I have also seen this translated as "placid temperament" or "spirit of serenity", especially from Japanese.
While they once used the same first character form in Japan, they now use a slightly-simplified version in modern Japan (after WWII). This version is shown to the right, and can be selected for your wall scroll by clicking on that Kanji instead of the button above.
This can be defined as relief, peace of mind, feeling at ease, to be relieved, set one's mind at rest, easiness.
安心 is a nice word that encompasses great meanings within just two characters. Some of the other meanings include to pacify, to settle the mind, peace of mind, and it's also the idea of feeling a sense of security, safety, and confidence in your state of well-being.
This can be used by everyone, but some consider it to be a Buddhist concept (You'll find it in your Zen dictionary).
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.
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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|
|Keep Calm in Face of Adversity||失意泰然||shitsuitaizen|
|A Life of Serenity Yields Understanding||淡泊以明志寧靜而致遠|
|dàn bó yǐ míng zhì, níng jìng ér zhì yuǎn|
dan4 bo2 yi3 ming2 zhi4, ning2 jing4 er2 zhi4 yuan3
dan bo yi ming zhi, ning jing er zhi yuan
|tan po i ming chih, ning ching erh chih yüan|
|No Worries||放心||houshin / hoshin||fàng xīn / fang4 xin1 / fang xin / fangxin||fang hsin / fanghsin|
|shizugokoro / seishin||jìng xīn / jing4 xin1 / jing xin / jingxin||ching hsin / chinghsin|
Peace of Mind
|安心||an shin / anshin||ān xīn / an1 xin1 / an xin / anxin||an hsin / anhsin|
|Sit Quietly in Meditation||入靜|
|rù jìng / ru4 jing4 / ru jing / rujing||ju ching / juching|
|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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