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17. The Three Truths
The way of the truth
酒后吐真言 / 酒後吐真言 is a nice Asian proverb if you know a vintner or wine seller - or wine lover - although the actual meaning might not be exactly what you think or hope.
The literal meaning is that someone drinking wine is more likely to let the truth slip out. It can also be translated as “People speak their true feelings after drinking alcohol.”
It's long believed in many parts of Asia that one can not consciously hold up a facade of lies when getting drunk, and therefore the truth will come out with a few drinks.
I've had the experience where a Korean man would not trust me until I got drunk with him (I was trying to gain access to the black market in North Korea which is tough to do as an untrusted outsider) - so I think this idea is still well-practiced in many Asian countries.
Please note that there are two common ways to write the second character of this phrase. The way it's written will be left up to the mood of the calligrapher, unless you let us know that you have a certain preference.
See Also: Honesty
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.
See Also: Zen
求道 means seeking for truth, or to seek (practice for, strive for) enlightenment.
求道 is used mostly in a Buddhist context, so some non-Buddhists may not recognize it.
人間性を再生するのは寛容な心親切な言葉奉仕と思いやりの精神 is known as the Triple Truth of Buddhism in Japanese.
The Buddha ordered that all should know this triple truth...
A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things that renew humanity.
That is the English translation most commonly used for this Japanese Buddhist phrase. You might have seen this on a coffee cup or tee shirt.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
大乘無上法 means the supreme Mahāyāna truth.
This refers to the ultimate reality in contrast with the temporary and apparent. Other translations include “the reliance on the power of the vow of the bodhisattva” or “the peerless great vehicle teaching.”
Note: This may suggest that Mahayana Buddhism, as practiced in China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and other regions is superior (with subtle arrogance) to the original Theravada (or old school) Buddhism. Mahayana and Theravada Buddhists generally get along better than Catholics and Protestants, but there have been schisms.
眞智 can mean the wisdom or knowledge of ultimate truth.
眞智 is also the absolute knowledge of the non-thing or that which is immaterial. This makes more sense when you consider that true wisdom includes the knowledge of both the real and unreal, or what is material and immaterial.
In Japan, 眞智 (Masatoshi) can also be a given name.
虚実 is a Japanese word that means “falsehood [and] truth” or “fiction [and] fact.”
This concept is used in warfare, gameplay, and martial arts strategies. 虚実 can be a strategy of real and/or deceptive moves. This gets to some Sun Tzu Art of War stuff where in warfare a strategic move is either a real and serious move or it is a deceptive blow.
Let's explore each character in more depth:
虚 was originally written 虛 (there is a very subtle difference in the strokes at the bottom of the character) and means unpreparedness, falsehood, emptiness, void, abstract theory, empty or unoccupied, diffident or timid, false, humble or modest, virtual, or in vain.
In the Buddhist context, 虛 represents the Pali/Sanskrit word “śūnya,” meaning empty, vacant, unreal, unsubstantial, untrue, space, humble, or in vain.
In ancient Eastern/Chinese astronomy, 虛 represents the “Emptiness” constellation (one of the 28 mansions in the sky).
実 was originally 實 in Chinese (they currently write it as 实 in Simplified Chinese) with the meaning, truth, reality, sincerity, honesty, fidelity, and substance.
The Buddhist context is similar, adding real, true, honest, really, solid, definitely, sincere, solid, fixed, full, to fill, fruit, kernel, verily, in fact, the supreme fact, or ultimate reality to the definition.
不比不知道一比吓一跳 is a Chinese proverb that literally means: [If one not does] not make comparisons, [one will] not know [the truth] when [one] compares, [one will be] greatly surprised.
This goes to the idea that if you do not know bad times, you cannot know what good times are.
You can not know light without experiencing darkness.
Another way to translate this would be: If you wish to be enlightened, you need to make comparisons and analyze every aspect (of a situation, issue, or problem).
三諦 is a Buddhist term that means “threefold truth” or “three dogmas.”
The three truths are:
1. All things are void (卽空).
2. All things are temporary (卽假).
3. All things are in the middle state between these two (卽中).
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These search terms might be related to Truth:
Devotion / Dedication / Attentive / Focused
Devotion / Diligence / Vigorous / Energetic
Devotion / Enthusiasm
Devotion to Your Profession / Career
Dignity / Honor / Sanctity / Integrity
Faithful / Honorable / Trustworthy / Fidelity / Loyalty
Fidelity / Personal Integrity / Honor
Fidelity Honor Courage
Honesty / Fidelity
Honor and Integrity
Integrity / Honesty
Integrity: Sincere Honest and Faithful
Love and Devotion
Love Loyalty Respect
Loyalty / Devotion
Loyalty / Faithful / Devoted
Loyalty to Duty or Master
Passionate Love / Ardent Love and Devotion
Reality / Realistic
Reality and Illusion
Religious Devotion / Faith in God / Religious Faith
Respect and Loyalty
Sacrifice / Devotion / Dedication
Sense of Shame / Sense of Honor / Integrity / Modesty (Korean)
Sincere / True Sincerity
Sincerity and Devotion
Sincerity and Faithfulness
Ultimate Loyalty to Your Country
Wake Up to Reality
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Truth||真相||shin sou / shinsou / shin so||zhēn xiàng|
|shinjitsu / sana|
|Thirst for Truth||渴法||katsuhō||kě fǎ / ke3 fa3 / ke fa / kefa||k`o fa / kofa / ko fa|
|jitsu dou / jitsudou / jitsu do||shí dào / shi2 dao4 / shi dao / shidao||shih tao / shihtao|
|In Wine there is Truth||酒后吐真言 / 酒後吐真言|
|jiǔ hòu tǔ zhēn yán|
jiu3 hou4 tu3 zhen1 yan2
jiu hou tu zhen yan
|chiu hou t`u chen yen
chiu hou tu chen yen
|shou gi tai|
sho gi tai
|shèng yì dì|
sheng4 yi4 di4
sheng yi di
|sheng i ti
|Appreciation of Truth by Meditation||心印||shin nin / shinnin||xīn yìn / xin1 yin4 / xin yin / xinyin||hsin yin / hsinyin|
|Seeking Truth||求道||gu dou / gudou / gu do||qiú dào / qiu2 dao4 / qiu dao / qiudao||ch`iu tao / chiutao / chiu tao|
|shougi / shogi||shèng yì / sheng4 yi4 / sheng yi / shengyi||sheng i / shengi|
|Respect, Honor, Truth||敬意, 名譽, 真実|
敬意, 名誉, 真実
|keii meiyo shinjitsu|
kei meiyo shinjitsu
|Respect, Honor, Truth||尊重, 榮譽, 真實|
尊重, 荣誉, 真实
|zūn zhòng róng yù zhēn shí|
zun1 zhong4 rong2 yu4 zhen1 shi2
zun zhong rong yu zhen shi
|tsun chung jung yü chen shih
|Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism||人間性を再生するのは寛容な心親切な言葉奉仕と思いやりの精神||ningensei o saisei suruno wa kanyou na kokoro shinsetsu na kotoba houshi to omoi yari no seishin|
ningensei o saisei suruno wa kanyo na kokoro shinsetsu na kotoba hoshi to omoi yari no seishin
|The Supreme Mahayana Truth||大乘無上法|
|dai jou mu jou hou|
dai jo mu jo ho
|dà shèng wú shàng fǎ|
da4 sheng4 wu2 shang4 fa3
da sheng wu shang fa
|ta sheng wu shang fa
|Truth Goodness and Beauty||真善美||shin zen bi|
|zhēn shàn měi|
zhen1 shan4 mei3
zhen shan mei
|chen shan mei
|Knowledge of Ultimate Truth||眞智||masatoshi||zhēn zhì / zhen1 zhi4 / zhen zhi / zhenzhi||chen chih / chenchih|
|Kyojitsu: Falsehood and Truth||虚実||kyo jitsu / kyojitsu|
|Truth Flashed Through The Mind||參悟|
|cān wù / can1 wu4 / can wu / canwu||ts`an wu / tsanwu / tsan wu|
|Comparison Leads to Truth and Enlightenment||不比不知道一比嚇一跳|
|bù bǐ bù zhī dào yī bǐ xià yì tiào|
bu4 bi3 bu4 zhi1 dao4 yi1 bi3 xia4 yi4 tiao4
bu bi bu zhi dao yi bi xia yi tiao
|pu pi pu chih tao i pi hsia i t`iao
pu pi pu chih tao i pi hsia i tiao
|The Three Truths||三諦|
|san dai / san tai|
sandai / santai
|sān dì / san1 di4 / san di / sandi||san ti / santi|
|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.
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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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