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The name Contemplation in Chinese / Japanese...

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


  1. Idea / Concept

  2. Idea / Thought

  3. Meditation

  4. Mindfulness

  5. Reflect

  6. Samadhi

  7. Sit in Meditation

  8. Thought / Thinking / Idea

  9. Truth Flashed Through The Mind

10. Zen Contemplation

11. Zen / Chan / Meditation

12. Mokuso - Silent Meditation


Idea / Concept

 lǐ niàn
 ri nen
Idea / Concept Scroll

理念/理唸 means idea, notion, concept, principle, theory, philosophy*, or doctrine in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

This word is OK for a wall scroll, although it's more commonly used as an oral/informal word in Asia.

* This is not the title for philosophy but rather is about having a certain philosophy or approach to something.

Idea / Thought

 yì niàn
Idea / Thought Scroll

意念/意唸 means idea or thought in Chinese.

Idea / Thought

 yì jiàn
 i ken
Idea / Thought Scroll

意見 means idea, thought, opinion, or view in Japanese.

This word also has a similar meaning in Chinese, just often used in China.

 míng xiǎng
 mei sou
Meditation Scroll

This encompasses the idea of meditation.

It's also a term used to describe a deep form of daydreaming, 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

 niàn
 nen
 
Mindfulness 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 the name “Nen.”


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

 fǎn xǐng
 hansei / hanse
Reflect Scroll

反省 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja means several things, including reflecting upon oneself, examining one's conscience, questioning oneself, searching one's soul, reflection, reconsideration, introspection, meditation, contemplation, regret, repentance, remorse.

 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.

Sit in Meditation

Zazen

 zuò chán
 za zen
Sit in Meditation Scroll

坐禪 describes the act of sitting in a state of deep meditation.

You'll notice that the second character is Chan/Zen (often used to title the meditative form of Buddhism).

In Korean Hanja, this means “religious meditation” (roughly the same as the Chinese definition).

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.

Thought / Thinking / Idea

 sī xiǎng
 shisou
Thought / Thinking / Idea Scroll

思想 means thought, thinking, or idea in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja. Sometimes it can mean ideology, depending on context.

This can refer to someone's personality - like saying, “he is a thinker.”

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 study and contemplation may be required before fully appreciating it.

Zen Contemplation

 rù dìng
Zen Contemplation Scroll

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

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 so 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 meditation practice.
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 much 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 between the 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.

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.


These search terms might be related to Contemplation:

2. Right Resolve / Right Thought / Right Intention / Perfect Resolve

Appreciation of Truth by Meditation

Consideration / Meticulous Care

Consideration / Thought / Ikko

Diligent Study Proverb

Far-Sighted in Deep Thought

Good Good Study, Day Day Up

Idea / Thought

Idea / Thought / Meaning

Inner Bliss and Peace From Meditation

Learning Leads to Knowledge, Study Leads to Benevolence, Shame Leads to Courage

Meditation

Mokuso - Silent Meditation

Reach Peace and Calm Through Meditation

Read / Study

Sit in Meditation

Sit Quietly in Meditation

Study / Learn / School

Thought / Thinking / Idea

Zen / Chan / Meditation

The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Idea
Concept
理念 / 理唸
理念
ri nen / rinenlǐ niàn / li3 nian4 / li nian / linianli nien / linien
Idea
Thought
意念 / 意唸
意念
yì niàn / yi4 nian4 / yi nian / yiniani nien / inien
Idea
Thought
意見i ken / ikenyì jiàn / yi4 jian4 / yi jian / yijiani chien / ichien
Meditation冥想mei sou / meisou / mei somíng xiǎng
ming2 xiang3
ming xiang
mingxiang
ming hsiang
minghsiang
Mindfulnessnenniàn / nian4 / niannien
Reflect反省hansei / hansefǎn xǐng / fan3 xing3 / fan xing / fanxingfan hsing / fanhsing
Samadhi三昧san mai / sanmaisān mèi / san1 mei4 / san mei / sanmei
Sit in Meditation坐禪
坐禅
za zen / zazenzuò chán / zuo4 chan2 / zuo chan / zuochantso ch`an / tsochan / tso chan
Thought
Thinking
Idea
思想shisou / shisosī xiǎng / si1 xiang3 / si xiang / sixiangssu hsiang / ssuhsiang
Truth Flashed Through The Mind參悟
参悟
cān wù / can1 wu4 / can wu / canwuts`an wu / tsanwu / tsan wu
Zen Contemplation入定rù dìng / ru4 ding4 / ru ding / rudingju ting / juting
Zen
Chan
Meditation

zenchán / chan2 / chanch`an / chan
Mokuso - Silent Meditation黙想mokusou / mokuso
mokuso / mokuso
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.


Dictionary

Lookup Contemplation in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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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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