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11. Soul / Spirit
14. Offering / Puja
身心 means, "body and mind" or "mental and physical" in Chinese and Japanese.
In the Buddhist context, body and mind encompass the five elements (skandha) of a sentient being.
The body is the physical material (rūpa) of life. Mind embraces the other four skandhas which are consciousness, perception, action, and knowledge.
This is probably the best way to express the idea of "Body, Mind and Spirit" in Chinese and old Korean Hanja. We are actually using the word for "heart" here because for thousands of years, the heart was thought to be the place where your thoughts, feelings and emotions came from. We do something similar in the west when we say "warm-hearted" or "I love you with all of my heart". In this context, heart = mind in Asian language and culture.
The very literal translation of these three characters is "body, heart & spirit" which could also be interpreted as "body mind & soul".
We have arranged these characters in this order because it simply "feels" like the proper order in the Chinese language. Word lists like this are not so common for calligraphy artwork, so we have to be careful to put them in the most natural order. It should be noted that this is not a common title in Asia, nor is it considered an actual phrase (as it lacks a clear subject, verb, and object).
In Japanese Kanji, they use an alternate form of the character for soul or spirit. If you want this using the Japanese alternate, please click on the Kanji shown to the right instead of the button above.
Japanese disclaimer: This is not a natural phrase/list in Japanese. While not totally-natural in Chinese, this word list is best if your audience is Chinese.
強い体強い心 is a way to write "strong mind, strong body" in Japanese.
Each of the two lines starts with 強い (tsuyoi) which means: strong; powerful; mighty; potent; resistant; resilient; durable; tough; stiff; hard; inflexible.
Body is represented with 体 (ancient version is 體, romanized as karada) which means: body; build; physique; posture; torso; trunk; health.
Mind is represented with 心 (kokoro) which can mean heart, mind, or soul depending on context.
This is not a common phrase in Japanese, so it's not the most natural title for calligraphy. In English, you might want to write it, "strong mind, strong body" but, "strong mind, strong body", is more natural in Japanese.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
Spirit, Sword & Body as One
This often gets translated as "Mind Sword Body", or "Spirit, Sword and Body as One". But I think these translations don't tell you enough about what this is really saying.
In this context, 気, which is the modern Japanese version of 氣, means spiritual and unseen energy or "life energy". In some cases, 気 can be translated as spirit, feeling, or nature. If defined as mind, it's more about invisible or intangible part of one's mind (or soul).
剣 is the Japanese version of 劍 meaning sword.
体 is the modern Japanese version of 體 meaning body.
The Kanji 一 means one, and in this case suggests "all in one". The Kanji 到 means to send, deliver, or convey. But together, 一到 suggests all these things in agreement, union cooperation, or in concert.
身土不二 (Shindofuni) is originally a Buddhist concept or proverb referring to the inseparability of body-mind and geographical circumstances.
身土不二 literally reads, "Body [and] earth [are] not two".
Other translations or matching ideas include:
Body and land are one.
Body and earth can not be separated.
Body earth sensory curation.
You are what you eat.
Indivisibility of the body and the land (because the body is made from food and food is made from the land).
Going further, this speaks of our human bodies and the land from which we get our food being closely connected. This phrase is used often when talking about natural and organic vegetables coming directly from the farm to provide the healthiest foods in Japan.
Character notes: 身(shin) in this context does not just mean your physical body rather a concept including both body and mind.
土 (do) refers to soil, earth, clay, land, or in some cases, locality. It's not the proper name of Earth, the planet. However, in can refer to the land or realm we live in.
Japanese note: This has been used in Japan, on and off since 1907 as a slogan for a governmental healthy eating campaign (usually pronounced as shindofuji instead of the original shindofuni in this context). It may have been hijacked from Buddhism for this propaganda purpose, but at least this is "healthy propaganda".
Korean note: The phrase 身土不二 was in use by 1610 A.D. in Korea where it can be found in an early medical journal.
In modern South Korea, it's written in Hangul as 신토불이. Korea used Chinese characters (same source for Japanese Kanji) as their only written standard form of the language until about a hundred years ago. Therefore, many Koreans will recognize 身土不二 as a native phrase and concept.
See Also: Strength and Love in Unity
魂魄 is a Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja term for ghost, soul, or spirit.
It's used in the context of Buddhism as:
Animus and anima; the spiritual nature or mind, and the animal soul; the two are defined as mind and body or mental and physical, the invisible soul inhabiting the visible body, the former being celestial, the latter terrestrial.
Samyak Smriti / Samyak Smrti / Samma Sati
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.
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.
魂の伴侶 is a Japanese-only title for soulmates.
魂 means soul, spirit, immortal soul (the part of you that lives beyond your physical body), or the conscious mind. In the Buddhist context, this is vijñāna or viññāṇa (consciousness, life force, or mind).
の is a possessive article that connects everything together here.
伴侶 means mates, companions, partners, spouses.
魂 means soul or spirit as in the immortal soul that can be detached from the body.
This can also refer to one's Yang energy or spirit.
In the Buddhist context, this can be the soul, conscious mind, or vijñāna.
(for body or mind)
鍛煉 / 鍛鍊 means exercise in much the same way we use the word exercise in English.
This can be exercising your body at the gym, or exercising your mind in studies. Most of the time, this refers to physical exercise.
This can also be translated as to temper, to toughen, to train, to drill, to forge, or simply discipline.
鼓腹 means happiness and contentment in Japanese Kanji.
The first Kanji represents your internal beat or drum.
The second Kanji represents your mind and body.
Together, it suggests that your internal rhythm or beat is regular, soothing, and at proper tempo.
供養 is the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean rough equivalent to the Sanskrit word, Pūjā.
The meaning is: To make offerings (to the Gods); to supply; to provide for one's elders; to support one's parents; memorial service for the dead; holding a service; any offering for body or mind; to make offerings of whatever nourishes (e.g. food, goods, incense, lamps, scriptures, the doctrine).
The final meaning varies greatly depending on the context it which the word is used.
心技体 is the Japanese title "shin gi tai" or "shingitai".
This can refer to the three elements of Sumo wrestlers or martial artists, "heart-technique-physique".
Here is what each character represents:
心 (shin) mind, heart and spirit.
技 (gi) skill, knowledge and experience.
体 (ti) body and physical effort.
心技体 have the same meanings in Chinese, though this title is used much more often in Japanese.
This title literally means, "three battles/conflicts/wars".
三戦 is often figuratively used to relay the idea of a battle to unify the mind, body, and spirit.
Original usage likely comes from Fujian province in Southern China (just across from Taiwan).
This title is used in various schools such as Okinawan Karate, Uechi-Ryū, Gōjū-Ryū, Fujian White Crane, and Five Ancestors among others.
清 means clarity or clear in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
Looking at the parts of this character, you have three splashes of water on the left, "life" on the top right, and the moon on the lower right.
Because of something Confucius said about 2500 years ago, you can imagine that this character means "live life with clarity like bright moonlight piercing pure water". The Confucian idea is something like "Keep clear what is pure in yourself, and let your pure nature show through". Kind of like saying, "Don't pollute your mind or body, so that they remain clear".
This might be stretching the definition of this single Chinese character but the elements are there, and "clarity" is a powerful idea.
Korean note: Korean pronunciation is given above but this character is written with a slight difference in the "moon radical" in Korean. However, anyone who can read Korean Hanja, will understand this character with no problem (this is considered an alternate form in Korean). If you want the more standard Korean Hanja form (which is an alternate form in Chinese), just let me know.
Japanese note: When reading in Japanese, this Kanji has additional meanings of pure, purify, or cleanse (sometimes to remove demons or "exorcise"). Used more in compound words in Japanese than as a stand-alone Kanji.
You're only old if you think you're old
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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|
|Body and Mind||身心||shin shin / shinshin||shēn xīn / shen1 xin1 / shen xin / shenxin||shen hsin / shenhsin|
|Mind, Body and Spirit||身心靈 / 身心霊|
|mi shin rei|
|shēn xīn líng|
shen1 xin1 ling2
shen xin ling
|shen hsin ling
|Strong Body, Strong Mind||強い體強い心|
|tsuyo i karada tsuyo i kokoro|
|Strong Mind Strong Body||強壯的身體堅強的心態|
|qiáng zhuàng de shēn tǐ jiān qiáng de xīn tài|
qiang2 zhuang4 de shen1 ti3 jian1 qiang2 de xin1 tai4
qiang zhuang de shen ti jian qiang de xin tai
|ch`iang chuang te shen t`i chien ch`iang te hsin t`ai
chiang chuang te shen ti chien chiang te hsin tai
|Energy Sword Body in Concert||気剣体一致 / 氣劍體一致|
|ki ken tai icchi|
ki ken tai ichi
|Body and Earth in Unity||身土不二||shindofuni / shindofuji|
|魂魄||kon paku / konpaku||hún pò / hun2 po4 / hun po / hunpo||hun p`o / hunpo / hun po|
|7. Right Mindfulness|
|正念||sei nen / seinen||zhèng niàn|
|Ken Zen Ichi Nyo||拳禪一如|
|ken zen ichi nyo|
|Spiritual Soul Mates||魂の伴侶||tamashii no han ryo|
tamashi no han ryo
|魂||tamashi / kon||hún / hun2 / hun|
|Exercise||鍛煉 / 鍛鍊|
|鼓腹||ko fuku / kofuku|
|ku you / kuyou / ku yo / kuyo||gòng yǎng|
Shin Gi Tai
|心技体||shin gi tai|
|xīn jì tǐ|
xin1 ji4 ti3
xin ji ti
|hsin chi t`i
hsin chi ti
|Sanchin||三戦||san sen / sansen||sān zhàn / san1 zhan4 / san zhan / sanzhan||san chan / sanchan|
|Clarity||清||sei||qīng / qing1 / qing||ch`ing / ching|
|You are only as old as you feel||不怕人老隻怕心老|
|bú pà rén lǎo zhǐ pà xīn lǎo|
bu2 pa4 ren2 lao3 zhi3 pa4 xin1 lao3
bu pa ren lao zhi pa xin lao
|pu p`a jen lao chih p`a hsin lao
pu pa jen lao chih pa hsin lao
|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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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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