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12. Ken Zen Ichi Nyo
15. Soul / Spirit
19. 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. The mind embraces the other four skandhas, which are consciousness, perception, action, and knowledge.
身心靈 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 “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 must 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.
身心霊 means “body mind spirit” in Japanese.
This refers to your physical, mental, and spiritual presence.
This can also be translated as “body heart spirit” as 心 can mean mind or heart.
Note that this is a "word list" and not a proper phrase (with a subject, verb, and object) nor a typical title in Japanese. So it's not too commonly seen in Japan. However, the term 身心霊整合性医療 that refers to holistic medicine is gaining popularity.
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.
The body is represented with 体 (the 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.
強い體強い心 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.
身土不二 (Shindofuni) is originally a Buddhist concept or proverb referring to the inseparability of body-mind and geographical circumstances.
This 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 often used 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 but a concept including both body and mind.
土 (do) refers to the soil, earth, clay, land, or in some cases, locality. It's not the proper name of Earth, the planet. However, it 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 as Japanese Kanji) as their only written standard form of the language until about a hundred years ago. Therefore, many Koreans will recognize this as a native phrase and concept.
See Also: Strength and Love in Unity
Spirit, Sword & Body as One
气剑体一致 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 the mind, it's more about the invisible or intangible parts 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.
Note: Arguments exist as to whether this should be romanized as Kikentaiitchi, Kikentaiicchi, or kikentaiichi. Technically, if you drop the last character, you get 気剣体一 and kikentaiichi (ki ken tai ichi), which is also a valid phrase.
安穩 can mean a steady, stable, sedate, and calm mind.
Other translations include “body and mind at rest,” or “peace and comfort.”
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.” When practicing 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.
拳禪一如 is a Japanese phrase that 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 here.
伴侶 means mates, companions, partners, and 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 to 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 the proper tempo.
These are the precepts of Reiki that are attributed to Usui Mikao.
Here is a breakdown of the characters and a rough translation:
Invite blessings of [the] secret method, 10,000 illnesses of spiritual medicine.
今日丈けは: 怒るな, 心配すな, 感謝して, 業をはげめ, 人に親切に。
At least for today: Do not be angry, do not worry, be grateful, work with diligence, and be kind to people.
朝夕合掌して, 心に念じ, 口に唱へよ, 心身改善。
Morning [and] evening perform gassho (join hands), [with your] heart/mind in silent prayer, [with your] mouth chant, [thusly] mind [and] body [will] reform/improve.
臼井靈氣療法！ -肇祖, 臼井甕男。
Usui Reiki Ryōhō! -Founder, Usui Mikao.
The middle portion of this is often titled, “The Five Principles of Reiki” and makes a nice calligraphy selection by itself. The Japanese text presented here can be considered the more verbose version.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
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, a 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 in 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.
三戦 is a title that 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.
These Japanese Kanji, 安心立命, can be translated as “religious enlightenment” or “spiritual peace gained through faith.”
Other dictionaries define as “spiritual peace and enlightenment” or “keeping an unperturbed mind through faith.”
My Buddhist dictionary defines it as “spiritual peace and realization of enlightenment.”
In the Zen school, this is about settling one's body and life; attaining complete peace, and establishing one's course of life in accord with the ultimate reality.
清 is a word that 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.
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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 Spirit||身心靈 / 身心霊|
|mi shin rei|
|shēn xīn líng|
shen1 xin1 ling2
shen xin ling
|shen hsin ling
|Body Mind Spirit||身心霊||mi shin rei|
|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
|Body and Earth in Unity||身土不二||shindofuni / shindofuji|
|Energy Sword Body in Concert||気剣体一致 / 氣劍體一致|
|ki ken tai icchi|
ki ken tai ichi
|Stable - Mind at Peace||安穩|
|an non / annon||ān wěn / an1 wen3 / an wen / anwen|
|魂魄||kon paku / konpaku||hún pò / hun2 po4 / hun po / hunpo||hun p`o / hunpo / hun po|
心养会 / 心養会
|shin you kai|
shin yo kai
|7. Right Mindfulness|
|正念||sei nen / seinen||zhèng niàn|
|Ken Zen Ichi Nyo||拳禪一如|
|ken zen ichi nyo|
|shin jin datsu raku|
|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|
|Reiki Precepts by Usui Mikao||招福の秘法萬病の霊薬今日丈けは怒るな心配すな感謝して業をはげめ人に親切に朝夕合掌して心に念じ口に唱へよ心身改善臼井靈氣療法肇祖臼井甕男||shou fuku no hihou man byou no rei yaku kyou da ke wa oko ru na shin pai su na kan sha shi te gyou wo ha ke me hito ni shin setsu ni asayuu gasshou shite kokoro ni nenji kuchi ni tonae yo shin shin kaizen usui rei ki ryou hou cho so usu i mika o|
sho fuku no hiho man byo no rei yaku kyo da ke wa oko ru na shin pai su na kan sha shi te gyo wo ha ke me hito ni shin setsu ni asayu gasho shite kokoro ni nenji kuchi ni tonae yo shin shin kaizen usui rei ki ryo ho cho so usu i mika o
|ku you / kuyou / ku yo||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|
|安心立命||an jin ritsu myou|
an jin ritsu myo
|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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Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
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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.
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