This Zen calligraphy shows 定 慧, meditation and wisdom, Japanese jōe, Chinese dìnghuì, ting-hui, in a bold semi-cursive version.
The first character 定 is the Japanese and Chinese translation of the Sanskrit word samādhi, dhyāna (定 Japanese jō, Chinese dìng, ting). In English it is translated as meditation or concentration. Literally 定 means ‘fixed’, ‘settled’, “stable”; the character shows a roof or building and a foot underneath. Hence in the Buddhist context it means meditation, concentration, the practice that allows you to stabilize your mind and to center in your essential nature.
The second character 慧 means Prajna or wisdom, Japanese e, Chinese huì, hui. The upper part of the character shows 彗 a broom and a hand, hence it means ‘well kept’. The lower part shows the character for heart, mind 心. By sweeping clean the mind you achieve wisdom!
The following paragraph from the Platform Sutra Of The Sixth Patriarch Hui-neng has inspired this Meditation and Wisdom calligraphy:
“Good friends, how then are meditation and wisdom alike? They are like the lamp and the light it gives forth. If there is a lamp there is light; if there is no lamp there is no light. The lamp is the substance of light; the light is the function of the lamp. Thus, although they have two names, in substance they are not two. Meditation and wisdom are also like this.”
(Excerpt from “The Platform Sutra Of The Sixth Patriarch, Translation, By Philip B. Yampolsky, Columbia University Press 1967)
If you would like to buy this original ‘Meditation And Wisdom Zen Calligraphy click here.
The original size of the Zen calligraphy is approximately h 54 x w 14 in, 137 x 35 cm, and is not mounted yet. Please have a look at my explanation of mounting in case you are not familiar with rice paper.
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