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Name for my zendo

noba

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I would like to call it "still point" if that works out in something short in kanji. If you could give me the characters and the romaji, that would be great.
Examples of the meaning of a still point: the center of a hub within a spinning wheel, a point of stillness at the heart of movement. The still point is central, poised, balanced and is also the locus of power. The still point relative to zen buddhism has no sense of time. Past and future are gathered, absorbed into the present. You feel it when you breathe. Inhale, then there is a still point before you exhale. At the point of transition there is a stillness.
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nice gaijin

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What a lovely little space! Did you build it on your own? looks perfect for tea ceremonies or as a meditation space.

As a non-native speaker and a layman Buddhist, I can understand what you're getting at but I'm hesitant to take too much creative license to come up with a name, as there may be some precedence for naming conventions of these things... perhaps a native speaker could elaborate on these considerations:

  1. What category of "space identifier" is appropriate for this particular small, private structure? such as 道、堂、館、室、屋、間、 etc?
  2. Is the name required to identify the building with a "space identifier" at the end, or is it possible to be more ambiguous? Like Thomas Jefferson naming his estate "Monticello" as opposed to something like "Martha's Vineyard," which describes the nature or purpose of the space.
  3. When Buddhist structures and locations received their names, was it done in such a way that they thought of the characters that captured the mood, and then would have to explain the meaning behind it? i.e. how much artistic license did they take when bestowing names on places.
I found this very nice article and looked through it to see if there were any pre-existing Zen terms that matched your desired meaning... The word 黙 (moku) seems like a good match for the silence/stillness aspect. I did a search to see if there were any temples with 黙 in the name, and came up with a 黙照道, in Germany. There are a lot of words that incorporate this character as well.

Other characters that could be combined with 黙 might be something like
元 - origin [in this case, of silence]
軸 - axle/axis, but in a mechanical/physical sense
心 - heart, a little more poetic and less literal regarding the center

You could also go with something incorporating 無 (mu, nothingness), a zen favorite that pops up often like in the heart sutra...
 

Toritoribe

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If it's OK to put focus more on "not-to-move" than "silent", what comes to my mind is 不動庵 Fudō-an. 庵 means "hermitage", and is often used for the one related to Buddhism or tea ceremony.
 

nice gaijin

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"The Unmoving Hermitage"
I like it and the connotations it may have from a Buddhist perspective

So, @Toritoribe, would you say that in this case your natural inclination is to include the "space identifier" 庵 in the name?
 

Toritoribe

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Yes, 庵 clearly shows that it's the name of a small building.
 

Majestic

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Or something like
静心庵  lit. quiet + heart + hermitage
静芯庵 quiet + core/center/stem + hermitage
閑心庵 silent/still + heart + hermitage
 

noba

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What a lovely little space! Did you build it on your own? looks perfect for tea ceremonies or as a meditation space.

As a non-native speaker and a layman Buddhist, I can understand what you're getting at but I'm hesitant to take too much creative license to come up with a name, as there may be some precedence for naming conventions of these things... perhaps a native speaker could elaborate on these considerations:

  1. What category of "space identifier" is appropriate for this particular small, private structure? such as 道、堂、館、室、屋、間、 etc?
  2. Is the name required to identify the building with a "space identifier" at the end, or is it possible to be more ambiguous? Like Thomas Jefferson naming his estate "Monticello" as opposed to something like "Martha's Vineyard," which describes the nature or purpose of the space.
  3. When Buddhist structures and locations received their names, was it done in such a way that they thought of the characters that captured the mood, and then would have to explain the meaning behind it? i.e. how much artistic license did they take when bestowing names on places.
I found this very nice article and looked through it to see if there were any pre-existing Zen terms that matched your desired meaning... The word 黙 (moku) seems like a good match for the silence/stillness aspect. I did a search to see if there were any temples with 黙 in the name, and came up with a 黙照道, in Germany. There are a lot of words that incorporate this character as well.

Other characters that could be combined with 黙 might be something like
元 - origin [in this case, of silence]
軸 - axle/axis, but in a mechanical/physical sense
心 - heart, a little more poetic and less literal regarding the center

You could also go with something incorporating 無 (mu, nothingness), a zen favorite that pops up often like in the heart sutra...
Thank you for all the interesting thoughts, nice gaijin!
And the links. About the, I call it a teahouse in general but people do meditate in it too:
My husband and I liked the idea of a space transparent to its environment. I knew the moon window would be a powerful element because it is pretty hard to take your eyes off a circle. And I was set on the general configuration and the hip and gable roof. Then I was lucky enough to be introduced to a team of carpenters, one Japanese who had learned the trade in NY and a local caucasian finishing carpenter who specialized in Japanese joinery. We knew all our specs and they gave us our options in roof style and materials and it was settled and done pretty quickly. Calculations and most demanding cuts done in their shops and then about a month and 1/2 on site putting it together. I hate to think what it would look like without professionals doing it. It is a pleasure just to look at the woodwork...to the point that it is a little hard to meditate!
 

noba

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Yes, 庵 clearly shows that it's the name of a small building.
Thank you Toritoribe for your help!
Or something like
静心庵  lit. quiet + heart + hermitage
静芯庵 quiet + core/center/stem + hermitage
閑心庵 silent/still + heart + hermitage
Thank you for your help, Majestic!
So I could say:
sei shin an (quiet heart place)
sei shin an (quiet center place)
kan shin an (quiet and still heart place)
correct?
I think #2 is going to work best.
BTW, if you look really hard in the tokonoma you can see a scroll, one of many you and Toritoribe helped me translate a year or more ago. It's all coming together!
 

noba

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Thank you Toritoribe for your help!


Thank you for your help, Majestic!
So I could say:
sei shin an (quiet heart place)
sei shin an (quiet center place)
kan shin an (quiet and still heart place)
correct?
I think #2 is going to work best.
BTW, if you look really hard in the tokonoma you can see a scroll, one of many you and Toritoribe helped me translate a year or more ago. It's all coming together!
So I can move things around a little and come up with
閑芯庵 ?
 

Toritoribe

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The main meaning of 閑 is "spare time/having nothing to do", so the impression I received from 閑芯 is "idling shaft" or something like that.
 

noba

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The main meaning of 閑 is "spare time/having nothing to do", so the impression I received from 閑芯 is "idling shaft" or something like that.
Haha, the fellow who built the teahouse says in his translator, kan shin an means desolate hut. OK I won't try to be clever. I will stick with sei shin an 静芯庵
 

Toritoribe

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芯 is missed in the translation, but indeed "desolate" can be another meaning of 閑, as in 閑散 or 閑古鳥.
 
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