Chinese Character: Ning (Peace)

Chinese Character: Ning (Peace) Chinese Character: Ning (Peace) Chinese Character: Ning (Peace)



The Chinese symbol “Ning”, the word for peace, harmony, repose, serenity, is a key concept in Chinese Confucianism, Taosim and Buddhism.

Relationships are central to Confucianism. The individual stands simultaneously in several different relationships with different people: as a junior in relation to parents and elders, and as a senior in relation to younger siblings, students, and others. This theme of mutuality is prevalent in East Asian cultures even to this day.

Based on this belief, ning in the society, or the social harmony—the great goal of Confucianism—therefore results in part from every individual knowing his or her place in the social order, and playing his or her part well.

Taoist philosophy proposes that the universe works harmoniously according to its own ways. And man is a microcosm for the universe. The body ties directly into the Chinese five elements. The five organs correlate with the five elements, the five directions and the seasons. When someone exerts his will against the world, he disrupts ning, the harmony. By understanding himself, man may gain knowledge of the universe, and vice versa.

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Therefore, Taoism does not identify man's will as the root problem. Rather, it asserts that man must place his will in harmony with the natural universe, align himself spiritually with cosmic forces to enable ecstatic spiritual journeys.

In buddism, ning refers to moral purity of thought, word, and deed. It is the foundation of meditative cultivation or mind cultivation. Keeping the ning promotes not only the peace of mind of the cultivator, which is internal, but also peace in the community, which is external.

Derived from Buddhist meditation, Zen Buddhism, a form of Buddhism that lays special emphasis on meditation, became popular in China and Japan. Zen places less emphasis on scriptures than some other forms of Buddhism and prefers to focus on direct spiritual breakthroughs to truth.

Confucianism, Taosim and Buddhism, all three embraced a humanist philosophy emphasizing internal peace and human perfection. In time, most Chinese people identified to some extent with all three traditions simultaneously.

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Learn more about Jade & Chinese characters:

Chinese Character: Fu (Blessing)
Chinese Character: Lu (Prosperity)
Chinese Character: Shou (Longevity)
Chinese Character: Xi & Shuangxi (Happiness & Double Happiness)
Chinese Character: Cai (wealth)
Chinese Character: Ji (auspiciousness)
Chinese Character: Ai (Love)
Chinese Character: De (Virtue)
Chinese Character: Ning (Peace)

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