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The Imagery of nichiren's Lotus Sutra: Other Chinese Characters of Interest to Buddhists 
Go Kannen Mon (Silent Prayers) in Chinese 
Go means “honorable.” On the left is the left foot. This is the foot that one advances with. It indicates the direction of the heart (which is on the left side). On the right is a hill from which one can see in all directions. The imagery of this character is similar to the English idiom “to take the high road.”
Kan means “to perceive.” On the right is an eye with legs. By itself, this character means “to see” or “to appear before the eyes.” On the left is a compound that is composed of a plant breaking through the surface of the earth and a bird taking flight. Combined, the radical on the right and the compound on the left form the image of perceiving with the power of a plant breaking through the surface of the earth and the perspective of a bird in flight.
Nen is composed of three elemental characters. On top are three lines forming a triangle. The triangle is a convergence of the elements of one’s life. Under the triangle is a person bending to completely enclose an object. Under the bending person is a heart. The heart combines with the bending person to form a compound meaning the present moment. (All of one’s life is enfolded in the present moment.) The heart, in this case, is the core of intention. The derived meaning is to make present the heart’s intent, bringing together the elements of one’s life.
Mon is the image of two leaves of a door. It means “gate,” “passageway,” and “entrance.”
Updated 6/7/06 
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