Blue Cliff Record

The Blue Cliff Record

The Blue Cliff Record is a collection of Chán Buddhist koans that were originally compiled in 1125 in China at the time of the Song dynasty. It was then added to by the Chán master Yuanwu Kegin (1063–1135; Engo) which gives us the present form of the Blue Cliff Record.

The book also includes Yuanwu's commentary and annotations on 100 Verses on Old Cases, plus an additional 100 koans that were collected by Xuedou Zhongxian (980–1052; (Setcho). Master Xuedou extracted 82 of these from the Transmission of the Lamp, while the remainder were taken from the Yunmen Guanglu, Extensive Record of Yunmen Weyan, (864–949).

The Zen Center in San Francisco was founded by a Japanese Soto Zen priest Shunyu Suzuki Roshi. He moved to San Francisco in 1959 at the age of 55 and shortly thereafter the Zen Center came into being.

He gave a series of dharma talks on the Blue Cliff Record which were recorded by a woman resident and then typed on a manual typewriter. The author has a friend that lived at the Zen Center for two years back at that time and he came into possession of a photocopy of the typed transcript which he shared with the author in the early 1980s. They have been filed away all these years until now as they have been made available on this website. In these dharma talks, Roshi is commenting on the meaning of the koans.

Click on the links below to read.

Baso’s Sun-faced Buddhas, Moon-faced Buddhas

Ummon's Every Day a Good Day

Ummon and the First Age Teaching

Gutei’s Lifting Up One Finger


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