Blue Cliff Record, Bìyán Lù
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The Blue Cliff Record is a collection of Zen Buddhist koans originally compiled in China during the Song dynasty in 1125 and then expanded into its present form by the Chan master Yuanwu Keqin (1063 – 1135). The book includes Yuanwu's annotations and commentary on Xuedou Zhongxian's (980 – 1052) collection 100 Verses on Old Cases — a compilation of 100 koans. Xuedou selected 82 of these from the Jingde Chuandeng Lu (Jingde (era) Record of the Transmission of the Lamp), with the remainder selected from the Yunmen Guanglu (Extensive Record of Yunmen Wenyan (864 – 949). Yuanwu's successor, Dahui Zonggao (1089 – 1163). wrote many letters to lay students teaching the practice of concentrating on koans during meditation. But Dahui did not explain and analyze koans. Oral tradition holds that Dahui noticed students engaged in too much intellectual discourse on koans, and then burned the wooden blocks used to print the Bìyán Lù.