The Blue-Cliff Record

By David Hinton

- Paperback
Shambhala Publications
Pages: 264
Size: 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781645472704

A once-in-a-generation translation of the definitive Ch’an (Zen) koan collection from preeminent translator David Hinton.

The Blue-Cliff Record, a collection of Ch’an (Zen) koans stemming from the eleventh century, is a remarkable masterwork of classical Chinese literature, a philosophical text of profound power, and an active practice guide in use by Ch’an and Zen Buddhists all over the world. Rendered with his trademark lyricism and philosophical rigor, this new edition from renowned translator David Hinton presents a whole new Blue-Cliff Record. Full of poetry, storytelling, and characters both zany and profound, Hinton’s translation unveils the earthy insights of Ch’an’s original wisdom.

Though it carries a reputation for impenetrable paradox, The Blue-Cliff Record was not meant to be a teaching tool understood only through long instruction from Zen masters. Rather, it is a finely crafted text intended to create a direct and immediate experience of awakening, a text that insists on the need to trust oneself rather than teachers for insight. Embracing this, Hinton’s translation presents only the original koans and poems, free of the commentaries that usually shroud it. In doing so, he rekindles the provocative and illuminating fire of these one hundred classic koans.