YULU (j. goroku; k. orok): in chinese, “discourse records” or “recorded sayings,” compilations of the sayings of chan, son, and zen masters.

This genre of chan [zen] literature typically involved collections of the formal sermons, exchanges, and utterances of chan masters, which were edited together by their disciples soon after their deaths. The yulu genre sought to capture the vernacular flavor of the master’s speech, thus giving it a personal and intimate quality, as if the master himself were in some sense still accessible.

Often the recorded sayings of a master would also include his biography, poetry, death verse, inscriptions, letters, and other writings, in addition to the transcription of his lectures and sayings. For this reason, chan discourse records are the buddhist equivalent of the literary collections of secular literati.

The term first appears in the Song gaoseng zhuan, and the genre is often associated particularly with the chan master Mazu Daoyi (709–788) and his Hongzhou line of chan. Among the more famous recorded sayings are the Mazu yulu (a.k.a. Mazu Daoyi chanshi guanglu), Linji Yixuan’s linji lu, and Huangbo Xiyun’s chuanxin fayao.
Buswell, Robert & Lopez, Donald:
The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism.
Princeton 2014, p. 1045
• App, Urs: Master Yunmen; from the record of the Chan master “Gate of the Clouds”. New York 1994
• Blofeld, John: The Zen teaching of Huang Po; on the transmission of mind. New York 1958
• Blofeld, John: Zen teaching of instantaneous awakening; being the teaching of the Zen master Hui Hai. Devon 2015
• Cleary, Jonathan C.: Swampland flowers; the letters and lectures of Zen master Ta Hui. Boston 2006
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• Cleary, Jonathan C. & Cleary, Thomas: Zen letters; teachings of Yuanwu. Boston 1994
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• Cleary, Thomas & Cleary Jonathan C.: The blue cliff record [koan]. Boston 1992
• Conze, Edward: The short Prajnaparamita Texts. London 1973
• Foster, Nelson & Shoemaker, Jack: The roaring stream; a new Zen reader. Hopewell 1996
• Green, James: The recorded sayings of Zen master Joshu. Boston 1998
• Harada, Shodo: The path to Bodhidharma; the teachings of Shodo Harada roshi. Boston 2000
• Lamotte, Etienne: The teaching of Vimalakirti. Oxford 1976
• Leighton, Taigen Dan: Cultivating the empty field; the silent illumination of Zen master Hongzhi. Boston 2000
• Lobsang Tharchin and Engle, A.: Nagarjuna’s Letter; Nagarjuna’s ‘Letter to a Friend’. Dharamsala 1979
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• Sasaki, Ruth Fuller (red. Kirchner, T.): The record of Linji. Honolulu 2009
• Sheng Yen: Attaining the Way; a guide to the practice of Chan Buddhism. Boston 2006
• Shibayama, Zenkei: The gateless barrier; Zen comments on the Mumonkan [koan]. New York 1974
• Suzuki, Shunryu: Zen mind, beginner’s mind. New York 1970
• Suzuki, Shunryu: Not always so; practicing the true spirit of Zen. New York 2002
• Tanahashi, Kazuaki (ed.): Treasury of the true Dharma eye; Zen master Dogen’s Shobo Genzo. Boston 2010
• Torei, Enji: Discourse on the Inexhaustible Lamp of the Zen School. London 1996
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• Yampolsky, Philip B.: The platform sutra of the sixth patriarch. New York 1967