Guo Gu (Dr. Jimmy Yu) was one of the late Master Sheng Yen’s senior and closest disciples. He assisted the master in leading intensive retreats at the various centers Master Sheng Yen (1930–2009) founded throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Guo Gu also edited and translated a number of Master Sheng Yen’s books from Chinese to English.
Guo Gu first learned meditation at the age of four from Master Guangqin (1892–1986), one of the most respected Taiwanese meditation masters. In 1982, Guo Gu began meditation practice with Master Sheng Yen, who was then residing in New York. Guo Gu was eventually ordained a monk and became Sheng Yen’s first personal attendant and translator, traveling worldwide with him. In 1995, he received inka (the seal of approval) for his first Chan experience, and was given permission by Master Sheng Yen to teach Chan independently.
In 2000, Guo Gu left monasticism and re-entered lay life. He received his PhD in Buddhist Studies from Princeton University and is now teaching Buddhism and East Asian religions academically as an assistant professor at Florida State University, Tallahassee. He founded the Tallahassee Chan Group (www.tallahasseechan.com) and is also the guiding teacher for the Western Dharma Teachers Training course at the Chan Meditation Center in New York and the Dharma Drum Lineage.