Jimmy Yu

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Guo Gu, the teacher of the Tallahassee Chan Center

Jimmy Yu (a.k.a. Guo Gu 果谷; born 1968-) was the bassist for the American 1980s hardcore bands (the original) Death Before Dishonor and Judge. After his hardcore straight edge days, he returned to Buddhism and became a monk under Chan/Zen Master Sheng Yen. In 2000, he left monasticism to pursue academia. He received an MA degree in Chinese Buddhist studies from University of Kansas in 2002 and a Ph.D. from Princeton University's Department of Religion in 2008.

He is currently an Assistant Professor of Religion at Florida State University, teaching courses in East Asian religious traditions, especially Chinese Buddhism and late imperial Chinese cultural history. His research interests include the cultural history of the body, Buddhist monasticism, Chan/Zen Buddhism, and popular religions within the broader context of fifteenth to seventeenth centuries China.[1]

Jimmy Yu is also a long-time practitioner of Chan/Zen. His Dharma name is Guo Gu. He practiced with the late Chan Master Sheng Yen from 1982 until the latter died in 2009. Guo Gu was Sheng Yen's translator, attendant, and assistant in leading intense Chan retreats. He first received inka, a seal of approval for his experience of Chan, in 1995 by Sheng Yen and subsequently received several inkas from him--the last one being in 2007. He is currently the Dharma teacher of the Tallahassee Chan Group in Tallahassee, Florida. [2]


In alphabetical order by title:

  • Yu, Jimmy, Sanctity and Self-Inflicted Violence in Chinese Religions, 1500-1700, Oxford University Press, 2012. ISBN 9780199844906
  • Guo Gu, The Essence of Chan: A Practical Guide to Life and Practice according to the Teachings of Bodhidharma, Shambhala Publications, 2012. ISBN 9780834828438


  1. Ryan J. Downey "Biography: Judge." AMG Retrieved 19 May 2010
  2. Tim McMahon and Gordo of Double Cross "Parts I ~ VI." Retrieved 2 January 2011


  1. ^ "Jimmy Yu". Florida State University. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  2. ^ "Our Teacher". Tallahassee Chan Group. Retrieved 2013-11-04.