Guo Gu (Dr. Jimmy Yu) is the founder of the Tallahassee Chan Center, the founder of the socially engaged intra-denominational Buddhist organization, Dharma Relief, and a professor of Buddhism and East Asian religions at Florida State University. He was a monk for nine years and one of the late Master Sheng Yen’s senior and closest disciples. He is the author of The Essence of Chan (2012), Passing Through the Gateless Barrier (2016), and Silent Illumination (2021).
Guo Yuan Fashi, one of Chan Master Sheng Yen’s Dharma heirs, is a Buddhist monk trained in Chan Buddhism. In 1985 he first encountered Master Sheng Yen’s teachings while attending a seven-day retreat in New York. He then decided to become a disciple before finally leaving his job in Toronto, Canada, to become a monk in the Chan tradition. He was ordained in 1987 in Taiwan. For over twenty years, he accompanied and became translator to Master Sheng Yen in various Chan meditation retreats in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, and Mexico.
He studied Theravada Buddhism for a year in Thailand in 1991. Upon returning from Thailand, Guo Yuan Fashi was elected abbot of both the Chan Meditation Center (CMC) in Queens and the Dharma Drum Retreat Center (DDRC) in Pine Bush, New York. His responsibilities included attending interfaith services, teaching meditation, and giving lectures on Buddhism. In 2006 he became the director of the International Chan Retreat Center in Dharma Drum Mountain, Taiwan. In 2016 he returned to Pine Bush to become once again the abbot of DDRC. Fluent in Mandarin, Vietnamese, and English, he leads Chan retreat in many countries around the world.
Ordained by Master Zhu Mo in Penang, Malaysia, Chi Chern Fashi studied at the Fo Guang Buddhist College in Taiwan. Around 1980, he participated in several seven-day retreats and a period of fasting with Master Sheng Yen at the Institute of Buddhist Culture (Wen Hua Guan). During this time he had a profound experience.
With Master Sheng Yen’s confirmation, he returned to Malaysia to teach meditation. He received transmission from Master Sheng Yen in 1985, becoming his first Dharma heir. Chi Chern Fashi is currently the principal of the Malaysian Buddhist Institute, and is one of the most respected meditation teachers in Malaysia and Singapore.
Zarko Andricevic, is founder of Dharmaloka Chan Buddhist Community and Chan Retreat Centre in Croatia. Zarko first encountered Buddhism 1975 and has been a martial arts and yoga teacher since the 1970s. In the mid-80s he started the first Buddhist study and meditation group in Croatia. In 1996 he meet Chan Master Sheng Yen and become one of his students. Zarko received Dharma transmission from Master Sheng Yen in June 2001. Since then he is teaching and leading Chan retreats in Europe, USA, Canada, Taiwan and Australia. He currently lives and teaches at Chan Retreat Center in Croatia.
Gilbert Gutierrez has over thirty-nine years of meditation experience, which includes his study of various martial arts as well as Chi Gong. In 2002, he received Dharma Transmission from Chan Master Sheng Yen, making him the only western lineage holder currently residing in the United States. He conducts retreats and lectures throughout North America.
His home base is in Southern California and he lectures regularly at the Los Angeles DDMBA chapter and with his own Riverside Chan Meditation Group in California. Gilbert teaches in a classical Chan style which inspires his students to investigate Chan through diligent practice.