The Tallahassee Chan Center is a sanctuary for the cultivation of wisdom and compassion. In 2009 Guo Gu (Dr. Jimmy Yu) started a meditation group as a way to repay his gratitude to his teacher, Master Sheng Yen (1931-2009). In 2017, he established this new center to further honor and fulfill his teacher’s original vow of spreading Chan Buddhism in the West.
The Tallahassee Chan Center began as the Tallahassee Chan Group, practicing and sharing the space with other Buddhist groups at the Tallahassee Buddhist Community at the Railroad Square Art Park. In 2010, the group was formally recognized as a branch under the Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association (DDMBA) in North America. On July 22, 2013, it obtained a non-profit status. In January 2014, it became a DDMBA Chapter. Although it had a humble beginning, within a few years, it quickly outgrew the space at the Tallahassee Buddhist Community, and became the largest constituents of Westerners under the DDMBA organization.
Guo Gu’s Chan teaching continues the centuries-old style of Chan Buddhism, and creatively develops Chan to meet the needs of modern life making it available to a wider audience, beyond religious and sectarian divides. He and his students have conducted over 40 meditation workshops and 60 retreats, which have helped not only the residents of the greater Tallahassee community but also people in North America, Europe, and Asia. Through these endeavors, thousands of people have found ways to improve the quality of their lives with meaning.
The Tallahassee Chan Center is a spiritual home for residents of the Tallahassee area, an important Chan community in the Southeastern United States, and in the West in general. It is the fruition of Guo Gu’s relationship with his teacher, and the beginning of new expressions of Chan Buddhism in the West so that the transmission of Chan may continue into the future.