The Bodhi Lectern


--By Bhiksu Heng Kuan

irvpic.jpg (41420 bytes)       Professor Irving Yucheng Lo(), who recently joined the Vajra Bodhi Sea staff as Advisor, is a native of China. The breadth of his education and travels is remarkable. After graduating from St. John's University in Shanghai, China, he earned a Masters Degree from Harvard, and a Ph.D. from Wisconsin. 

Subsequently he taught at Stillman College in Alabama, Western Michigan University, and the University of Iowa. He is currently a Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at Indiana University.
      In the course of his career he has taught and done research in many different regions of the United States and in addition to his permanent positions he has held posts as Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin, and Visiting Professor at Stanford. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to study classical Chinese poetry with Professor Lo while working for a Masters at Stanford, and greatly benefited from his instruction and criticism. He is an accomplished teacher and scholar with a thorough knowledge of the literature of both his native language and in English, making him uncommonly effective in the field of translation. His wide experience, understanding nature, and sensitive ear have provided him with the foundations for his deep understanding of literature, and his broad reading, research, and writing have completed it.

Among Professor Lo's publications, the most important is a series of translations and commentaries on the life and works of the famous Sung poet Hsin Ch'i-chi. He is currently compiling an anthology of heretofore-untranslated Chinese poetry. Commenting on his work and its usefulness, in a letter to Vajra Bodhi Sea the Professor wrote:

Active toilers for Faith and Poetry, each in his own way, not only give meaning to existence but also create a bond among men and cultures. By profession and interest I labor along the periphery; and I will be happy to share with you whatever training I have received in language and literature. I look forward to seeing more of your translations.  Poetry, as you must know, can also serve as handmaiden of faith. The needs of the world cry out to be answered, and one who toils with a pen (or typewriter) performs a duty as important as one whose hand lifts a rafter.

Vajra Bodhi Sea is pleased to welcome Professor Lo to the staff, and hopes to benefit from his criticism in the future.

Watch for “The Ten Dharma Realms are Not Beyond a Single Thought,” a gatha (Buddhist poem) composed by the Venerable Master Hua to commemorate the opening of Hung Fu Temple, in forthcoming issues of VBS.