Professor Gao Mingdao

Gao, whose birth name is Friedrich Grohmann, is a German who has lived in Taiwan for more than 40 years. He is an expert in Chinese Buddhist scripture who teaches primarily, and publishes exclusively, in Chinese. Gao’s work is primarily related to Buddhist scripture, including recent translations from Pali to Chinese. At the same time, he teaches on Buddhist texts and classic Buddhist languages in various institutions in Taiwan. He is well known as Gao Laoshi (Lao Shi means teacher) to his students and colleagues in Taiwan.”
“Let me briefly explain what I mean by this and why these thoughts are so dear to my heart. When I began to learn Chinese half a century ago, it was the classical language I tried to study. Some time later I had the good fortune to be tutored by two Buddhist monks. One was ordained in the Pali tradition, the other in the Tibetan, and both helped me to read Chinese Buddhist texts. But neither of them was Chinese. The bhikkhu was German, the gelong was Hungarian, and all of this started at a small Mongolian temple. That was my first taste of Rimé, Buddhist nonsectarianism, and it has stayed with me all my life.


The second point I wanted to make in the dedication is that I strongly feel that what we generally call “Buddhism” refers to a culture which has its outer and inner aspects. The outer being stupas and steles, images and ideas, scriptures, schools, and so on, while the inner refers to the culture of the heart, of the mind. None of these aspects, it seems to me, should be missing when we try to study dharma, also–or maybe especially–in an academic context.”–Friedrich Grohmann