Dr. Yi Wu practices what he preaches, or rather, teaches. His approach to his teaching, and his life, is very much in alignment with the principles of the Chinese philosophies he teaches. As head of the philosophy department at Taiwan University, Yi Wu had the opportunity to continue teaching there, and likely become well known in a country where scholars are accorded a high status.
Instead, he decided to take on the challenge of an unknown country and language, and an uncertain professional life to come to the U.S. so that he could be exposed to new ideas. The kinds of questions students ask require him to look more deeply at teachings he has studied and practiced for decades. For example, he said, "In my classes in China, no one ever asked about the meaning of the term 'nature' in the study of Lao Tsu's work; here, they want to know, exactly what does 'nature' mean?" The different cultural context challenges him to examine ideas and terms that have become second nature to him from a different perspective, and he likes that challenge.
Dr. Wu, who came to the Institute in 1980, has a quick sense of humor: his eyes suddenly twinkle, and he breaks into contagious laughter - a true sign that he has integrated the principle of taking oneself lightly. The comments of one of his students, Sheri Ritchlin, are typical of the high praise one hears when the conversation turns to Yi Wu. She says, "I think everyone who knows Dr. Wu loves and respects him. Not only does he have an astounding knowledge of philosophy, but also he is a man of true wisdom, sincerity, and integrity. Several years ago I heard that he was declared a 'national treasure' as a distinguished scholar of ancient culture and a sage."
For many years, a group that included his students at CIIS met weekly at the home of Dr. Wu's family (he has five children). They called the gathering "The Mind of Concerned Tea," and they discussed aspects of Chinese thought and culture over traditional meals prepared by Dr. Wu and his wife. Yi Wu has written more than seventeen books (in Chinese and English) and is very well known in China for his writings on classical Chinese philosophy. His work includes commentaries on Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu, a book on Zen koans, and a new approach to the I Ching as both a philosophy and an oracle.
Yi Wu earned an M.A. (1964) and a national Ph.D. (1970) from the University of Chinese Culture, Taipei. Dr. Wu was the chairman of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chinese Culture for seven years. In English, he has published Chinese Philosophical Terms (1986), The Translation of the Book of Lao Tzu (1989), The Mind of Chinese Ch'an (Zen) (1989), and Concerned Mind Tea (The Mind of Chinese Philosophy) (1992). One of his books, The Story of Chinese Philosophy, is also translated in Korean.
1. I Ching Te Ch’u Pien Hsueh (The I Ching-The Learning of Dealing with Changes), San Bruno: Great Learning Publishing Co. Amazon Kindle Bookstore. 2012.
2. Wo Yu Hsin- Chen Ti Sheng Ming Hsin Li Hsueh (Self and Mind-Integral Life Psychology), Taipei; The Commercial Press, Ltd.2010.
3. Shen Ming Te Che Hsueh (The philosophy of Life), Taipei: San Min Bookstore, 2004.
4. Chuang Tzu Nei Pien Chieh I (The Philosophical Commentary of Inner Chapters of Chuang Tzu), Taipei: San Min bookstore, 2000.
5. Shen Ming Te Chuan Hua (Transformation of Life), Taipei: San Min Bookstore,1996.
6. Lao Tzu Chieh I (The Philosophical Commentary of Lao Tzu), Taipei: San Min bookstore, 1994.
7. Kuan Hsin Ch’a (Concerned Mind Tea), Taipei: San Min Bookstore, 1991.
8. Chou I His Ts’u Chuan Chieh I (The Philosophical Commentary of Hsi Ts’u of the I Ching), Taipei: San Min Bookstore, 1991.
9. Chung Kuo Che Hsueh Fa Chan Shih (The Historical Development of Chinese Philosophy). Taipei: San Min Bookstore, 1984.
10. Chung Kuo Che Hsueh Te Shen Ming Ho Fang Fa (Method and Life of Chinese Philosophy), Taipei: San Ming Bookstore, 1981.
11. Koan Ch’an Yu (Discussion of Ch’an through Koan), Taipei: San Min bookstore, 1979.
12. Ch’an Yu Chien Shu (Zen and Archery), Taipei: San Ming Bookstore, 1977.
13. Che Hsueh Yen Chiang Lu (Lectures on Philosophy), Taipei: San Min Bookstore, 1876.
14. Che Hsueh Te Shen Tai Chu Shih (Three Pillars of Philosophy), Taipei: Chen Chung Bookstore Co., 1974.
15. Hsiao Yao Te Chuang Tzu (The Spiritual Freedom of Chuang Tzu), Taipei: San Min Bookstore, 1973.
16. Chung Yung Cheng Te Che Hsueh (The Philosophy of “Sincerity” in the Doctrine of the Mean), Taipei: San Min Bookstore, 1971.
17. I shu Tao Tsao (A Bundle of Hey), Taipei: San Min Bookstore, 1971.
18. Ch’an Yu Lao Chuang (Ch’an and Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu), Taipei: San Min Bookstore, 1970.
19. Ch’an Hsueh Te Huang Ching Shih Tai (The Golden Age of Zen), Translation,Taipei: Taiwan Commercial press, 1969.
20. Chung Kuo Che hsueh Shih Hua (The Story of Chinese Philosophy), with Professor C.C. Chang, Taipei: Published by authors 1963.
21. Jen Yu Ch’iao (Man and Bridge), Taipei: Fan Kuang Book Co., 1963.
22. Jen Yu Lu (Man and His Way), Taipei: Fan Kuang Book Co., 1961.
1. Chinese Philosophical Terms, Washington, D.C., University Press of America 1985, Great Learning Publishing Co. Amazon Kindle Bookstore, 2012.
2. The Book of Lao Tzu, San Bruno: Great Learning Publishing Co. 1989. Amazon Kindle Bookstore, 2012.
3. The Mind of Chinese Ch’an, San Bruno: Great Learning Publishing Co. 1990. Amazon Kindle Bookstore, 2012.
4. I Ching-The Book of Changes and Virtues, San Bruno: Great Learning Publishing co. 1998. Amazon Kindle Bookstore, 2012.
5. Ch’an and Lao Chuang--Zen and Taoists, San Bruno: Great Learning publishing co. Amazon Kindle Bookstore, 2012.
6. Self and Mind: Integral Life Psychology, San Bruno: Great Learning Publishing Co. Amazon kindle Bookstore, 2012.