Many thanks for doing this for Stefano on behalf of all of us whose lives he has so angelically touched. I don’t remember exactly when and where I came into acquaintance with Stefano, although it was probably in one of the many years that I spent at the Italian School of Eastern Culture directed by the late Antonino Forte, who or one of whose students might have acted as the beautiful intermedium that introduced us to each other. We became friends right away, although I recall that in our first meeting we talked far more about food (both Italian and Sichuanese) than on Buddha. What has made me admire him so much is not only his rare scholarship, but also his bodhisattva-like generosity and compassion, his genuine care for colleagues and students (especially those from China whom I referred to him), his meticulous attention to minutiae, and last but not least, his great sense of humour. We started to work very closely since 2008 when, chased by a chain of good and not that good karmas, I was engaged in organizing an annual summer program in China that has gradually evolved into a global network of Buddhist Studies, Frogbear (http://www.frogbear.org) supported by two separate but closely connected networks, Glorisun (https://glorisunglobalnetwork.org) and Tianzhu (https://tianzhubuddhistnetwork.org). Stefano was extremely generous in supporting these programs, willing to come back again and again to teach our summer program, winter program and intensive program —– he was committed to teaching an online seminar for the Glorisun intensive program Frogbear sponsored in collaboration with Princeton this summer. Although we are no longer to listen to his teaching, I am reluctant to remove his name from the list of lecturers. I am now thinking of proposing to our Glorisun colleagues to keep his name there forever —- I feel that he is still with us.
I think I shall stop here before succumbing to another outburst of emotion …..
Chen Jinhua (UBC – The University of British Columbia)