About Bellevue Dharma

Do you want to learn meditation, but it seems when you try you can’t do it?

Do you want to meet some people who are also interested in meditation and contemplative practices?

Would you like a meditation technique that will support your current practices and beliefs?

Then, consider dropping into our Tuesday online group and experience Buddhist meditation


Bellevue Dharma is a small, friendly group of meditators studying and practicing the Buddha Dharma in Bellevue, Washington. We’ve been meeting and practicing together for several years.

Bellevue Dharma is affiliated with the Silent Thunder Order, founded by Zen teachers in the lineage of Matsuoka roshi and Okumura roshi. Taiun Elliston is the abbot of both STO and the Atlanta Soto Zen Center, which he founded in the early 70s.

As for Bellevue Dharma, we usually meet by Zoom on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6:50 pm, PST.

Our meetings are supportive and friendly, so as to encourage understanding of our practices. The general orientation is Buddhism, but you need not be a Buddhist to benefit from Zen meditation. I like to have a conversation with new people before attending they attend the group. This is just to help with orientation to some Zen teachings. Also, I’d like to get an idea of where people are in their own practice, and do what I can to meet them there.

We usually begin the group with a 30 period of meditation followed by a break or walking meditation. Then a short dharma talk and discussion about our practice and experience. We end by reciting the Four Bodhisattva Vows, usually by 8 or 8:15. Beginners are welcome!

If you are interested, contact Bill Cooper at BellevueDharma@gmail.com for more information.

About Bill Cooper

I believe Buddhist teachings and meditation practices can be highly useful in modern, daily life, and I’m dedicated to bringing these teachings to anyone who would like to learn them.

In April of 1986 I was ordained as a Zen priest in the Soto lineage by Matsuoka roshi in Long Beach California. I received Dharma Seal from Matsuoka Roshi in July, 1992. I led a Zen group in Signal Hill CA from 1993 to 1998.

I am currently practicing and teaching with our group here in Bellevue and I’m continuing my Zen training with with a long-time teacher in of Matsuoka’s lineage, Rev. Taiun Elliston, roshi of the Atlanta Soto Center as well as members of the Silent Thunder Order. This includes Zenku Sensei at Mission Mountain Zen in Montana. I am indebted to these Sanghas for their encouragement and teaching, and I recommend visiting their websites for resources on Zen teachings, discussion, service chants, and affiliate Practice Centers.

I also have a relationship with Wat Atammayatarama (Wat Atam) and the abbott, monks and lay sangha in Woodinville, WA. I’ve learned a great deal from watching their compassion, patience, and service.

A brief history of prior experience in Buddhist training: In 2009 or so, I attended a retreat with Jason Siff, who teaches Recollective Awareness which is derived from Early Buddhism. I participated in the Skillful Meditation Project Teacher Training program and for several years I taught Recollective Awareness Meditation under the guidance of Linda Modaro of Sati Sangha, Nelly Kaufer of Pine Street Sangha and Jason Siff.

I also studied for several years with Jack Duffy of Three Treasures, Seattle (2003-2008), Robert Moore (Ji Bong) of Dharma Zen Center in Los Angeles 1993-1998, and Joko Beck of San Diego Zen Center (1989-1993). And their wonderful sanghas!

I’ve lived in the NW for over 20 years, and I’m a licensed psychotherapist, LICSW. When living in southern California, I worked in the Orange County Alcohol and Drug Program from 1988 to 1998  as a clinician and manager.