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 and to help you. The general orientation is Zen Buddhism, but you need not be a Buddhist to benefit from Zen meditation. I like to have a conversation with new people before they attend the group. This is just to help with orientation. Also, I’d like to get an idea of where people are in their own practice, so that I can to meet them there.

We usually begin the group with a 10 minute check-in, then we have a 25 period of meditation (zazen). We break for a few minutes of walking meditation, which is explained for new people. We chant a Zen sutra, then Bill or someone else, usually gives a short dharma talk, followed by discussion. We end our evening at about 8 by reciting the Four Bodhisattva Vows. 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.

Going way back: 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 teachers in of Matsuoka’s lineage, Zenku Sensei at Mission Mountain Zen in Montana and Rev. Taiun Elliston, roshi of the Atlanta Soto Center, as well as members of the Silent Thunder Order. 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 the nearby Wat Atammayatarama (Wat Atam) and the abbot, monks and lay sangha in Woodinville, WA. I’ve learned a great deal about compassion, patience, and service.

Other 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 of Recollective Awareness.

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 23 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.