Eko Jeff Kelley

Eko Jeff Kelley

Jeff is co-resident teacher of SSZ with Allison Tait.

Jeff was among the founders of the Seattle Soto Zen sangha in 2009. In July of 2013, Jeff received formal Dharma Transmission from his teacher Byakuren Judith Ragir. Jeff continues seeking guidance from senior teachers, including his root teacher, Byakuren Judith Ragir, and Zoketsu Norman Fischer.

In addition to his work with the SSZ sangha, Jeff currently shares the leadership of two groups within the Washington State prison complex in Monroe.

Jeff came to the Seattle area in 2009 from Minnesota where he practiced Zen for fifteen years at Clouds in Water Zen Center in St. Paul, first with Dosho Mike Port and then with Byakuren Judith Ragir. He was ordained as a Soto Zen priest by Byakuren Judith Ragir in May of 2008 in the lineage of Dainin Katagiri Roshi.

Jeff worked as a licensed architect for over twenty years before retiring in 2008. He has two adult children. His life is also enriched by a life-long passion for literature, poetry and myth. Jeff married Bonnie Drew in 2013.

While at Clouds in Water, Jeff helped found the children's practice program and taught children in that program for many years. He served on the board of directors from 2003 to 2006, as both vice-chair and chair, during the two and a half years that Clouds in Water was without a teacher. He also served on the Training Council, a group that was responsible for the spiritual leadership of the community, during that time. He taught a variety of introductory classes on various aspects of Buddhist practice and served as ino from 2007 – 2009.

Elsewhere in Minnesota, Jeff co-led a meditation group at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Rush City from 2006 – 2009. He served on the board of the Hokyoji Zen Practice Community, a retreat center started by Katagiri-roshi in southeastern Minnesota, from 2007 - 2017.

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