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Our Teacher and Founder

Eidō Frances Carney received Dharma Transmission from Niho Tetsumei Roshi in 1997 at Entsuji in Kurashiki, Japan. She founded Olympia Zen Center in 1995 when she returned to Olympia after priest training at Shoboji in Iwate Prefecture. She was the first woman and first foreigner to train at this temple founded in the 13th Century. She had been a long-time student of Kobun Chino Otogawa Roshi beginning practice in the early 70's. Kobun Roshi died in 2002.


She was Adjunct Faculty in Humanities at South Puget Sound Community College for ten years from 1996 until 2006. She is a Nitokyoshi, a missionary teacher, in the Association of Sōtō Zen Buddhists. She is former President of the Sōtō Zen Buddhist Association, a national organization of Sōtō Zen Buddhist priests.

As she is in lineage with the hermit priest-poet Ryokan. She endeavors to teach about Ryokan, his poetry and life, entering art and poetry for transformation and insight. She founded the Order of Ryokan to contribute to renewal of the interpretation of Ryokan in the modern world. The anniversary of the Order of Ryokan is celebrated at the winter solstice at Olympia Zen Center.

Niho Tetsumei Roshi is shown with Eidō san in a rare visit to Olympia Zen Center at its dedication in 2001.

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