Jack Elias was one of the original residents of Tassajara, a Zen Buddhist monastery in California founded by Suzuki Roshi in 1967. Three years later, Jack was there when Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche first met Roshi at Zen Center in San Francisco. The profound friendship that formed between the two great pioneers of buddhadharma in the West was cut short when Roshi died of cancer a year and a half later. Jack, along with many (thirty or forty?) other Zen Center students, joined Rinpoche's embryonic community in Boulder after Roshi's death. Jack's stories below illustrate the tender affection that the two great teachers had for one another.
Jack is currently the director of Finding True Magic, a hypnotherapy center in Seattle. He lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife, Ceci.
For more information about the life and teachings of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, and for some really great interviews about Roshi and the experiences of his American students, visit Crooked Cucumber.
Update: (17 Jan 05) David Chadwick did an interview with Jack in 1995, which he has just posted on cuke.com. Here's a link: Crooked Cucumber Interview with Jack Elias. It's got some overlap with this interview along with some deeper personal reflections. There's also an outstanding question about the six pack (see DC's intro).