About Our Founder

Julian Daizan Skinner is the first Englishman to go to Japan and become a Roshi or Zen Master in the rigorous Rinzai tradition of Zen. Over twenty years ago, he gave up his career in the pharmaceuticals industry, sold his house, gave all the money away and entered a Zen monastery.

Julian Daizan Roshi

Over many years of strict training, in Japan and the west, Daizan Roshi received Dharma Transmission and permission to teach in both the Rinzai and Soto lineages of Zen. He has also undergone training as an enlightenment intensive master with Lawrence Noyes, leading student of the creator of enlightenment intensives, Charles Berner. In 2007, Daizan Roshi received inka from Shinzan Miyamae Roshi of Gyokuryuji.

Japan to Britain

Upon returning from Japan, Daizan Roshi went on walking pilgrimage up the centre of the island of Britain from the south tip of the Isle of Wight to the north tip of Scotland, living solely on alms food. He met many of his students from different parts of the UK during this time.Together with his students, he has established, “Yugagyo Dojo”, a Zen training place in London. Daizan Roshi was teaching at The Buddhist Society, the oldest non-sectarian Buddhist Society in Europe, until December 2011.

Yoga Teacher & Trainer

His Zen study incorporated yoga practice. He has also studied yoga in Europe, America and Asia. He brings this wide range of yoga experience to sharing a practice that combines physical challenge with mental and spiritual development. He is registered with the Yoga Alliance at the E-RYT500 level and has over 5000 hours of teaching experience. Daizan trains yoga teachers to find an expression that is authentically their own and will bring them success when they teach. His knowledge and training in Zen gives him the background to guide you on your spiritual journey.


He is the author of a number of books on Zen and Zen yoga:

  • In Heaven’s River: Poems and Carvings by Mountain Monk Enku (2015)
  • The Zen Character: Life, Art and Teachings of Zen master Shinzan Miyamae (2015)
  • Practical Zen: Meditation and Beyond (2017)
  • Practical Zen for Health, Wealth and Mindfulness (2018)
  • Rough Waking: For Those Confined And Homeless (Including You) (2019)
  • Practical Zen Yoga (2023)