Mindfulness Teacher Training: About the tutors

Julian Daizan Skinner

Daizan Roshi at Zenways
Zen Master Daizan Skinner is the first Englishman to go to Japan and become a Roshi or Zen Master in the rigorous Rinzai tradition of Zen. About twenty years ago, recognising that a rich life was about more than climbing the corporate ladder, he gave up a promising career as a scientist in the pharmaceuticals industry, sold his house, gave all the money away and entered a Zen monastery.

With over twenty-five years of experience in Zen and more than a decade of experience in teaching meditation, Daizan Roshi knows first-hand the value of this work and is more than qualified to take you through the process of learning how to pass it on to others.

Mark Westmoquette

Mark Westmoquette
Mark has been practising mindfulness and Zen under the guidance of Zen master Daizan Skinner since 2007. He teaches mindfulness and meditation in the form of 8-week courses, drop-in classes, both privately and in corporate environments, and on various workshops and retreats. One of Mark’s favourite environments for teaching mindfulness has been in the weekly drop-in classes he co-runs in London, where the practices are often very creative and playful.

Until 2013 Mark was a scientist doing research in astronomy. After almost 10 years in an office-job, he knows very well the aches, pains, and physical and emotional stresses that can develop within a pressured work environment, and appreciates how mindfulness can be a great help.

Daizan has this to say of Mark:
Mark has studied with me since the very first week I began publicly teaching Zen in London. Over that time I have observed an incredible transformation in his work priorities, his relationships, even his domicile! A peak within this transformation was when on retreat in Japan with our teacher Shinzan Roshi, he experienced kensho, the Zen term for the liberating insight into the truth of things. Mark has considerable international experience of teaching, both academic and practical. He has been working closely with me over the last few years and I trust his clarity, responsibility and practicality.”

Seán Collins

Seán was first introduced to a formal Mindfulness and Meditation practice in 2009. Since then he maintained a regular daily practice and was drawn to sharing the benefits he had experienced with others. He began doing this with work colleagues in 2011 and became fully qualified through the Zenways Meditation and Mindfulness Teacher Training programme with Daizan Roshi in 2012.

“The immersive nature of the teacher training was fantastic. It was a pivotal point in my life. I am truly grateful to have become a part of the Zenways family under Daizan’s guidance.” Seán has been continually teaching mindfulness ever since and has gone on to do advanced level Meditation and Mindfulness course with Daizan and to qualify as a teacher trainer.

He shares the Meditation and Mindfulness in a variety of settings such as hospices, large corporations and even out in woodlands. His passion is making the benefits available as easily and widely as possible by encouraging and supporting students to develop a mindful approach to living.
“Passing on these practices so students can experience the benefits is hugely rewarding. Perhaps the only thing more rewarding is helping others become teachers themselves.”

Daizan has this to say of Seán:
“Since he came on Zenways meditation and mindfulness teacher training, I’ve seen a Sean blossom into a first rate teacher of this work. Equally at home in a company boardroom or a forest Sean draws on humour, creativity and a deep personal practice together with a broad range of life experiences to meet his students in a place where they can share non-judgemental presence. I whole-heartedly recommend Sean and his work.”

Hogets Baerndal

Hogets Baerndal

Hogets’ Meditation path started at the age of 14 with just a book. She then searched for many years for the right Zen teacher and tradition which really speaks to her heart. She found her ‘Zen home’ in Zenways in 2009. She trained with Zenways as yoga teacher in 2009 and as meditation teacher in 2010 on the very first meditation teacher training Daizan Roshi offered. In 2012 she signed up for the Zen teacher programme and in 2022 became a Junior-level Zen teacher.

Hogets has been a part time member of the Imperial College London Chaplaincy team since mid-2013 where she offers the Mindfulness Meditation and Zen for Insight courses on regular basis. She also runs weekly drop-in mindfulness lunch sessions as well as interaction to mindfulness meditation on request in different setting in various departments at Imperial College London. She is also a guest mindfulness chaplain at Royal College of Arts, London School of Economics as well as faith adviser at the University of the Arts London. She also offers one-to-one Mindfulness based coaching and pastoral care.

Hogets’ practices Mindfulness both on the cushion and in action, making the creation of her artwork and craft a major area of practice too. She holds a degree equal to an MA in Arts and Design and has been a self-employed artist since 1991.