Our Teachers

Guiding teacher Ryushin Paul Haller visits twice a year to teach and lead retreats. Resident priest Myogan Djinn Gallagher leads our daily zazen sessions.

Ryushin Paul Haller

Ryushin Paul Haller

After a lifetime of journeying, I arrive at this unavoidable gate… It swings open freely.’

From Belfast, Northern Ireland, Paul Haller left home in 1971 and journeyed throughout Europe, the Middle East, Russia, and Afghanistan. He ended up in Japan, where he lived for a year and was introduced to Zen practice. Subsequently travelling throughout southeast Asia, Paul was ordained a Buddhist monk in Thailand where he spent six months alone meditating in a remote cave.

Moving to Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in 1974, Paul was ordained as a priest in 1980, receiving the Dharma name Ryushin Zendo, “Dragon Heart, Zen Way”. In 1993 he received Dharma Transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman.

Founder of Outreach at San Francisco Zen Center where he is former Abbot, Ryushin is interested in finding ways of expressing our practice in society, both as compassionate service and in making it available to as many people as possible.

Ryushin is our Guiding Teacher at Black Mountain Zen Centre and visits twice a year to teach and lead sesshin (retreats). Since lockdown, he has also been teaching online.

Myogan Djinn Gallagher

Myogan Djinn Gallagher

 Myogan Djinn Gallagher is our resident priest and teacher at Black Mountain Zen Centre. Born in Dublin, Djinn started practising as a student of our teacher Ryushin Paul Haller in 2003 while still living in Ireland.

Her intention to train as a priest led her to residential practice at San Francisco Zen Centre where she lived from 2007 until 2016, first in the monastery, Tassajara, and then in the urban temple in San Francisco.

She was ordained as a priest by Ryushin in 2013, and completed her training with a three-month practice period as “shuso” (head monk) in Tassajara in 2015. She returned to Ireland in late 2016 to practise at Black Mountain Zen Centre. Djinn was recently authorised to performed legally recognised marriages in Northern Ireland. She received Dharma Transmission from Ryushin Paul Haller in September 2023.