Paul Haller

Year of birth : 1947
Education : Queen's University Belfast
Website :


Ryushin Paul Haller, a Soto Zen roshi, is a former Abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center—a position he held from 2003 until February 2012. Leaving his homeland of Belfast in Northern Ireland in the early 1970s, Haller spent time in Russia, Afghanistan and Japan. 

Coming to California in 1974, he entered Tassajara Zen Mountain Center and was later ordained as a priest by Zentatsu Richard Baker in 1980. He received shiho from Sojun Mel Weitsman in 1993, giving him authority to teach.  Since the year 2000 Paul has also been the Teacher of Black Mountain Zen Centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Paul Haller has been teaching the dharma for over 35 years.He teaches throughout the U.S. and Europe and has led mindfulness programs to assist with depression and recovery.Paul has also taught in prisons and has a long involvement with the Zen Hospice Project. He has been practising yoga for 25 years.

Founder and former Director of Outreach at SFZC, Paul is interested in finding ways of expressing our practice in society, both as compassionate service and making it available to as many people as possible.