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Paul Haller

Ryushin Paul Haller Roshi, a Soto Zen Buddhist teacher and the current Abbot of San Francisco Zen Center, was born in the Cullingtree Road in the Falls area of West Belfast in 1947. His father Adolf Haller, a German immigrant, ran a watch repair business there. Paul studied engineering at Queen's University, Belfast, and worked on the construction of Northern Irelandís M1 motorway. Haller Roshi left home in 1971, lived in London until 1972, then travelled throughout Europe, the middle east, Russia, and Afghanistan. He lived in Japan for a year and was introduced to Zen when he met a Zen Priest in a Tokyo coffee shop. He subsequently travelled throughout southeast Asia and was ordained as a Theravadaan Buddhist monk in Thailand, where he spent six months living and meditating in a remote cave. In 1974 another monk told him of San Francisco Zen Centre and he made an immediate decision to move there He lived at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, a monastry attached to SFZC, and was ordained as a priest by Zentatsu Richard Baker in 1980. Baker gave him the name Ryushin Zendo, "Dragon Heart, Zen Way". In 1993 he received Dharma Transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman. Haller Roshi is a former Director of Outreach at SFZC and has been particlularly active in inter faith dialogue and hospice and prison work. Since 1999 he has developed an increasing interest in encouraging Zen practice and mindfulness meditation in his native Belfast where he usually leads two retreats a year and has ordained a number of students. His work in Ireland is in conjunction with Belfast Meditation Centre [1] He married Melody Keane Haller, currently the President of Antenna Public Relations, in 1980. The couple, who subsequently separated, have two adult children.