Barbara Hussong – Mentor

Barbara Hussong

My personal journey began when I started practising Tai Chi Chuan in Germany where I grew up in 1985, moving on to qualify as a teacher and taught in the late 1980s. This led me to take up meditation in the Zen tradition.

I entered full time Zen training in 1990 and spent four years devoting my life entirely to meditation practice in a Zen community with my first teacher Genpo Roshi of the White Plum Asangha in the USA. During this time, I was also personal attendant to the late Japanese Zen master Taizan Maezumi Roshi on many occasions. From the depth of this experience came the strong wish to share my understanding and practice experience and to be of service to others. As a result, and drawn to the pioneering work of Gerda Boyesen in biodynamic psychotherapy, I moved to England in 1995 to train with her at her school in London, establishing my own private practice in 1999.

In order to share the wealth of insight and understanding I have received from my teachers with a wider group of people and make it more widely available, I began Mindfulness training in 2005 with teachers of the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University. I have been teaching 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy courses (MBSR/MBCT) since 2007 and started supervising Mindfulness teachers in 2011.

In 2015, I encountered the Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living (MBCL) programme and was strongly drawn to it. After having completed the teacher training, I have been teaching the MBCL course ever since.

In 2020 after the first lockdown, I reconnected with Qi Gong practice, a discipline I was intensely involved with when I practised and taught Tai Chi Chuan.

Having experienced the benefits of continued and dedicated practice, my interest lies in helping Mindfulness practitioners deepen their own personal practice by offering drop-ins for graduates, individual practice days as well as residential and online retreats.

In 2014 I received authorisation to lead meditation groups from my present Zen teacher Genno Roshi of the Dana Centre in Paris with whom I have been practising regularly since 1995. I lead a regular Zen class for a small group of invited students online and at my home in Kent.

Personal practice

I have over 35 years of meditation experience in both the Soto Zen and Tibetan Buddhist traditions. For me, teaching and practice are inseparable and I continue in my lifelong daily practice of formal sitting and movement meditation, body scan and compassion practices as well as my more informal daily life activities including walking and cycling. I am particularly drawn to the heartfulness of compassion practices that I find can flow into all activities and connections with others. I enjoy moving my body and am grateful for the wisdom that I receive from it, especially in times of difficulty and when dealing with challenges.

Influences on practice

Central to my practice and understanding are the teachings and guidance I continue to receive on retreats, in private interviews and in personal conversations with my Zen and Tibetan teachers. In addition, I have been influenced by readings, talks and workshops with teachers such as Christina Feldman, Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hanh, an introduction to Insight Dialogue with Greg Kramer, the practice of Counsel, Marshall Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication and Joanna Macy’s The Work That Reconnects.

I recognise that although individual practice is crucial, I gain a lot from sharing practice insights and exploring the experience of our common humanity with like-minded friends and colleagues.

I also draw a great deal of inspiration from being in nature, gardening and observing wildlife further afield, like bird watching, and walking in the beautiful countryside of Kent.

Further information

My website is