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Malcolm Martin,Ordinary Mind UK


Malcolm Martin founded Ordinary Mind Zendo UK in 2019, and is the only Ordinary Mind teacher working in the UK. He is the sixth Dharma heir of Barry Magid, who founded the Ordinary Mind Zendo in New York in 1996. Malcolm has been leading Buddhist groups in UK prisons for the last ten years, and it was through this work that he was given authorisation to teach by Barry Magid in 2018, and Denkai transmission in 2019. He is a member of the Lay Zen Teachers’ Association, and also an ordained lay member of the Order of Interbeing (The Plum Village Tradition) founded by Thich Nhat Hanh. He is currently working on a book on the Zen Precepts, Prison Face, using the experience of those practising in prison to illuminate the relation of our individual practice to the society of which we are a part.


Malcolm has an MA in cultural history from the Royal College of Art, and taught for many years at the University of the West of England. For the last twenty years he has worked with his partner, Gaynor Dowling, as sculptors in wood, see their work at They live in Gloucester with their dog, Sam. They have two adult daughters.


Charlotte Joko Beck, Founder of Ordinary Mind

'Joy is being willing for things to be as they are.'

Charlotte Joko Beck (1917 - 2011) was a Dharma heir of Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi and also studied with Haku'un Yasutani and Soen Nakagawa. She established the Zen Center of San Diego in 1983 and was the author of Everyday Zen (1989) and Nothing Special (1993). It is no exaggeration to say her teaching transformed the nature of Zen in America, restoring a sense of emotional reality to a practice that all too often bypassed the “merely” psychological. She made facing anger, anxiety, and self-centeredness central to our work on the cushion, examining how these marked the limits of our willingness to fully be present to the moment-by-moment truths of interconnectedness and impermanence. She taught us to find the Absolute in each moment regardless of its content. Enlightenment, she taught, was the absence of something, not the added presence of some special experience. Being just this moment was compassion's way.


As one of the first Western women teachers, she attempted to free American Zen from many of the trappings of Japanese culture and patriarchy. She discontinued shaving her head, wearing formal robes or using Japanese titles. One of her great virtues as a teacher was that she did not try to clone herself. She let her own students and heirs digest her teaching and grow in their own different directions. Joko does not leave behind an institutional legacy. There is no central Ordinary Mind training center. There is no hierarchy among her Dharma heirs, no single voice that clearly continues her message. Her legacy is broad and cultural, a sea-change in how our generation thinks about the nature of practice and its relationship to our personal psychological make-up. Her Dharma seeds are scattered far and wide. They will go on sprouting in ways we cannot predict and cross-fertilize with other lineages. The Ordinary Mind School may grow or wither, but her influence is now everywhere.

Barry Magid, Ordinary Mind Zendo, New York


'Wisdom and compassion flow from simplicity and clarity; from having nothing to prove and nothing to defend.'

Barry Magid is a psychoanalyst and Zen teacher whose life and work has been dedicated to the integration of Western psychoanalytic psychology with Zen Buddhist practice.


After graduating from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 1975, he completed his training in psychiatry and psychoanalysis in New York City at Roosevelt Hospital and The Postgraduate Center for Mental Health. During this time, he began sitting at The Zen Studies Society with Eido Shimano and later at the Zen Community of New York with Bernie Glassman. It was during this time he first met Charlotte Joko Beck, who came to New York to lead sesshin for a group of unaffiliated students at the Chelsea loft of Nora Safran. From that point on, he began traveling regularly to San Diego in order to formally study with Joko.


In 1996, Charlotte Joko Beck gave him permission to establish The Ordinary Mind Zendo, where he became the founding teacher and in 1998, he received Dharma transmission, which gave him full authorization to teach Zen independently. He is member of the American Zen Teachers Association (AZTA) and also a founding member of Lay Zen Teachers Association (LZTA) which is dedicated to the practice, realization and transmission of the Dharma in the midst of lay life.


He is the author of Ordinary Mind: Exploring the Common Ground of Zen and Psychoanalysis (2002), Ending the Pursuit of Happiness (2008) and Nothing is Hidden: The Psychology of Zen Koans (2013). He also edited Father Louie: Photographs of Thomas Merton by Ralph Eugene Meatyard (1991) and Freud's Case Studies: Self Psychological Perspectives (1993). 

​‘Charlotte Joko Beck and her Dharma Successors have established the Ordinary Mind Zen School, whose purpose is set forth in the following statement:

The Ordinary Mind Zen School intends to manifest and support practice of the Awakened Way, as expressed in the teaching of Charlotte Joko Beck. The School is composed of Charlotte Joko Beck, her Dharma Successors, and teachers and successors they, as individuals, have formally authorized. There is no affiliation with other Zen groups or religious denominations; however, membership in this school does not preclude individual affiliation with other groups. Within the school there is no hierarchy of Dharma Successors.


The Awakened Way is universal; the medium and methods of realization vary according to circumstances. Each Dharma Successor in the School may apply diverse practice approaches and determine the structure of any organization that s/he may develop to facilitate practice.


The Successors acknowledge that they are ongoing students, and that the quality of their teaching derives from the quality of their practice. As ongoing students, teachers are committed to the openness and fluidity of practice, wherein the wisdom of the absolute may be manifested in /as our life. An important function of this School is the ongoing examination and development of effective teaching approaches to insure comprehensive practice in all aspects of living.


May the practice of this School manifest wisdom and compassion, benefiting all beings.


December 25, 1995’






Other Ordinary Mind teachers and practice groups around the world:

Ordinary Mind Zendo New York

Teacher: Barry Magid


Teachers authorised by Barry Magid:

Zen Center of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
Teacher: Pat Jikyo George


Tavallinen Mieli Zendo, Finland
Teacher: Karen Terzano


Ozzen, New South Wales, Australia

Teacher: Andrew Tootel


Ordinary Mind Zen Galway, Ireland

Teacher: Karen Terzano



Teachers authorised by Charlotte Joko Beck

Prairie Zen Cente, Champaign, Illinois

Teacher: Elihu Genmyo Smith


Bay Zen Center, California

Teacher emeritus, Dianne Rizzetto:

Teacher: Dan Myoen Birnbaum

Santa Rose Zen Group, California
Teacher: Diane Moore


Ordinary Mind Zen School, Sydney

Teacher: Geoff Dawson


Ordinary Mind Zen Brisbane 

Greg Howard





Books by Ordinary Mind teachers:

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