Breakfast with Boots: Health & Wellbeing in Your Own Two Hands
Episode 13 - The union of mind & body for health & happiness | Breakfast with Boots & Julian Daizan Skinner

Episode 13 - The union of mind & body for health & happiness | Breakfast with Boots & Julian Daizan Skinner

August 27, 2020

For the 8th of my 10-part series, I am joined by Julian Daizan Skinner, the founder of Zenways. Daizan has lived an extraordinary life; after deciding to become a full time Monastic Zen in 1989, he subsequently spent 20 years of his life living in monasteries and temples, learning from the great teachers of Zen Buddhism.


Prepare to be zenned out by his relaxing tones as he talks about his journey and his life-long mission to find eternal truth. You will learn about our ability to heal ourselves, when - rather than turning away from pain - we turn towards it, without an agenda or desire to fix.


Among many nuggets of gold, Daizan discusses the importance of learning to let go; "When we learn to let go, we are able to let come. As we let go, something new arises."


A podcast you do not want to miss.


So, who is Julian Daizan Skinner?

Julian Daizan Skinner is the first Englishman to go to Japan and become a Roshi or Zen Master in the rigorous Rinzai tradition of zen. Over twenty years ago, he gave up a promising career as a scientist in the pharmaceuticals industry, sold his house, gave all the money away and entered a zen monastery.


Over many years of strict training, in Japan and the west, Daizan Roshi received Dharma Transmission and permission to teach in both the Rinzai and Soto lineages of Zen. He has also undergone training as an enlightenment intensive master with Lawrence Noyes, leading student of the creator of enlightenment intensives, Charles Berner. Daizan Roshi received inka from Shinzan Miyamae Roshi of Gyokuryuji, with whom he continues to study (see below).


Upon returning from Japan in 2007, Daizan Roshi went on walking pilgrimage up the centre of the island of Britain from the south tip of the Isle of Wight to the north tip of Scotland, living solely on alms food. He met many of his students from different parts of the UK during this time. Daizan Roshi currently offers sanzen (‘interviews’ or training encounters with his students) at Yugagyo Dojo (Zen Yoga) in London as well as using Skype for remote students. Together with his students, he has established, “Yugagyo Dojo”, a Zen training place in London. Daizan Roshi was teaching at The Buddhist Society, the oldest non-sectarian Buddhist Society in Europe, until his retirement from the post in December 2011.


His Zen study incorporated yoga practice. He has also studied yoga in Europe, America and Asia. He brings this wide range of yoga experience to sharing a practice that combines physical challenge with mental and spiritual development. He is registered with the Yoga Alliance at the 500-hour level and is registered with the Independent Yoga Network as a Yoga Elder with more than 5000 hours of successful teaching experience. Daizan trains yoga teachers to find an expression that is authentically their own and will bring them success when they teach. His knowledge and training in Zen gives him the background to guide you on your spiritual journey.


Find more about Daizan & Zenways



Facebook - Daizan:

Facebook - Zenways:


LinkedIn - Daizan:

Episode 11 - Establishing connection in this new virtual world | Breakfast with Boots & Mel Cunningham

Episode 11 - Establishing connection in this new virtual world | Breakfast with Boots & Mel Cunningham

July 17, 2020

For the 6th of my 10-part series, I am joined by Mel Cunningham, a vivacious photographer who shares with us the power of acknowledging the person behind the photo and the important steps that we can take to establish more effective human connection in this new virtual world. Among many nuggets of gold, Mel also talks about the importance of caring about something outside of yourself and the power of immersing ourselves within nature, both in and outside our home.

Who is Mel Cunningham?

“People assume I’ll be watching them intently to get that precisely, perfect photograph. I’m listening for the lift of joy in your voice… soon you’ll be laughing into your smile.”

Mel is a photographer specialising in events, professional headshots, personal brand images for your website. As if that isn't enough, Mel has also created a motivational photography program called "I am my change". This program helps you to break-free from the yo-yo cycle we so often find ourselves in.  'I am my change" is about capturing you creating your alternative future where you commit to being active, because you made a different decision

If you hate being photographed or you hate seeing photographs of yourself, you are Mel's favourite type of client. Really? Yes - genuinely! It’s Mel's personal mission to replace those "ickie" images in your head with images that show you the beauty she can see in you. And then you’ll see for yourself how beautifully you CAN be photographed!

Not only that, Mel loves capturing an atmosphere. While your guests are enjoying themselves, Mel listens out for the lift in someone’s voice, for the punchline reaction. Be it a new product launch, a science fair, a charity fundraiser, a networking group, or an awards ceremony; you will see that every photo has the vivacious stamp of animated joy.

Get in touch and see what she could do for you - Mel would love to hear from you. 




Episode 08 - Keeping mentally and physically fit during lockdown | Breakfast with Boots & Ali Bell

Episode 08 - Keeping mentally and physically fit during lockdown | Breakfast with Boots & Ali Bell

May 21, 2020

For the 3rd of my 10-part series, I am joined by Ali Bell, a qualified Boxercise, HIIT and Circuits Instructor who, amongst many things, shares with us the importance of taking care of your physical health during lockdown. We discuss the connection between physical and mental health and the power of just moving, in a way that makes you feel good. 

Who is Ali Bell?

Ali's passion for Boxercise and keeping fit emanates from her; it is clear to see that she loves changing how people feel about exercise.  As a personal trainer for 12 years, Ali has found that Boxercise is an amazing way to de-stress and get fit.  In July 2019, Ali became a licensed Boxercise instructor and ever since has been running classes in her local area for adults, and is also branching out to deliver Boxercise in-house for local businesses.

Due to the incredible physical and mental benefits associated with Boxercise, Ali has now expanded her work into schools with a new initiative for kids holiday workout sessions and workshops. Taking care of our wellbeing and keeping fit is essential for all of us, no matter how old we are.

In Ali's classes, you will receive clear instructions on both your stance and punch technique, with all the necessary equipment provided for you.  Classes can be simply boxing, drills or circuits – she has found that variety is key to keep everybody interested, alongside the banging tunes. 

One of Ali's feel-good factors with teaching is being able to watch an individual’s reaction to Boxercise as they realise they can hit, hard if they would like to, not hurting anyone.  The stress drains away as a smile lights up their face. 

As if this wasn't enough, Ali also provides Virtual Support to SMEs (admin, marketing etc)... taking care of all the important backstage bits, allowing you to focus on your business. Ali loves to cycle, travel and spend time with her family and friends and adores walking her chocolate Labrador, Cleo! 

Find out more about Ali:

Ali’s Boxercise Thame on Facebook: @AlisBoxerciseThame

Watch Ali bust out some moves here: 

Or alternatively, if you have any queries, Ali would love to hear from you. Contact her on:

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