Kyoto Mindful Leadership Programme 2024

A collaboration with Kyoto University

The Ancient Wisdom and Modern

Science of Mindfulness Meet in Kyoto

This 5-day, in-person programme held in Kyoto, Japan, will offer a unique opportunity to explore mindfulness according to its deepest roots in ancient wisdom traditions, most advanced sciences, and best applications for leaders in the 21st century.

September 24-28, 2024
Ranzan Hotel, Kyoto, Japan


Booking deadline: 16th July, 2024

This programme will provide the essential psycho-education and practical training for cognitive control or attention mastery, self-awareness, and emotion-regulation. It will follow the course Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World, which was originally developed by the University of Oxford’s Mindfulness Centre, and will be delivered by OMF’s experienced teachers.

The programme will be conducted while being fully immersed in Kyoto’s mindful culture, arts, architecture, and garden design, in the most inspiring place of Arashiyama. Such integration of mindfulness training and cultural experience will be articulated according to the pedagogy developed by the Mindful Living Research Group at Kyoto University, a world-class academic institution located in the cultural heart of Japan.

In this way, mindfulness will be presented as a core life skill, or vital compass in order to lead one’s life, work, and organisation, in skillful response to various challenges, with greater resilience, clarity, and creativity. By blending ancient wisdom with modern science, Eastern and Western resources, this programme will thus enable participants to strengthen their leadership skills by better aligning with their own deeper values.

Programme Leaders

Alison Yiangou


Alison Yiangou is the Development Director – Training and Curricula for the Oxford Mindfulness Foundation (OMF). She is also a member of the University of Oxford Mindfulness Centre (OMC) Curriculum Development Group. Alison has an academic background in Psychology (MA Oxon) and spent most of her working life in a business context, where she specialised in human potential and flourishing. Alongside work life, Alison has been practising meditation since the 1970s, and has attended many long retreats both as a retreatant and retreat supervisor.

Masaya Komeda

Tea Ceremony Master

Masaya Komeda has been practicing and teaching chado, or Japanese Tea Ceremony, for more than 17 years in one of the main traditional schools of Japanese Tea Ceremony, Urasenke, which has a history of over 350 years. After graduating from Kyoto University Faculty of Economics in 2007, he enrolled into the Urasenke Professional Training College for Tea Ceremony and graduated in 2010. He has been serving the Urasenke school in its headquarters at Kyoto since then. In the past, he has taught tea ceremony in the contexts of HR development and university classes.

Leonie Schell


Leonie Schell is a Trustee, teacher, trainer and supervisor at the OMF. She also has a private coaching practice, supporting leaders and organisations dedicated to bringing about positive change to unfold their full potential using mindfulness, cognitive therapy and hypnotherapy-based methods. Leonie teaches a range of standard 8-week mindfulness courses as well as shorter, more innovative and advanced courses to workplaces and the public. During Leonie’s time as management advisor for Big Four firm Ernst & Young, she founded an Employee Mindfulness Network, which continues to be a thriving global community to this day.

Manabu Noda

Ikenobo Central Training Institute Professor

Ikenobo is the founding school of Ikebana, or Japanese Flower Arrangement, and the roots of this school dates back to the 15th century with ties to the Rokkakudō temple in Kyoto. Professor Noda received a master's degree in Asian Studies from the University of Illinois in 1984, and since 1993, he has been dispatched by the Ikenobo school and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan to Europe, North and South America, Asia, Middle East, and Australia to hold workshops and demonstrations of Ikebana. He continues to teach Ikebana both locally and globally to this day even after becoming a lecturer at Ikenobo Central Training Institute in 2000.

Marc-Henri Deroche, PhD


Marc-Henri Deroche is Associate Professor at Kyoto University, Japan, where he teaches Buddhist studies and supervises the Mindful Living Research Group, a transdisciplinary graduate seminar integrating Asian wisdom traditions, Western philosophy, and cognitive psychology. Born in France, he holds master’s degree and PhD in East Asian Studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Sorbonne, Paris). He has trained in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy with the University of Oxford’s Mindfulness Centre and the Oxford Mindfulness Foundation. He has lived in Kyoto since 2008 and has travelled extensively in the Himalayan and Tibetan cultural world.

Ryotaro Kusumoto, MPhil


Ryotaro Kusumoto, MPhil (Kyoto University), is a PhD student at Kyoto University GSAIS, and also has trained as a teacher in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Life with Oxford Mindfulness Foundation. His research has previously elucidated traditional Japanese Buddhist educative frameworks (published in Religions), and been presented, among others, at the conferences of the International Society for Contemplative Research, and the Comparative and International Education Society. His doctoral thesis aims at re-articulating and implementing mindfulness in higher education and life-long learning.

Evidence has proven mindful leaders have:

  • Increased transformational and authentic leadership style
  • Enhanced effectiveness and performance
  • Increased effective task management, self-care and self-reflection
  • Decreased behaviours that are indicative of avoiding responsibilities and decisions

Programme Schedule

Tuesday 24th September, 20249:00-10:30 Welcome and General Introduction

Tea Break

10:50-12:20 Finding Peace Session 1 (OMF Team)
Lunch13:30-15:00 Finding Peace Session 2 (OMF Team)

Tea Break

15:20-16:50 Kyoto’s Mindful Culture 1: Lecture – By Professor Marc-Henri Deroche, Kyoto University

16:50-17:00 Closing Practice
Wednesday 25th September, 20249:00-10:30 Deepening Practice

Tea Break

10:50-12:20 Finding Peace Session 3 (OMF Team)
Lunch13:30-15:00 Finding Peace Session 4 (OMF Team)

Tea Break

15:20-16:50 Kyoto’s Mindful Culture 2: Ikebana Performance – By teacher from Ikenobo Kadō Association

16:50-17:00 Closing Practice
Thursday 26th September, 20249:00-10:30 Short Museum Tour at Saga Arashiyama Museum of Arts and Culture; Deepening Practice

Tea Break

10:50-12:20 Finding Peace Session 5 (OMF Team)
Lunch13:30-17:00 Kyoto’s Mindful Culture 3: Guided excursions in Arashiyama, formal and informal practices
Friday 27th September, 20249:00-10:30 Deepening Practice

Tea Break

10:50-12:20 Finding Peace Session 6 (OMF Team)
Lunch13:30-15:00 Finding Peace Session 7 (OMF Team)

Tea Break

15:20-16:50 Kyoto’s Mindful Culture 4: Lecture – By Professor Marc-Henri Deroche, Kyoto University

16:50-17:00 Closing Practice
Saturday 28th September, 20249:00-10:30 Deepening Practice

Tea Break

10:50-12:20 Finding Peace Session 8 (OMF Team)
Lunch13:30-15:00 Kyoto’s Mindful Culture 5: Tea Ceremony – By Masaya Yoneda, Urasenke Konnichian

Tea Break

15:20-16:50 General Conclusion

16:50-17:00 Closing Practice

Image Gallery

Included in the programme fee:

  • Mindfulness teaching from Curriculum Director Alison Yiangou and Workplace Advisor Leonie Schell (Oxford team)
  • Lectures from Professor Marc-Henri Deroche (Kyoto University)
  • Lunch
  • Refreshments
  • Japanese cultural experiences
  • A professional certificate of attendance will be delivered at the end of the programme


Ranzan Hotel, Kyoto, Japan