IZAUK was formed by Nancy Nanshin Amphoux and Jean Shogen Baby, a nun and monk who were disciples of Master Taisen Deshimaru. Having followed him for many years, Nancy and Jean brought the teachings of Master Deshimaru to the United Kingdom in 1986 and devoted themselves to transmitting the practice of Soto Zen throughout the UK. They came to Bristol and founded the Bristol Zen Dojo, began holding regular sesshins and continued setting up more groups around the UK. Within a decade they had established more than ten groups and dojos (places for the practice of zazen).
The International Zen Association UK (IZAUK) was founded in 1986 to support the Zen groups which follow Master Deshimaru’s teachings in the UK and it continues to support the individuals (Friends of IZAUK) through their local groups.
IZAUK is a charitable trust run by a voluntary committee of trustees made up of representatives from the groups in the UK.