Alan Hughes became interested in Buddhism, and started meditating, in his late teens. In the 1990s, he started practicing within the Tibetan tradition, and eventually started attending courses and retreats with Rob Nairn, whenever he was in the UK. This naturally led him to become involved with the Mindfulness Association, and to do the MSc course at Aberdeen University.

In 2011, Alan gave up his job as a marine biologist to deepen his interest in Buddhism and meditation, and worked as a full-time volunteer at Kagyu Samye Dzong London for five years. He now focuses on teaching mindfulness, and works two days a week helping with admin for the Mindfulness Association.