Paul Maloney began his Zen studies in the late 1950s, and formal zazen in 1966. He went to Japan in 1968 and attended his first sesshin under the direction of Nakagawa Soen Roshi in December 1968. He continued his daily Zen practice while studying Aikido and the classical Japanese martial art of Shindo Muso Ryu Jodo, and attended weekend zazenkai at Engakuji in Kita Kamakura. Returning to Australia in 1973 he, together with Leigh Davison and others, formed a sitting group that evolved into the Sydney Zen Centre sangha. He began formal koan study with Robert Aitken Roshi in 1979, and after continued with John Tarrant Roshi and Subhana Barzaghi Roshi. He is the teacher of the SZC Blue Mountains group.
He retired, in 2008, from the Faculty of Engineering, University of Technology Sydney, where he had been a Senior Lecturer and Director of the International Engineering Program since 1995. Prior to that, he had held the position of Assistant Director of the Japan Information and Culture Centre of the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney since returning from Japan in 1973.
He has degrees in Asian history and Western philosophy. He has been a student of classical Japanese martial arts for over forty years. He now teaches Shindo Muso Ryu Jodo, Kasumi Shinto Ryu Kenjutsu and related weapon systems in Sydney and Canberra. His wife, Yayoi, is a teacher of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, chanoyu, which she has been practicing for over fifty years.