Martin has been practicing meditation intensively for 35 years and has been teaching dharma and guiding people in their practice since 1999.
Aged 19, Martin left for India with a one-way ticket and no luggage. He spent most of the next four years in Asian monasteries, retreat centres and Ashrams where he developed a formal meditation practice based on Vipassana / Insight Meditation, while also exploring many different teachings and practice forms.
He spent several months with Ajahn Buddhadasa at Wat Suan Mokkh in Thailand and sat annual month-long retreats all through the 1990s at the Thai Monastery in Bodh Gaya with Christopher Titmuss. After ten years of practice, Christopher encouraged him to begin teaching. Martin has also studied and practiced with various Buddhist teachers and traditions, including the Vajrayana practices of Mahamudra and Dzogchen.
Martin spent two years living with Sukhanta Giri Babaji, a Hindu sadhu, at his hermitage near Dharamsala, and has lived and practiced with various other Indian sadhus and Himalayan hermits. He was also a student of the Diamond Approach of A.H. Almaas for 13 years.
Since 1995, Martin has lived with his family in Southwest France, where he and his wife Gail co-founded Moulin de Chaves in 2005, a residential retreat centre where he lives and teaches, and where their now adult children grew up.
They also co-founded the Dharma Yatra pilgrimages through France, with more than 200 people walking in silence for several weeks, sharing teachings and practices and camping together along the way. He has led wilderness retreats in France and the USA, and with Gail, occasionally takes small groups of Dharma students to practice in India and Bhutan at the various places associated with the Buddha’s life.
Martin was an early pioneer in offering online Dharma and meditation teachings, and today teaches online through a number of different platforms. He created Work Sex Money Dharma in 2011, running courses to support people in integrating transformational practices and meditative insight into daily life. He is the founding and guiding teacher of Sangha Live which offers daily free, interactive dharma teachings online, as well as in-depth, month-long courses; and of the French language meditation app, MIND.
Martin is co-founder, with Mark Coleman, of the Mindfulness Training Institute. They run year-long certified Mindfulness teacher trainings in Europe and the US, and the Institute now has more than 300 certified teachers around the world. He has been invited as visiting faculty on Masters programs in Mindfulness Based Interventions at various universities around the world, including UCLA, UC Dublin, Université de Nice and Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
Martin has published two French language books, Ne te quitte pas (Les Arènes, 2019) and Tout le monde peut méditer (Les Arènes, 2021) and is the author of Awake Where You Are (Wisdom, 2021).
Find full details of Martin’s upcoming teaching program on the retreats page, and connect with him online at Sangha.live or on Instagram @MartinAylward