Martin biography

After strong intimations of the spiritual as a teenager, Martin Aylward travelled to India aged 19 to explore meditation. He spent most of the next 5 years in monasteries, ashrams and meditation centres in India and Thailand, including two years in a hermitage in the Himalayas with one of his teachers. As well as having the good fortune to learn from and practice with many different teachers, both Asian and western, Martin has spent much time in solitude with his real guru – Nature, and his teaching often emphasizes contact with Nature as a resource for Awakening.


Returning to Europe, in 1995 he co-founded with his wife Gail, the Tapovan Dharma Community in the French Pyrenees. Gradually, the number of visitors increased beyond the capacity of the place, and in 2005 – 10 years after opening – they relocated to Le Moulin, a former Zen monastery in the Dordogne, South West France, where Martin and Gail continue to live with their two children. In addition to guiding Dharma practice at Le Moulin as resident teacher, Martin has been invited to teach Dharma around the world since 1999.

His approach draws on extensive practice in the Buddhist Theravada tradition, as well as the influence of Non-dual teachings and the Diamond Approach.

Martin’s teaching encourages and inspires a spiritual practice that both integrates meditation and daily activity, and brings awakening to our True Nature into the heart of our personal lives.

He offers Dharma teachings around the world on the basis of generosity, or ‘Dana’.

Martin Aylward ‘Life Story’

Interview by Alex Howard for

Uploaded: 11 nov. 2010
Length: 50:34 min.

Martin is a Buddhist teacher with a strong emphasis on finding authentic, contemporary approaches to the ancient wisdom of Buddhism. In this interview he discusses his own spiritual journey, including the two years he spent with his teacher as a hermit in the Himalayas, and looks at what is important and vital about transformational practice in today’s Western culture. He discusses relational practices, what he calls ‘Freestyle Awakening’ and his innovative workshop: ‘Work, Sex, Money, Dharma.’