This talk questions our willingness to really be in contact with our experience. Martin explores our tendency to divide ourselves from life, from others and from our own experience, and points the way back to an undivided, undefended existence. The talk also reflects on the natural boundlessness of heart that opens up as a liberated response to different types of experience.
Martin explores different personality styles of resistance and rejection, the ways anger functions and the importance of letting ourselves feel negative emotions as a way of freeing them up and letting go of our personal hard luck story. He also explores the way practice can transform anger into fearlessness as an important force against injustice, oppression and inequality.
On this summer solstice evening out under the trees at Gaia House, Martin reflects on the importance of trees in the Buddhas life, the disingenuousness of the term mindfulness and what it means to be embodied.
Here, Martin looks at the dichotomy we easily make between the retreat situation and the rest of life, and explores the skilful integration of our practice, as well as looking at some of the forces that tend to shape our into our personal, relational and cultural lives.
Using the zen image of first there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is, Martin charts the evolution of relating to form and emptiness, exploring the fundamental duality of conventional experience, and the natural pull towards its dismantling, transcendance and integration.
Rather than the meditator trying to become present, this talk emphasises the way life is always immediate and available, always and only present. And how attuning to that invites us into presence, not as a property of mind, not as a state we create, but as the formless ground into which mind can rest, allowing presence to reveal what arises.
Dharma practice points us towards liberation; boundless freedom of being, great depths of love and joy, and a graceful participation in life’s unfolding.
What is liberation?
What seems to be in the way, right now, of living freely?
What is your deepest knowing, and how can it liberate you, here and now?
The day will be led by Martin Aylward, and is open to both committed dharma students, and those who may be totally new to practice, but feel themselves drawn to freedom of being. There will include silent and guided meditation practice, teachings and discussion, and some dialog exercises. The day will emphasize a direct exploration of freeing up our life, right in the midst of living it.
When we hold tightly to our views and positions, we feel like we are right. In this talk Martin explores then tendency to cling to views, to see life through the dichotomies of rational mind that obscure what is outside of our own view. He invites us in to to abiding with life's ambiguity, the inclusion of all opposites, the infinite breadth of the Middle Way.