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What the Buddha Really Taught

Live Online Course

May 7th, 2024 - May 28th, 2024

Journey through the Dharma jungle to explore the true meaning of the Buddha’s teachings.

Have you wondered which are the original and most important teachings of the Buddha? Where to find them, and how to make sense of them? How the endless lists and various concepts connect to a make a coherent map of the Buddha-Dharma?

Responding to requests and interest from many of you, our founding and guiding teacher at Sangha Live, Martin Aylward, is offering this unique 4-part series to present, clarify and connect core Dharma teachings.

Martin’s focus will be to guide you through key historical texts and teachings, making them alive and relevant through referring again and again back to your lived experience as a practitioner, so that more and more, ‘the’ path becomes ‘your’ path.

We’ll study and explore together in a way that is experiential rather than scholarly, lively instead of dry, and which is aimed clearly at new understanding, liberating insight, and a deeper engagement with the spirit and potency of Buddha-Dharma.

Join this month-long interactive journey for a deep dive into:

  • The most foundational Dharma frameworks – famous lists such as the Eightfold Path, the Four Noble Truths, the Three Jewels, and more
  • Understanding teachings that can sometimes seem obtuse or esoteric by addressing them simply and accessibly
  • How these concepts are referred to in Pali – the original language of early Buddhist discourses (suttas) – in a fresh and illuminating way

Module 1: A Map of Consciousness, a Path of Liberation

Our opening module will lay out a fundamental map of Buddhist teaching and practice.

We’ll reflect together on the aspects which are timeless and universal, and also those which belong more to the time, culture and cosmology in which the Buddha lived and taught.

Specifically, this module will cover:

  • The Eightfold Path
  • The Four Noble Truths
  • The 5 ethical guidelines

Module 2: Mind, Reality and Training

The second module will look at the Three Jewels, the Three Marks, and the Threefold Training as three maps for understanding:

  • How to orientate heart and mind
  • How to understand reality
  • How to address a path of practice

We’ll look together at ways to put these frameworks into practice.

And we’ll look at how Buddhist traditions employ meditation, reflection, ritual and chanting as ways to skilfully orientate our attention.

Module 3: The World is Made of Experience

In our third module, we’ll see the genius of Buddha in deconstructing human experience, drawing on various fundamental teachings such as:

  • The 5 composites of experience
  • The four foundations for contemplation and understanding
  • The 5 strengths and 7 factors of liberation

These overlapping lists will be explored not to memorise them, nor to believe anything, but rather in the spirit of what the Buddha called ‘ehipassiko’ which means ‘come and see’. The invitation is to explore these teachings in the light of our experience in order to make them our own.

Module 4: In Meditation and in Life

Our last module together will look at how Buddha’s life and teaching integrates the contemplative and the interactive, the inner and outer, the meditative and the engaged, inviting us to do the same.

We will set out a vision of an integrated practice, running both through our meditation, and in our daily activities, roles and relationships.

This module will draw on the three core teachings of:

  • 4 types of clinging
  • 12 links of dependant co-origination
  • 4 immeasurable dimensions of heart

Praise for Martin's Teachings

Martin Aylward Dharma Teacher

“Martin is an awesome teacher! Very authentic and accessible. Greatly enjoyed the opportunity to learn from and deepen my practice with him.”

“Martin is an excellent teacher. His guidance is to the point. His answers to the questions not only clarify doubts but broaden our understanding of the meditative process.”

“There is so much wisdom offered in Martin’s sessions. I’m so glad I can go and revisit them over and over again. It helps me not put too much pressure on myself to take it all in and get it “right” the first time.”

Live Online Course Details

Live Interactive Sessions

Martin will lead our weekly Tuesday sessions to include insightful teachings, guided group practice and an open discussion forum for students to ask questions and receive support.

Community Connections

Your journey will be in community with other practitioners around the world via our interactive course platform. As you move through each module, course guides will facilitate discussions, answer questions, and provide resources and support. Every Tuesday, you will come together with your coursemates in real time to practice together and share your experiences.

Discussion Partners (OPTIONAL)

Each week, Martin will offer a reflection and reading assignment to bring awareness to the theme of the week. This is an optional but highly recommended resource for those wishing to better know and understand the early Buddhist texts or suttas. Students who prefer to study with a buddy will be encouraged to pair with a Discussion Partner to explore the suttas together and further expand on the concepts discussed in class each week.

I See You Mara! From Inner Critic to Inner Freedom with Martin Aylward

Lifetime Access

All teachings, meditations and Q&A's will be recorded, published and archived on our interactive course platform. Video recordings will be permanently available for you to come back to as many times as you like in the future.

Schedule

Photo - Alarm Clock - Schedule

Dates & Times

Module 1: Live Session – Tuesday, May 7 @ 10am PDT / 1pm EDT / 6pm BST / 7pm CEST (90 mins)

Module 2: Live Session – Tuesday, May 14 @ 10am PDT / 1pm EDT / 6pm BST / 7pm CEST (90 mins)

Module 3: Live Session – Tuesday, May 21 @ 10am PDT / 1pm EDT / 6pm BST / 7pm CEST (90 mins)

Module 4: Live Session – Tuesday, May 28 @ 10am PDT / 1pm EDT / 6pm BST / 7pm CEST (90 mins)

Replays will be posted in the days afterwards for those who cannot attend live.

About Martin Aylward

photo of Martin Aylward smiling

Martin Aylward is the founding teacher of Sangha Live. After spending his early adult years in Asian monasteries and with Himalayan hermits, Martin settled in Southern France with his wife Gail and their 2 children, co-founding the Moulin de Chaves retreat centre where he lives and teaches.

Martin teaches meditation, guides students and leads retreats internationally, emphasising the integration of the deepest wisdom teachings into the midst of the lives we live. He is also a director of the Mindfulness Training Institute. Martin’s book Awake Where You Are: The Art of Embodied Awareness (2021) is now available via Wisdom Publications. Click here to learn more about Martin Aylward.