I See You Mara! From Inner Critic to Inner Freedom

An Online Course with Martin Aylward

I See You Mara! From Inner Critic to Inner Freedom

Available Now

View the introduction to Module 1 for free

Martin introduces Mara, the inner critic, as the tendency to judge, measure and limit our sense of self.  

He unpacks the mechanisms by which we get caught in self doubt and deficiency.  

He explores how our psychological history shaped this aspect of our psyche, and uses the story of Buddha’s struggle with Mara as a guide to our own explorations.  

He shows that when judgement ceases, there is unconditional space to be. Space for the love and ease, spaciousness and responsiveness that are the natural resting places of the liberated heart.

This is a self–paced programme that you can work through as your daily life allows.  


Price: Sliding Scale 



Meeting the Inner Critic

In this module we explore the tyranny of ‘should’ and the rigidity of ‘always’ and ‘never'. We see how the Inner critic distorts our view of Past, Present and Future.  

You will discover your own personal version of the critic and how it pulls you in.  

The module ends with a contemplation to explore this for yourself. 


Uncovering Your History

This module guides your exploration of how your own critical voice got formed.  

How do you experience Mara?  

What early experiences were instrumental in forming this voice?

The module explores who, where and how Mara engages you, and the tone, impact and subject he/she/it/ uses, which keep you in thrall to this structure.  

Martin then offers an inquiry practice to bring this alive in your own experience. 


The Tyranny of Comparison

In this module we investigate the different directions in which judgement operates: judging oneself, judging others and feeling judged by others.  

Martin will show how we get caught in the tyranny of comparison, and points the way out by inquiring experientially into the unconscious views we hold about judgement. He introduces a practice to explore this for yourself.  


Getting Space from Mara

Martin gives several important ways to see through inner criticism and judgement. He shows how clarity, exaggeration, humour and compassion can all be valuable tools in seeing through Mara.

Martin offers a guided visualisation meditation where we learn to clear some space from inner judgement, from the ‘attacks of Mara’.  

You’ll learn a powerful way to create a sense of inner space and confidence in which to stand steady against the learned habits of self-sabotage.  


Cultural, Familial and Personal Conditioning

This module looks at the the three formative influences on how the super-ego structure gets formed.  

We explore the cultural ideals that inform us, the family messages we received growing up, and the personal habits we perpetuate that support them. 

The session concludes with an exercise to explore your inner ‘should-ing’.  


I See You Mara!

Martin offers a contemplative way of directly engaging Mara: looking right at our own inner critic as a way to understand, care for, and relax that structure within us.


Judging Others, Judging Ourselves

In this module we explore the suffering inherent in comparison, whether better, worse, or same as another.  

Uncovering our judgements of others, this module shows how we try to bolster our self images, and invites you to pay attention to how this plays out in your life. 


Freedom from Mara

As the course concludes, Martin uses the wisdom you have gathered along the way to point to three vital distinctions in this inner work: 

  • Measuring your actions vs measuring your self
  • Seeing through Mara’s pushing and pulling, and 
  • Discerning the imprint of the past from the reality of the present.  

He then looks at the Buddhist concept of refuge as a way to find a confidence and clarity with our experience which Mara cannot undermine.  

Course Details

Eight Recorded Teachings

Filmed in high definition with teachings and guided meditations. Each recorded teaching is 20-30 minutes.  

Four Recorded Interactive Sessions

Along with the recorded content above you will also have access to interactive sessions that have been recorded from a previous live course.  

About Martin

A pioneer in offering online Dharma and meditation teachings, he is the guiding teacher and co-founder of Realize and Worldwide Insight.  

Martin has been practicing meditation intensively for more than 25 years and has been teaching and supporting individuals and groups in their practice since 1999.  

Martin journeyed to India when he was 19, on a one-way ticket with no luggage. He spent most of the next 4 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.  

Along with teaching students meditation, Martin also teaches a year long mindfulness teacher training programme in the US and Europe.  

When not traveling Martin lives at Moulin de Chaves, a residential retreat centre in South West France of which he is the founding teacher. 


Price: Sliding Scale