Welcome to Beyond the Temple, the blog for a community of people with a shared background of Buddhist spiritual abuse.

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Details of Sogyal Rinpoche’s abuse of students in the Rigpa organisation can be found here. Posts on Rigpa’s mishandling of the issue and ongoing cult tactics can be found here.

Our experience with abusive gurus has led us to re-evaluate everything we believed, reaffirm the need for us to trust our own wisdom and practice kindness above all, and move, in one way or another, beyond the temple that previously held us in thrall. For some going beyond the temple means leaving the religion, but for others, it simply means taking the religion on their own terms with their eyes wide open and discernment intact.

‘This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple; your philosophy is simple kindness.’

HH Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama. How to Expand Love: Widening the Circle of Loving Relationships; Atria Books, 2005; p. 6.

Our posts aim to foster questioning, reflection and critical evaluation of aspects of our ongoing spiritual path as well as keeping an eye on any updates in the unfolding saga of spiritual abuse by Tibetan Buddhist lamas.

“Dwell with yourself as your own island, with yourself as your own refuge, take no other refuge. Take the Dhamma as your island, take the Dhamma as your refuge, take no other refuge. ‘

The Buddha, Mahāparinibbāna Sutta.

‘Do not accept any of my words on faith,
Believing them just because I said them.
Be like an analyst buying gold, who cuts, burns,
And critically examines his product for authenticity.
Only accept what passes the test
By proving useful and beneficial in your life.’

– The Buddha, the Jnanasara-samuccaya


Sex and Violence in Tibetan Buddhism: The Rise and Fall of Sogyal Rinpoche

As most of you probably know, the book about Sogyal written by Mary Finnigan and Rob Hogendoorn is available now for purchase.The book description follows: This book is the story of how a penniless Tibetan refugee with fierce ambition managed to establish himself in the West as a renowned Buddhist lama and hoodwink thousands of …

The Sakyadhita Conference 2019: Inspiring, Challenging & Fruitful.

I’d never heard of the Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women until Brisbane Buddhist Chaplain Jack Wicks contacted me last year and asked me to present a paper on the fallout from Sogyal’s abuse at the Sakyadhita conference 2019 in the Blue Mountains, Australia in June. I asked Damcho if she’d help out with the …


This is a guest post from someone who had an ‘enlightening’ experience at Lerab Ling. It’s anonymous, but none-the-less truthful. The author simply doesn’t want to open themselves up to abuse. This person’s experience shows the attitude at the core of the Rigpa organisation towards to issue of Sogyal’s abuse. I wrote the following after …