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

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.

Details of Sogyal Rinpoche’s abuse of students in the Rigpa organisation can be found here. Posts on Rigpa’s (mis)handling of the abuse and ongoing issues are here.

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


A Guided Imaginative Meditation: A Modern Derivitive from an Ancient Tradition

After two decades of enjoying vajrayana-style meditation, I dropped it all when I discovered that institutionalised abuse was rampant in the tradition. I no longer wanted to have anything to do with visualising gurus. However, I couldn’t forget the incredible peace and power that the practices gave me, and I found myself turning to an …

Visual Symbolism and Metaphor as a Meditative/Theraputic Focus in Tibetan Buddhism, Jungian Psychology and AI Art

‍In this post I draw parallels between the Tibetan Buddhist use of visual symbolism, its use in Jungian psychology and finally my animated AI art. I reveal a way to use the power of symbolism and metaphor – that you may have enjoyed in Tibetan Buddhism – but in a personally and culturally appropriate way. …