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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

Blog

What is the Point of a Spirituality Divorced from the World?

I’ve noticed that just about everyone I know who has left a Tibetan Buddhist cult has moved more into the world than they did while a Tibetan Buddhist. During our decades of Tibetan Buddhist study and practice, we focused very much on ourselves and our own ‘spiritual progress’, despite the teachings on love and compassion …

Why Sogyal Rinpoche’s Lineage Should Die With Him

Rigpa is not a reliable organisation from which to learn Buddhadharma, not if it’s your sole source of tuition and not if you believe everything your teachers say without examination or question. Yes, I learned meditation from Rigpa, and yes, I learned a great deal of authentic Buddhadharma, but I also studied many of the …

Climate Revolution Requires a Shift in Consciousness

Changing the world requires a change of consciousness. Think about the big shifts in human development – the French Revolution; the abolishment of slavery; voting rights for women; equal opportunity for all regardless of race or gender – when these ideas first appeared, the mainstream thought them extreme and they met a lot of resistance, …