In January 2019, the What Now? blog moved to a self-hosted site and became
Beyond the Temple . The name change reflected our desire to broaden the subject matter from the original focus of abuse by Sogyal Lakar/Rinpoche and not be defined by our relationship to him and his organisation, Rigpa.
This blog is primarily for a community with a shared ground of spiritual abuse but not defined by it. The focus is on our spiritual path and being a sangha to each other no matter where our path takes us.
Posts are by Tahlia Newland and other members of the Beyond the Temple community. To submit a guest article please contact us.
The philosophy of Beyond the Temple can best be expressed with the following quotes:
“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
“There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” HH Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama.
The original What Now? blog was set up by Tahlia Newland in July 2019 after eight students sent a letter to Sogyal Lakar/Rinpoche and the Rigpa sangha outlining his abusive behaviour. Run by a group of moderators, What Now? aimed to educate readers about issues raised by the attestations of abuse in Rigpa through the dissemination of information and informed opinion. We also aimed to hold Rigpa and Sogyal Lakar/Rinpoche to account, but in a way that honoured the ‘good’ while exposing the ‘bad’.
Commenting Guidelines & Moderation
Those who comment here are human beings, please treat each other with respect and kindness, and avoid:
- Personal attacks, bullying, harassment and hate speech;
- Comments that are antagonistic, aggressive, intimidating, nonsensical or off-topic;
- Spreading rumours, sensationalism and conjecture;
- Offensive content or images;
- Self promotional material.
The site moderators have the right to maintain a positive atmosphere and remove comments that don’t abide by the guidelines.
Individuals who engage in these forms of communication will have their comments removed and could be blocked from commenting further.
We offer our support with the best of intentions. May you receive them in the same spirit.
The opinons expressed on this blog and in the comments do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the blog owner. Tahlia Newland accepts no liability for the opinions expressed in the comments or articles.
Tahlia Newland is an editor, author, publisher and artist. She studied and practised Tibetan Buddhism with Sogyal Rinpoche and Rigpa from January 1997 until July 2017. During that time, she spent 12 years in partial home retreat accumulating Vajrayana preliminaries (Ngondro) and two of the three roots practices, and seventeen years as an instructor. She was also instrumental in setting up and running the Rigpa Australia Distance Education centre. After the revelations of Sogyal’s abuse shared in the letter written by 8 students in July 2017, she set up the What Now? blog (the previous name of this blog) and Facebook group to support survivors of Sogyal’s abuse and those who saw his behaviour as unethical and unacceptable. Since that time, she has heard many stories of abuse in Tibetan Buddhism. You can read her story and the story of those in the What Now group in her book Fallout: Recovering from Abuse in Tibetan Buddhism.
Tahlia is now training as a counsellor and is willing to talk to anyone abused in a Buddhist context who feels the need for support from someone with an understanding of Tibetan Buddhism. Please contact her via the contact page .