Going Private

A while ago, I said I wouldn’t write anymore in-depth articles, and even though I haven’t, the blog has kept running until now. I truly don’t have time to write those in-depth articles  – they took me a couple of days work – so those won’t return unless someone else writes them, but I’ve discovered that after a day working with words, though I don’t feel like writing, I’m happy to shoot a video and edit it. I have been putting these vlogs publically on one of my You Tube Channels, but from now on, I’m only going to share them with my patrons and members of the What Now? Facebook group.
As some of you know, I’ve received some nastiness from people over my willingness to speak out on the topic of abuse in Tibetan Buddhism, and not all of it came from people dedicated to Sogyal Rinpoche. It seems that when you’re trying to walk the middle way, you can upset people from both extremes. After a particularly viscious couple of messages recently in which my motivations were completely misunderstood and the degree of hatred expressed was actually rather scary, I decided, after being assured by quite a few people that they are still finding my words helpful, that I would keep vlogging, but in private.
Those of us who have left Rigpa in the wake of the revelations of abuse, still have much to examine if we are to fully recover from our experience in Rigpa, and that examination is taking place in the Secret Facebook Group. It is only for current and previous students of Rigpa, however, and we do moderate it closely to keep it free of personal attacks.  If you’re interested in joining, please contact us via the contact page and ask for an invite.
If you weren’t in Rigpa or don’t want to join the Facebook group but you want to continue the dicussion and/or hear my vlogs, you can access the vlogs and be able to comment on them by joining my patreon Community. Yes, to join us you would need to contribute a little each month to support my vlogging and writing, but that’s how I’ll know that you want to walk this journey with me, rather than abuse me.
I’ve given up on Rigpa and all those lamas who insist on silence and obedience, and I am now, along with others in the group, focused on examination of the beliefs we held as part of the process of moving on with our lives.
I don’t know when or if another blog post will appear here. You’re welcome to submit a post for consideration if you wish.

Ex-Rigpa students and their Rigpa dharma friends who don’t want to discuss abuse in Rigpa can stay in touch through the Dharma Companions Facebook Group.  
The What Now? Reference Material page has links to a wealth of articles in the topics related to abuse in Buddhist communities. For links to places to assist in healing from abuse see the sangha care resources page.

14 Replies to “Going Private”

  1. I get the video, no problem.
    And no, you shouldn’t shut up. The people that want you to are just upset that their fragile perfect world has be dented and as a result their ego’s have been bruised.

  2. Thanks so much Tahlia for being a shining beacon of kindness, sanity, and compassion. I simply can’t understand when people don’t ‘get it’ that this is as much about us and how we process the world around us as any individual.
    We ALL make it possible for people who are unwell to get control of us, the BIG questions is why, what is it in us that wants so desperately to find the truth outside of ourselves?

  3. @Tahlia,
    Why not leave it open and post when you feel like it? 🙂 It’s fine to take a break for now, but you may feel like posting in the future. I’ve enjoyed your blog and your videos.

    1. I think you are right to step back Tahlia. I think sometimes this stuff is a little dangerous and boundaries are necessary. At least that has been my experience. The troubles we are seeing come from a deep source in my opinion and people go a little crazy when this horrid status quo is challenged.
      For goodness sake, all you’ve been doing is expressing feelings and ideas and perspectives– and sometimes challenging those. That there are people who respond to you with aggression is just an indication of how far astray things have gone. Very sad and I’m sorry you’ve had to experience that.

  4. Tahlia I respect your courage in not allowing this topic to go unchallenged but maybe now a space for reflection may be equally helpful for others who are reacting in extreme ways. For me the underlying thread in all this is the seduction of the E-word which is the Elephant in the Room. I am referring here to the desperate search for Enlightenment which often clouds our perceptions, leads us into deep trouble, historically springs in the west from the christian miracle tradition and lures us into disciple/master relationships with the unwritten promise of achieving total consciousness in this lifetime.I would welcome discussion on this topic as I feel we have to come back to simple steps on the way, honour the right of the student to go past the master, and search for the truths within as we go. I wonder why the concept of the soul is not part of the buddhist tradition ( as I understand it)? I have found Thomas Moore’s Care of the Soul a wonderful life companion and steadying influence.

  5. infowoolcraft, I think you make some very good points, particularly connecting Westerners’ search for enlightenment with the “Christian miracle tradition.” I think the born again habits we have inherited as Westerners do play a role in these troubles. As for your question about the “soul”, I think that the Yogachara Buddhist school is the closest you will find to a Buddhist concept of “soul” maybe.

  6. Thankyou Tahlia for your intelligent information and insight. I have found it useful in finding out what what has gone at Rigpa and has helped me to on the journey of processing it. It is important that we don’t shut up to ensure that Rigpa will eventually come to terms and acknowledge the abuse. Other religions have also been slow to acknowledge the abuse gone on within their organisations, as they also feel they have something special to offer the world and that their particular leaders could not possibly do such a thing.
    Could anyone tell me how the 8 are? And others who have been abused? Is Rigpa supporting them or are they in any process with Rigpa.
    Thanks again and I hope that we hear your courageous voice again when you are ready or we hear other peoples thoughtful compassionate views.

    1. Rigpa has reached out to everyone involved, given them the opportunity to explain their experiences to the worldwide sangha, and made sure those who dedicated years of work to the organization have all their relevant medical expenses covered so they can heal and recover fully.
      Haha, no, they haven’t done any of that.
      Here’s what the vision board wrote recently:
      “Too many key people in Rigpa have experienced burn-out in recent years—we need to understand why it happens and prevent it from repeating again.”
      Really? It hasn’t been explained clearly what happened? You still don’t understand?

  7. In my opinion, we shouldn’t be blaming the West or the “Christian miracle tradition” for imported problems from other cultures. I’m not saying that the West doesn’t have its share of problems, but people in the East are not any more enlightened or better than Westerners. The main difference is that in the West, more people talk about abuse openly, and in the East, the attitude about avoiding “gossip” and “saving face” causes them to be more silent and secretive. That doesn’t mean the same things aren’t happening there too, (although Westerners tend to be more naive about Eastern culture in general, so that more than anything else is what gets them into trouble). The West used to be more silent about abuse in their own churches but in more recent years, because of democracy and liberalism, and more separation of church and state, things have changed and Western people have become more open. It used to be shameful to talk about those things in the West too, and that’s why the churches got away with abuse for so long. In more recent years, with all of the scandals coming out about Western churches, people in the West started to turn toward Eastern traditions in the hopes that maybe they might find real spirituality, but in reality, the Eastern churches are no better than in the West and we are starting to find that out now.

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