The What Now? blog is getting a different name, and we’re moving to a self-hosted site so that I can set up Search Engine Optimisation, which means that the reference content here will be easy to find via search engines even into the future. We’re presently on a free WordPress.com blog and they don’t have much visability in search engines.
Why the name change?
The practical reason is the domain name. On a self-hosted website you need a domain name and WhatNow in any of its versions (.com or .org or .net) is taken. However Beyond the Temple domain name wasn’t, so it now belongs to me, and the URL for this site will change in a few days from https://wordpress.com/post/whatnow727/ to beyondthetemple.com.
The other reason is because, as we all know, things change. This blog started out as a group effort, but it ended up being basically my blog (Moonfire aka Tahlia) with occaisonal guest posts by the wonderful Jo Green (who I hope will continue to write for us occaisonally).
People’s interests change, and when that happens blogs naturally develop, and in this case, it’s not just me, it’s the community we’ve developed here. I and lots of other people are wanting to leave Rigpa well and truly behind us. So to reflect that, I feel we need a slight change of focus. I don’t want this blog to be defined by its relationship to Rigpa. I want to get beyond that and relate to you all outside of that context. We aren’t just Rigpa, ex-Rigpa, Tibetan Buddhist or ex-Tibetan Buddhist people, we are people walking the spiritual path in some form or other. What brought us together was spiritual abuse in Tibetan Buddhism, but that is only the ground of our community, it doesn’t define us.
And we are a community. Regular commenters here and on Facebook know each other well. I think we even accept our differences these days. If someone you love dies or is sick or injured, where do ex-Rigpa folk turn? To the Beyond the Temple or What Now Facebook groups. That’s where you find the support of a community and a bunch of people who will pray for or send some love and healing to your loved ones. We are your sangha now. And it helps if a sangha has a name.
What Now on Facebook is unfindable and only for Rigpa and ex-Rigpa folk, and it’s focus is on spiritual abuse, primarly in Rigpa and Rigpa’s efforts to deal with it, so that’s too limited a focus and not open to many who would like to be part of a sangha for Tibetan Buddhist refugees. So that leaves us with Beyond the Temple and we already have a Facebook group by that name which I set up when people started leaving the What Now group because they didn’t want to talk about abuse anymore or they found the tone too ‘negative’ – which is isn’t, by the way. We’re an incredibly supportive group who engage in very deep discussions.
But back to the Beyond the Temple group. This group is focused on us as a community with a shared ground of spiritual abuse but not defined by it. In other words, we try to talk about other things related to our ongoing spiritual path. And we try to keep the conversations from falling into too much bitching about stuff. That doesn’t mean we never refer to abuse, it just means that we try not to talk about it all the time. There are other groups now for that.
The Survivors of Vajrayana Abuse and Allies group is really good for talking about the spiritual abuse issue in any vajrayana context, and no abuser-defenders or justifiers are allowed. A lot of the people in that group are also in Beyond the Temple, and most of the What Now people are also in Beyond the Temple. So Beyond the Temple is kind of a central meeting point where kindness to each other is valued above all else and the focus is on our spiritual path and being a sangha to each other no matter where our path takes us.
Walking the spiritual path
My spiritual path is no longer related to Rigpa – and I suspect that’s the same for most of our community – and I like to talk about anything that inspires or concerns me as I travel the spiritual path. And that urge I sometimes have to share such things is why I have the Living in Peace and Clarity You Tube Channel and Facebook page. (I had them long before all this shit hit the fan.) So changing the name, and adding ‘Living in Peace and Clarity’ to the subtitle also gives me a place where I can talk about spiritual stuff that inspires me that is not related to abuse. And it allows that Facebook page to link in with this blog – another place for comunity memebers to hang out.
How will the blog change
It will move away from primarily criticising Rigpa and Lamas to including posts that are unrelated to Rigpa or even Tibetan Buddhism. I and guest authors will still criticise them when they do stupid stuff that needs to be criticised, of course, but there will be other kinds of posts as well. I don’t know what the balance will be, or even what the new kinds of posts will be about. At this stage it’s just opening us up to a wider range of topics related to the spiritual path. Hopefully, we’ll change people’s perception of us as ‘negative’ to something more realistic – after all, we’re only ‘negative’ when something needs to be criticised.
So I hope you’re all okay with that. I ran this by a reliable friend before getting it all moving, and she agreed that it was a good move.
The site will be down for a couple of days as the transfer to self hosting takes place, but then we’ll be operating on the new doman name, beyondthetemple.com