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Tahlia Newland

Tahlia Newland

Hi. I’m an author who writes heart-warming and inspiring metaphysical fiction in the form of fantasy and magical realism. I’m also a book reviewer, extremely casual high school teacher and occasional mask-maker.

I’ve studied the mind and philosophy in various forms most of my life and studied and practiced with Sogyal Rinpoche since 1996.

 After creating and performing in Visual Theatre shows for 20 years, I'm now a bone-fide expatriate of the performing arts. I live in an Australian rainforest, am married with a teenage daughter and love cats, but I don’t have one because they eat native birds.

 Along with some others, I set up the Rigpa Australia Distance Education Centre (The Bush Telegraph) in 1998 and was the Teaching Services Director until early 2012. I have instructed for Rigpa since the year 2000.




Published works include:


   - *Lethal Inheritance<http://tahlianewland.com/the-novel/lethal-inheritance-2/>

   *, and other novels in the *Diamond Peak Series<http://tahlianewland.com/the-novel/>

   —*an analogy for a young man and woman’s path to enlightenment;

   - *You Can’t Shatter Me <http://tahlianewland.com/cant-shatter-me/>*, a

   young adult magical realism novel about a girl and boy discovering a loving

   kindness solution to bullying;

   - A collection of urban fantasy and magical realism short stories called

   *A Matter of Perception <http://tahlianewland.com/short-stories/>* (on

   ebook only).


I post book reviews, and posts on reading, writing and metaphysics on my blog http://tahlianewland.com/blog & I write book reviews for independent fiction on the Awesome Indies blog <http://awesomeindies.net/blog/>.


You can follow me on


* , *Twitter <http://twitter.com/#!/TahliaNewland>,*






Thursday, 08 August 2013 12:57

Free of After Thought

Sogyal Rinpoche often quotes this meditation instruction of his teacher, Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro: Remain free of after-thought. This is an instruction that I find very helpful, and I use it as a kind of slogan to help me do it. It works like this.

Friday, 05 July 2013 11:14

I'm so glad I learned to meditate

I remember Sogyal Rinpoche saying that learning to meditate is the greatest gift you can give yourself. He was right. The best thing I ever did, not just for myself but for everyone around me, was to take the time I did to learn to meditate so that I can snap my fingers / switch my perspective / turn my mind and instead of being confused, frustrated, rushed and tense, I become calm, clear and  undistractracted. It's a kind of magic. I feel the tension and stress fall away. A smile blossoms on my face and in my heart. My work proceeds more efficiently and I am more empathetic to others.

Saturday, 27 April 2013 00:00

The discipline of Happiness

It is easy to spiral into depression or to find our lives suddenly stressful and racing along at a clipping pace. It easy to stop it too, but we think it's difficult and so we make it so. Really, it's not. We just have to have a daily mediation practice.

But even if we know that a daily mediation practice will help us, we see it as just another thing we have to try to fit into our day, and our ego battles us all the way, always finding some reason why we can't to it today. Then we may feel guilty, which adds even more stress to the situation. And on it goes. It's easy for not mediating to become a habit. Even if we're just taking a break for a while, the break can become our routine. Making ourselves happy, as in truly deeply happy - the kind that doesn't rely on anything external - does take discipline. There's no way around it.

So how do we make the leap? How do we fit mediation into our day?

Thursday, 09 May 2013 00:00

Having Nothing to Do

I never have nothing to do. There is always something awaiting my attention. I never get writers block, there is always something to write. Inspiration is never far away.

Until now.

I find myself in a top year ten Maths class without internet connection and without my computer. I brought my iPad with me, thinking I would answer some emails if the kids didn't need my attention. I left my laptop in the staffroom, but I can't connect to the Internet. Everything on my to do list requires the Internet. They're good kids. Great kids actually, they don't need my attention.

Clearly it's time to write something.

But what.


Sunday, 07 April 2013 17:13

Are you missing the point?

What is the point of all this posturing? This defending and promoting your point of view, as if only you know the truth and everyone else must have it wrong unless they agree with you. Why is it so important to be right when rightness and wrongness of ideas are only mental constructs, merely different ends of the same sliding scale, a scale that is  evaluated differently depending on who is looking at it. Does it even matter where you tip the scales from wrong to right when your ideas about reality are merely that, ideas, and not reality itself. Why spend your life trying to affirm your ideas about reality when you can experience reality directly?

Wednesday, 20 March 2013 06:43


How often do you stop? Really stop? Stop so that your mind is still, stable in the moment without reaching forward to what you're planning to do next, or roaming over something that happened in the past? If you're like most people, the answer is probably, rarely or even never. Our minds tend to constantly whirl ahead of where we are, perhaps to the next thing on your 'to do list,' the date you're planning for saturday night, or the destination of your journey. Even when we think our minds are still, there's often a subtle reaching towards the next moment.

Do you ever give yourself time to focus on your true nature rather than the ego self that usually runs your life? If you practice meditation, then you do, but for how long at a time? Twenty or thirty minutes or more a day, perhaps? That's great, but what if you took a week or two off from your usual routine just to focus entirely on your greater self, the you that is free of the thoughts and emotions that batter us daily. Wouldn't that be the best of holidays? I think so, and that's why I go on retreat every year.

When we start to meditate, we usually use our breath as the object of our meditation, then we might make sound or a visual object the focus for our practice.

The sound could be any sound we can hear, or we could make the sound ourself using a mantra which has the added advantage of working with our energy and having a meaning that evokes our deepest nature. In the same way as singing an inspiring song lifts our spirits, so does a mantra.


The Buddhist teachings tell us that wisdom and compassion are like the two wings of a bird that will fly you to enlightenment and that you need both wings in order to fly. What does that mean for us?

First of all we might just reject this as irrelevant to us because we don’t think we want to be enlightened, we’ll settle for happiness. What we don’t realize, however, is that enlightenment is just a fancy name for the highest form of happiness, a state that is not only our birthright but the end point of our evolution. We’re heading there anyway, whether we think we want to or not. Some of us aren’t moving of course, some of us are even going backwards, but our innate desire for happiness will keep pulling us towards it.


Wednesday, 22 February 2012 10:01

How meditation helps us see reality

We think we see reality as we go about our day, but do we, really? See that person over there whispering to a friend and looking at you and giggling. Are they talking about you? Are they saying horrible things about you? That’s what it looks like to you, but what if they’re actually looking at the person behind you or they’re planning your surprise birthday party, not talking about what a terrible person you are?

We make assumptions all the time. My mother used to call it ‘jumping to conclusions.’ It means that we perceive what is happening based on what we think, rather than what is. Sometimes it might be the same, but when we get it wrong, we can make a real mess of things. For instance, if we decide to spread bad rumours about the friend who was whispering about us because we’re sure that’s what she was doing to us, that surprise birthday party will probably never happen and we’re likely to lose a friend as well.

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