RIGPA Australia told followers it would make a "workers compensation notification" for one of Buddhist guru Sogyal Rinpoche's main assistants in 2017 after the assistant went on stress leave within weeks of Sogyal's annual summer retreat at Myall Lakes.
The October, 2017 letter was sent to followers only three months after eight former members of the global Buddhist network, including two Australians, alleged serious physical, sexual and psychological abuse by Sogyal at Rigpa global centres, including Myall Lakes and Blueys Beach.
The majority of allegations were substantiated in September, 2018 following an independent investigation.
One of the eight complainants told the Newcastle Herald he witnessed the senior Rigpa Australia member, described as one of Sogyal's main assistants during his Australian visits, being "beaten" by Sogyal at the Myall Lakes centres.
The complainant is one of a number of former senior Rigpa members who have directly challenged the Buddhist network's public statements about reforms following the Sogyal scandal, after the spiritual leader, mindfulness guru and author of the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying was venerated following his death on August 28.
The October, 2017 letter to Rigpa Australia followers said the senior member resigned because of the stress of his work, but it made no reference to alleged abuse. It included a message from him that it had been a "privilege" to work for Rigpa, and he was "forever grateful" for the "opportunities, friendships and support I have been given".
"I am truly sorry not to be with you this year at such a time of need. Basically, it all became too much for me. Since earlier this year I have been taking a slow road to recovery, trying to avoid any stressful environments."
The man did not refer to Sogyal Rinpoche. He resigned from all Rigpa Australia positions in April, 2017, three months before eight former Rigpa members wrote the letter that led to Sogyal's public fall from grace.
"That he was placed under such stress through his work is a matter we take seriously. We will do all we can to continue to support (him) in his recovery and will make a worker compensation notification on his behalf," Rigpa Australia told followers.
In a January 22, 2018 letter to followers Rigpa Australia acknowledged 2017 had been "the most difficult year in our history".
"The allegations that were made by eight former students against Sogyal Rinpoche, the spiritual founder of Rigpa, caused a shock wave throughout our community as well as the Buddhist world," the letter said.
"The focus of Rigpa's activity since then has been to deal with the consequences of the allegations for students, volunteers, Rigpa's reputation and more," the letter said.
It noted some students had left because of the allegations, following a "couple of years" of declining student numbers and financial losses. Rigpa's international base in France was also "declining" and staff were "being reduced significantly" because of financial losses, the letter said.
It noted that most Australian students who remained after the allegations against Sogyal were "committed to Sogyal Rinpoche as their teacher, even though he has no further role in the management of Rigpa".
Despite the on-going investigation of serious allegations against Sogyal, the January, 2018 Rigpa Australia letter said followers needed to "embody" his teachings to transform the organisation.
"For this we are eternally grateful to our precious lama. May he live long, may he accomplish all his aspirations," the letter said.
Eight months later the independent investigation substantiated allegations that Sogyal Rinpoche used attendants as "a punching bag to vent his own frustrations and anger"; "used his position to coerce, intimidate and manipulate young women into giving him sexual favours"; asked a male attendant to take film and photos of young female students and girlfriends naked; offered a female student to another lama for sex and pushed students to the verge of emotional breakdown.
The investigation report found a senior male Rigpa leader from outside Australia engaged in a "proactive cover-up" of abuse allegations dating back to the 1990s. The report also upheld an allegation that "for many years there has been nobody within Rigpa holding Sogyal (Rinpoche) to account".
Rigpa Australia said "reforms we have made and are still making" would be "embedded in the organisation so that harm does not occur again".
The global Rigpa network will welcome Sogyal Rinpoche's ashes to its French headquarters at Lerab Ling this weekend in what has been described as a "very special addition" to its program.
Rigpa will stream events and "for those who have time it will be wonderful to come together to practice in the presence of Rinpoche's ashes", an alert from Lerab Ling said.