You have discovered an invaluable resource for exploring and studying the teachings of Buddhism and Shambhala, as taught by Ösel Tendzin, the American successor of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a high-ranking incarnate lama of the Karma Kagyü lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, and founder of Vajradhatu and the Nalanda Foundation–an international network of centers for the study and practice of Buddhism, Shambhala, dharma art and general education. 

The Vajra Regent Ösel Tendzin Library and Archives was founded after Ösel Tendzin’s death in 1990 and is dedicated to providing access to all of his dharma teachings and literary and artistic works, as well as historical documents related to the life of this first-generation Western holder of the Kagyü and Nyingma lineages.

About Ösel Tendzin . . .
As the late Ösel Tendzin’s wife, I would like to offer a brief introduction.

An auspicious meeting . . .
In the early 1970s, when my husband and I first met Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and moved to Vermont to study with him at the Tail of the Tiger meditation center, the landscape of vajrayana Buddhism in North America was virgin ground. I knew of the profound longing that my husband had for meeting a true master who would guide him on the path of enlightenment. What I couldn’t have known was that our teacher would choose to empower him as his dharma heir, the first Western-born person in history to hold the mahamudra lineage of the Tibetan vajrayana tradition. Their deep spiritual bond was crucial to the environment of openness and non-theism that Trungpa Rinpoche created around transplanting the teachings of Buddhism and Shambhala in the Western culture and psyche.

In his forward to the Vajra Regent’s first book, Buddha in the Palm of Your Hand, Trungpa Rinpoche wrote: “Many Oriental advisors have said to me, ‘Do not make an Occidental your successor; they are not trustworthy.’ With the blessings of His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, and through working with Ösel Tendzin as my Regent, I have come to the conclusion that anybody who possesses tathagatagarbha [Buddha nature] is worthy of experiencing enlightenment. Moreover, Ösel Tendzin is my prime student… I have worked arduously in training him as my best student and foremost leader, and His Holiness Karmapa has confirmed his Regency. With His Holiness’ blessing, Ösel Tendzin should hold his title and the sanity of the enlightened lineage. He is absolutely capable of imparting the message of buddhadharma to the rest of the world.”

The Vajra Regent's contribution . . .
Through his clear knowledge of the buddhadharma, his understanding of devotion, and his service to his teacher and the community of practitioners, the Vajra Regent provided a portal through which the lineage wisdom could flow. As a result, students across North America and Europe were imbued with a sense of confidence as practitioners and apprentice teachers in their own right, and the first flowering of genuine vajrayana practice took place in the Western world. This was a fulfillment of the vision and intent of the Vidyadhara, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, one of the greatest spiritual teachers of our times.

A precious opportunity . . .
Everyone is welcome to join our Library & Archives team in helping to secure this inheritance for the students of the future.

My thanks to all the students who have served and continue to serve, with generosity and exertion, the lineage and the Vajra Regent’s legacy.

Lady Lila Rich
Vajra Regent Ösel Tendzin Library


From Lady Lila Rich


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The Library & Archives project is part of the non-profit work of Satdharma. Our 501 c3 Federal Tax ID # is 77-0511391.