Fonds - Vajra Regent Osel Tendzin fonds

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Vajra Regent Osel Tendzin fonds

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Physical description

  • 270 audio cassettes
  • 197 audio reels

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Biographical history

Thomas F. Rich was born in 1943 at Passaic, New Jersey. He graduated in 1965 from Fordham University. In 1966 he met Swami Satchidananda, a teacher of the Hindu tradition, and became one of his students and was given the Hindu name Narayana. He continued his studies until 1971 when he met Trungpa Rinpoche in Boulder, Colorado. Thomas Rich took the Buddhist vows of refuge while at Tail of the Tiger receiving the name Osel Tendzin. He served on the executive committee of Tail of the Tiger and in 1972 was appointed director of the Maitri program. In 1973 Osel Tendzin attended the first Vajradhatu seminary program. Following that program, Osel Tendzin moved to Boulder and soon after was appointed to the board of directors of Vajradhatu. Later, at the time of his empowerment as Vajra Regent, he was named executive vice-president of Vajradhatu and of Nalanda Foundation. In August 1976, the Venerable Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche empowered Thomas F. Rich as his Vajra Regent. In doing so he formally authorized him as his spiritual successor. In 1977 His Holiness Rangjung Rigpe Dorje the sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa and head of the Kagyu lineage, confirmed the Vajra Regent's appointment as a lineage holder of the Kagyu. The Vajra Regent was the first Westerner to hold such a position. The Vajra Regent began teaching regularly at The Naropa Institute, a liberal arts college in Boulder, founded by Trungpa Rinpoche. He founded the Regent's Club, an association of major donors, in support of the institute. In 1985 the Vajra Regent moved with his family from Boulder to Halifax, Nova Scotia to supervise the relocation of Vajradhatu's administrative headquarters there. After the death of Trungpa Rinpoche in 1987, Osel Tendzin succeeded to the post of president of Vajradhatu and Nalanda Foundation. During this period his health had begun to decline and he moved with his family to Ojai California. On the advice of His Holiness Dingo Khyentse Rinpoche, the Vajra Regent entered into retreat at his residence in Ojai. The Vajra Regent died on 25 August 1990.

Custodial history

Vajradhatu Recordings, a department of Vajradhatu (an association of Buddhist churches founded in 1973 by the Venerable Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche) was responsible for the creation, acquisition, custody, and use of sound recordings of the teaching and administrative activities of Trungpa Rinpoche, as well as of the Vajra Regent Osel Tendzin and other Buddhist teachers and administrators of Vajradhatu and of Nalanda Foundation. In 1989 they were transferred to the Vajradhatu Archives. Sound recordings of the Vajra Regent Osel Tendzin were maintained in the custody of Vajradhatu Recordings (now Kalapa Recordings).

Scope and content

Fonds consists of sound recordings of the Vajra Regent Osel Tendzin created between 1976 and 1988 predominantly of public talks and seminars taught throughout North America and Europe. The fonds also includes sound recordings of traditional Buddhist ceremonies conducted by Osel Tendzin; of interviews with groups of students to discuss various aspects of meditation practice and study; of talks at dathuns month-long programs of meditation practice; of informal discussions on a variety of topics; of radio interviews; and of a small group of mystery recordings. The fonds is arranged into 19 series.

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Physical condition

Some audio reels show evidence of deterioration. As a conservation measure a number of audio reels have been exercised and copied to both digital and high-quality cassette formats.

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Finding aid available. Series descriptions are available. Inventories accompany series descriptions. An inventory of verbatim transcriptions of portions of the fonds exists.

Associated materials

Related materials may be found in the following fonds of sound recordings: the Vajradhatu fonds; the Vajradhatu Seminary fonds; the Nalanda Foundation fonds; the Naropa Institute events fonds; and the Shambhala Training events fonds. For additional details see the Vajradhatu Archives Database of Holdings. Videocassette recordings related to portions of the fonds are in the custody of the Archives. Photographic records related to portions of the fonds are described in the Vajradhatu and Nalanda Foundation Information Office Photographic Fonds Finding Aid.

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Further accruals are expected.

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Extent includes duplicates

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