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Audio: Lonely Journey: Devotion in the Kagyü Lineage Talk 1
Vajra Regent Ösel Tendzin
July 19, 1977, Naropa Institute, Boulder, Colorado, 34:22

The Vajra Regent Library is pleased to present here streaming audio of the first of nine talks in the Naropa Institute (now Naropa University) president's course, titled "The Lonely" Journey: Devotion in the Kagyü Lineage."

These teachings were given by the Vajra Regent Ösel Tendzin in Boulder, Colorado, over five weeks in the summer of 1977.

The nine talks in this course will be posted consecutively in this and upcoming issues of the Vajra Regent Ösel Tendzin Library Bulletin.

Vidyadhara the Venerable Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, empowered Ösel Tendzin as his Vajra Regent, dharma heir, and lineage holder on August 22, 1976. A few months later, around the time of the Tibetan New Year in February of 1977, the Vidyadhara entered into a year-long retreat, leaving the teaching responsibilities and administration of his entire organization in the hands of the Vajra Regent. These responsibilities included Naropa Institute's annual president's course taught each summer by Trungpa Rinpoche. The Lonely Journey was the first such course taught entirely by the Vajra Regent.

In The Lonely Journey, the Vajra Regent presents the experience of devotion as studied and practiced in the Kagyü lineage, and how the student-teacher relationship evolves as the student progresses along the stages of the Buddhist path.

TALK ONE: LONELINESS IS THE STARTING POINT

In this opening talk the Vajra Regent introduces the lonely journey of devotion by explaining that we must start with the state of mind that exists now, rather than a mind of wishful thinking. That basic state of mind is marked by the experience of separation, loneliness, and pain. Only through the recognition and acceptance of that as the starting place can we develop devotion. The Vajra Regent also emphasizes that devotion can't be accomplished in a five-week academic class. His objective is to create a spark, one that is supported by the practice of meditation. This is the only way that the student can have a real experience of devotion rather than a purely theoretical one.