Enthronement: The Recognition of the Reincarnate Masters of Tibet and the Himalayas
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Even the most casual contact with the culture, politics, or religion of Tibet and the surrounding region brings outsiders face to face with the institution of reincarnate spiritual masters. Past masters are identified as small children installed in their predecessor's monastery in a ceremony called "enthronement" and educated to continue the work of their former incarnation. This custom has provided a principal source of spiritual renewal for Himalayan Buddhists for the past thousand years. The introduction places the subject of reincarnate meditation masters within two major contexts: the activity of bodhisattvas, and in modern Tibetan society, where the reappearance of past masters is both natural and profoundly moving.
Tai Situpa Rinpoche, a contemporary reincarnate master and a leader of the Kagyu lineage, describes the process of finding other reincarnate masters. Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye, an outstanding writer and meditation master, offers a traditional view of the enthronement of reincarnate masters.