Hi I'm just seeking advice if it is possible to identify a Lama incarnation, whom to speak to etc.

  • Can you be more specific. Do you have a child that you want to identify?
    – Andrei Volkov
    Sep 16 '19 at 21:52
  • Thank you for your reply, something i have to do for myself, to move forward in my own journey.
    – James Wall
    Sep 16 '19 at 22:27
  • Maybe you can try writing to the office of the Dalai Lama? To be honest, I don’t have any idea how that works.
    – arturovm
    May 18 '21 at 3:49

In Tibetan Buddhism, the procedure is AFAIK only documented for Tulku (high-ranking Lamas):

When an old tulku dies, a committee of senior lamas convenes to find the young reincarnation. The group may employ a number of methods in their search. First, they will probably look for a letter left behind by the departed tulku indicating where he intends to be born again. They will ask the close friends of the departed to recall everything he said during his last days, in case he may have given hints. Often, an oracle is consulted. Sometimes a prominent lama has a dream that reveals details of the child's house, parents, or of geographical features near his home. Sometimes heaven presents a sign, perhaps a rainbow, leading the search party to the child.

See The Tibetan Tradition of Recognizing Reincarnate Lamas


If you are asking in regards to yourself, no, you're not a reincarnated lama. Trust me. You are much more than that. You are buddha nature. That little bit of stirring inside of you isn't the bygone memories of some Tibetan master who used to live in the Himalayas and spent his mornings drying his laundry on his body. That stirring, that feeling, that you might be something more is your inherent enlightenment turning over in it's sleep. Everyone wants to be the hero of their story. They search out their own auspiciousness and self importance aligning themselves with all sorts of disasters - some become Democrats, some become skinheads, some become surgeons - and in that becoming, they forget who they really are.

If you were a lama, that would be unimaginably terrible. How awful to be trapped, identifying with some limited being! Our small selves are prisons enough. How much worse would it be to trap that already limited consciousness within the confines of another!

Master Rinzai said that there is a person of no rank that moves in and out of the doors of your face. Instead of locating the lama who you think you are, find that person of no rank who is absolutely and utterly you.

  • 1
    Excellent answer! A perfect opportunity to drop master Rinzai's pertinent and defining quote, which goes thus: Whether you're facing inward or facing outward, whatever you meet up with, just kill it! If you meet a buddha, kill the buddha…“
    – Max
    May 18 '21 at 19:57

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