Sunday, July 29, 2012

American to head Tibetan monastery

, Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly via Religion News Service
Nicholas Vreeland is the first Westerner to be abbot of Rato Monastery in India (RDF).
NEW YORK - The Dalai Lama has given [Ven.] Nicholas Vreeland [now Khen Rinpoche], director of The Tibet Center in New York, a daunting new assignment.
On July 6, Vreeland [was] enthroned as the new abbot of Rato Monastery in southern India, one of the most important monasteries in Tibetan [Vajrayana] Buddhism. 
He will be the first Westerner to hold such a position. In making the appointment, the Dalai Lama told Vreeland, "Your special duty (is) to bridge Tibetan tradition and (the) Western world."
"His Holiness wishes to bring Western ideas into the Tibetan Buddhist monastic system, and that comes from his recognition that it is essential... that there be new air brought into these institutions," Vreeland told the PBS program "Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly."
For many observers, the choice of an American for the role may be a surprising one, and perhaps even more surprising given the background of this particular American.
Vreeland had a privileged upbringing -- the son of a US diplomat and the grandson of Diana Vreeland, the legendary editor of Vogue magazine during the 1960s. More
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