Dalai Lama appoints Nicholas Vreeland head of Rato Monastery
Nicholas Vreeland, Director of The Tibet Center in New York City since 1998, has been appointed as abbot of Rato Monastery in India by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Vreeland, who will officially take the office on July 6, is now the first Westerner to be appointed as the head of a Tibetan monastery. The appointment was announced on April 20 in California, where the Dalai Lama was on a lecture tour. His Holiness said, “Your special duty [is] to bridge Tibetan tradition and Western world.”
You might remember a story we did in January on Vreeland’s photo exhibit Photos for Rato, which toured major cities to raise most of the funds for the construction of a new campus and temple there. As abbot of Rato Monastery, Vreeland will be responsible for the spiritual guidance of around 100 monks, ranging from age 6 to 90. Rato Monastery is one of twelve Tibetan government monasteries under the patronage of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.