The following is a quote from Wikipedia under the heading "tulku"
In Tibetan Buddhism, a tulku (Tibetan: སྤྲུལ་སྐུ; Wylie: sprul sku; ZWPY: Zhügu, also tülku, trulku) is a particular high-ranking lama, of whom the Dalai Lama is one, who can choose the manner of his (or her) rebirth. Normally the lama would be reincarnated as a human, and of the same sex as his (or her) predecessor. However, discussing his own successor, the Dalai Lama has been quoted as saying that "if a woman reveals herself as more useful the lama could very well be reincarnated in this form". The Dalai Lama has also said (when speculating about the possibility that his people might have no use for a Dalai Lama after he dies) that he "might take rebirth as an insect, or an animal...". In contrast to a tulku, all other sentient beings including other lamas, have no choice as to the manner of their rebirth.
In addition to choosing the manner of their rebirth, tulkus are able, on their deathbed, to make known the place of their next birth, sometimes adding various details about their future parents, the situation of their house and so on. If such details are lacking, the monks whose duty is to locate his reincarnation, resort to a lama-tulku astrologer (or tsispa) for directions.
Presently, there are over two thousand tulkus known, although in Tibet before the Chinese invasion there were probably a few thousand. Each tulku has a distinct lineage of rebirths. For example, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama is held to be the reincarnation of each of the previous thirteen Dalai Lamas of Tibet, who are in turn considered to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara, or Chenrezig, Bodhisattva of Compassion, holder of the White Lotus. The vast majority of tulkus (and lamas) are men although there are some women. end quote.
Since women are presently being educated on earth about the same as men (theoretically) it is now possible for women (because of being exposed to real ideas as opposed to being treated like children)
even the Dalai Lama is saying the next Dalai Lama could be a woman. I think this is true as well. What a woman is now in the United States is not at all in any way, shape or form the same as women that were adults when I grew up in the United States. When I grew up women were just so very repressed and pigeonholed in some way that self destruction as well as the destruction of their mates and lovers was much more common than today. Today, (at least in the United States) a woman is free to choose who she will marry, whether or not she will bear any child or to never have a child ever and whether she will take lovers, get married, travel the world or not. And even though this has helped women be free in many many ways, now they have almost all the same problems as a result that men have always had since before recorded history.
This wasn't really true when I grew up in the 1950s in the U.S. It may have appeared to be true from the outside, however. There were many many invisible constraints that were blown to bits by the birth control pill, the 1960s and 1970s, the Viet Nam War and every thing that has happened ever since.
So, even though there is much more confusion between men and women as to "Who's on First?" and what gender am I? There is still much more truth and less lies than there once was. Many more women can actually stay alive and create their own lives rather than live a living hell of someone else's making or just commit suicide directly or by accident. So, I agree now it is possible for a woman in the U.S. or Europe or many other places on earth to be told enough actual difficult truths to become a Tulku in actuality. Becoming a Tulku, one must die a thousand deaths as one is murdered, over and over again by the awful truths of life. But having survived those awful truths somehow, one can then become compassionate to all beings and live and speak the truth to all in all ways and become an elder statesman or stateswoman to all mankind as well as all beings on earth and throughout the universe.
Further on the subject of what a Tulku actually is, it appears that a tulku often is aware of many things that most other people might not be. I only say "might not be" because I find that most people who survive to adulthood have "very good hunches" about all aspects of their lives. These hunches I call "Common sense" or "Intuition". In the end though it all depends upon what you choose to do with common sense or intuition. Do you actually use it for something actually good for yourself and all life? Or does it just make you so sensitive that you find yourself just "Too sensitive" to want to continue to survive?
Motivation and how you actually feel about yourself and all life in the universe will decide whether you self destruct or become a Tulku or Mahasiddha and dedicate your life to saving both yourself and mankind from further unnecessary suffering and to helping bring all life to a state of the end of suffering and the beginnings of enlightenment. So, whether you dedicate yourself to the end of all suffering including your own is entirely up to you.
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