Reting Monastery was founded by Atisha's chief disciple Dromtönpa in 1057 in the Reting Tsampo Valley north of Lhasa as the seat of the Kadampa lineage. He brought some of Atisha's relics with him. It was the first major monastery of the Sarma revival.
Tsongkapa (1357 – 1419) reformed the Kadampa School which then became known as the Gelug School and Reting became an important Gelugpa monastery, the seat of the Reting Rinpoche.
The Reting Rinpoches were responsible for the successful search and discovery of the 14th Dalai Lama. The Reting Rinpoches were among the candidates for Regent during the minority of a Dalai Lama. Thus, the Reting Rinpoche was Regent between 1845 and 1855 and, again, from 1933-1947. The latter Regent, the Fifth Reting Rinpoche, was involved in the search for the present Dalai Lama and became his Senior Tutor, later abdicated his position and was found guilty of colluding with the Chinese and died in a Tibetan prison in 1947. In fact his Shugdenpa accusers who were in power are generally held responsible for his murder were colluding with the Chinese Ambon. They also destroyed the Gelug Reting Monastery and killed many in Lhasa. The political confusion which followed aided the rapid collapse of Tibet after the Chinese invaded.
The Sixth Reting Rinpoche died in 1997. The Chinese announced in January 2001 that a new incarnation had been chosen as the Seventh Reting Rinpoche, just two days after the Karmapa Lama began his flight to India. This incarnation has not been recognised by the Dalai Lama who believes he is a pawn in the attempt by the Chinese to control the Buddhist religion in Tibet.