The Buddha explained that physical existence is ‘nama-rupa’, or ‘mind-body’. This analysis is found in the received Chain of Dependent Origination (specifically in the 4th link which is conditioned by consciousness [mind], and which in turn conditions the sixfold sense-base [body]).
It is obvious from even a cursory study of the Dalai Lama’s behaviour and teaching that he does not follow the Vinaya Discipline. He lies routinely about the history of Tibet and China, and teaches a distorted version of the Buddha-Dharma that does not accord with the Vinaya Discipline, the Sutras, or the Abhidharma – the three sections of the Buddhist teachings.
For the Buddha, delusion generates itself in cycles of endless repetition. Causes lead to consequences, and this systems appears to transmit itself from one birth to the next. However, this should not be interpreted in a theistic or mystical fashion. Whatever the Buddha is referring to, it can not be obvious reincarnation favoured by certain religious theories, as the Buddha fundamentally rejects such notions in his teachings. Rebirth and karma, as used by the Buddha, appear to be a method of interpretation that avoids the trap of gross materialism, whilst using the rational mind.