Dalai Lama announces new album of mantras, teachings

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama gestures during the fourth day of a series of teachings in Bodhgaya on January 5, 2020. (AFP pic)

LHASA: The Tibetan spiritual leader will release his debut album, “Inner World,” on July 6 to coincide with his 85th birthday.

“Inner World” will include 11 songs on which the Dalai Lama will recite teachings and sacred mantras with accompanying music performed on more than 30 instruments.

The album, co-produced by New Zealand musicians Junelle Kunin and Charles Goldstuck, will feature a guest appearance by Grammy-nominated sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar on “Am La.”

Dozens of musicians were also invited to contribute to the Dalai Lama’s debut full-length, which will be released in conjunction with a companion booklet.

The booklet, written by Venerable Robina Courtin, will reveal the benefits of the mantras alongside illustrations by New Zealand duo of Ella Brewer and Tiffany Singh.

The Tibetan spiritual leader previewed “Inner World” with the recently-released “Compassion,” which is a version of one of the most famous Buddhist prayers.

The Dalai Lama opened up about why he accepted to make the album, which took five years to complete.

“The very purpose of my life is to serve as much as I can. Music can help people in a way that I can’t,” he said in a statement.

“Music has the potential to transcend our differences. It can return us to our true nature of warm-heartedness.”

Proceeds of the album will benefit Mind & Life Institute as well as Social, Emotional and Ethical Learning (SEE Learning), an international education program developed by Emory University and the Dalai Lama.

While “Inner World” marks the Dalai Lama’s debut album, the spiritual Buddhist leader participated in the 2015 edition of the Glastonbury festival.

He notably joined Patti Smith during her Pyramid stage performance, where the American singer-songwriter honoured the exiled leader of the Tibetan Buddhist order with a special poem ahead of his 80th birthday.