With much of the Western world in a state of troubling uncertainty due to global pandemics and social injustices, people across many countries now find themselves in desperate search of meaning and solace in these extraordinary times. Enter the Dalai Lama, who has announced the forthcoming release of an 11-track album comprised of spiritual teachings and mantras set to arrive this summer.
Entitled, Inner World, the renowned Tibetan Buddhist will release the album of spoken word recordings set to a musical background next month on July 6th, which happens to be his 85th birthday. According to reports, the album was co-produced by Junelle Kunin and Charles Goldstuck and features playing from Abraham Kunin and acclaimed sitarist Anoushka Shankar. The album will also come with a companion booklet.
Related: Remembering Ram Dass With The Grateful Dead’s 1979 Seva Foundation Benefit [Full-Show Audio]
The lead single to appear on Inner World was also shared earlier this week to coincide with the album’s announcement. The calming spoken word recording titled, “Compassion”, hears the famous spiritual leader repeating the mantra, “Om Mani Padme Hum,” which is traditionally associated with Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of infinite compassion and mercy.
Calm your mind with inner peace through the atmospheric recording below.
Dalai Lama – “Compassion”
[Video: Dalai Lama – Inner World]
“I think I can say the very purpose of my life [is] to serve as much as I can,” the Dalai Lama mentioned in an announcement video also shared with the album’s announcement earlier this week.
“I’d never heard him speak like this. He really was so excited … he actually proceeded to explain to me how important music is,” Kunin said in a statement about recruiting his Holiness for the project. “He leaned forward and his eyes were sparkling, and his fingers were rubbing together and he (talked) about how music can help people in a way that he can’t; it can transcend differences and return us to our true nature and our good-heartedness.”
Proceeds from Inner World will go to benefit the Mind & Life Institute and the Social, Emotional, and Ethical Learning international education program developed by the Dalai Lama alongside Emory University in Atlanta, GA.
“The entire purpose of this project is to try to help people,” Kunin continued. “It’s not a Buddhist project, it’s to help everyday people like myself, even though I am Buddhist. The messages couldn’t be more poignant for our current social climate and needs as humanity.”
[H/T Associated Press]