In uncertain times, let this album of mantras, chants and ethereal music from the Dalai Lama be of some comfort. Tibetan Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama, is releasing an album of mantras set to music to mark his 85th birthday. Known worldwide for his aims to spread wisdom, selflessness and messages of peace and humanity, the spiritual leader has recorded 11 tracks in total — each focussing on his sacred mantras, chants and teachings.
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But on a trip to India — where Kunin says she typically gets a chance to meet the Dalai Lama — she asked again, this time writing a letter and handing it to one of his assistants. Five years later, Inner World is born. The album featuring teachings and mantras by the Dalai Lama set to music will be released on July 6, his 85th birthday. He really was so excited On her trip to India in , Kunin wrote down a list of topics and mantras she thought would be great for the album, and recorded the conversations with the Dalai Lama for Inner World. The religious leader recites the mantras of seven Buddhas on the album, discussing topics like wisdom, courage, healing and children. The track Compassion , one of the most famous Buddhist prayers, was released Tuesday. Grammy-nominated sitar player Anoushka Shankar makes a guest appearance on the album, playing on Ama La , a track honouring mothers. Kunin co-produced the album and added vocals to three songs, including Purification.
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The leader of Gelug Buddhism, and a paramount figurehead of Tibet, had never dropped an album before, which makes it an interesting point in both his history and the history of recorded Buddhist music. Indeed, many Buddhist traditions do have precepts against seeking worldly music, preaching a shedding of attachment to outward musical forms. For this reason, much Buddhist music points to the inner Buddha-nature and often has more to do with direct participation of the music than listening to it. Suizen, for example, was practiced by a small Fuke sect of Zen Buddhism in Japan and sought enlightenment through bamboo flute playing. This type of music consisted of blowing sometimes just single notes for long periods of time, alongside traditional compositions intended for private reflection rather than public performance. Sutras are distinct from prayers in that they are teachings of the Buddha or scriptures that carry authority as words of Buddhas. This oral recitation has led to chants and mantras being almost universal across Buddhist tradition, and therefore most ethnomusicological recordings of Buddhist music are of various chants.