In an interesting turn of events, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will release his debut album, Inner World, on July 6th, to coincide with his 85th birthday. The spiritual collection is slated to contain mantras and chants, combined with newly composed music.

The Dalai Lama recently previewed the 11-track album along with the single “Compassion,” which is based on one of the most famous Buddhist prayers. The song reflects a reportedly New Age flow with a plethora of ethereal instrumentals anchored by a steady bass and drum groove as the Dalai Lama chants the Sanskrit mantra, “Om mani padme hum.” Listen to the first taste of the project here.

The album concept came courtesy of Junelle and Abraham Kunin who, in a report, first suggested the idea to the Dalai Lama’s office years ago after searches for combining his teachings with music was fruitless. The ultimate goal was to create content that served as work-related, stress reliever. Recalling her recording session with the Dalai Lama, Kunin said, “I’d never heard him speak like this. He really was so excited … he actually proceeded to explain to me how important music is. 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.”

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Photo: U.S. Institute of Peace