Leave it to His Holiness to make an entrance.
The Dalai Lama’s newly released debut album, Inner World, hit the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s New Age album chart. Successfully moving 2,000 units in just its first week, the record also scored impressive placements on the World Albums chart (No. 8) and Album Sales chart (No. 98), as Billboard reports.
Inner World pairs the Tibetan spiritual leader’s mantras and chants alongside ethereal, new age music composed by New Zealand artists Junelle and Abraham Kunin. The origins of the album date back to 2015, when Junelle delivered a handwritten letter to one of The Dalai Lama’s assistants, pitching His Holiness on the idea of coupling his teachings with original musical arrangements. Recalling their time together in the recording studio, Junelle said The Dalai Lama “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,” Junelle added.
The 11-track collection was originally released July 6th to coincide with the 85th birthday of The Dalai Lama, whose real name is Tenzin Gyatso. Its net proceeds went to the Mind & Life Institute and Social, Emotional and Ethical Learning, an international education program The Dalai Lama developed with Emory University.
Hear it for yourself below.