Dalai Lama - Inner World
Jul 7, 2020
The Dalai Lama's residence in the city of Dharamshala is about a thousand miles from where my parents are from, also in India. Yet to say he himself doesn't have a massive impact on the lives of the Indian population is kind of a lie.

The last time I was in India, in 2015, I had the opportunity to visit the Namdroling Monastery, a major Tibetan Buddhist teaching center buried deep in the forest there. I was in my mid-teens at the time, so I didn't remember too much except for one opportunity when we got to walk inside, sit and observe. All of a sudden, I think I got "it".

I'm probably the least religious person in my family to be quite honest, but ever since then, I've always understood what my parents were trying to get at every time they sent me a video from the Isha Foundation (sample video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7oxOARW0gs). Led by the Indian yogi known as Sadhguru, it's a spiritual organization based on helping people "find their potential" and it encourages this sense of global harmony and unity. Even though I'm not particularly religious or spiritual either, I've always encouraged and appreciated people "finding themselves" and kindling an appreciation in their lives, whether it's in what they do for a living, their hobbies, etc. I think that's an awesome feeling to have!

As you can probably see if you've heard this album (or you will soon see if you decide to take a listen), Hindu and Buddhist spiritual goals (such as those the Dalai Lama teaches) tend to overlap a ton*. So for me to give this album a listen and then immediately scroll down into the comments on YouTube and see actual responses like:

"My dude boutta drop some diss tracks soon 🔥💯💥"

... is weird, to say the least? I guess it's not too surprising given how entrenched in the world's geopolitical dynamic the Dalai Lama is (of course people are going to react like that), but the feeling's a little hard for me to relate to given how much I get the point of this music, how much it really does click with me.

These are meditative, beautifully arranged pieces, comprised of the Dalai Lama's prayers and messages. Throughout, he encourages a simple harmony, an understanding and wish to protect and help the people around you while discovering your own happiness and seeking to light in others the same. It's a wonderful, worldly contribution to the idea that we humanize those around us as much as they choose to humanize us. Sometimes the instrumentals can be too minimal and quiet, but then I have to realize, that's the point, isn't it? The Dalai Lama himself is the steady, humble figure keeping this album feeling alive, and the essence of his words is what will remain long after his life in the minds of millions, even if he is indeed the last of his kind.

I don't pretend to worship religion and superfluous spiritual thought any more than I actually do, but even I have to believe there's a compassionate heart and a human advocacy for understanding that's worth acknowledging. I encourage you to at least try to make note of that, and nothing more. Maybe you may deeply connect with it, or you may just not. For me, it's a homely album full of a historically important figure's unbridled passion for helping make the world a better place, and even though I do think it's flawed as a musical piece, it's something I might want to hear out at least a little, time and time again. I think my parents would love to hear this, too, and I'll definitely show it to them sometime soon.

*due in large part to a shared religious history and founding between the two
Jul 7, 2020
"The Dalai Lama himself is the steady, humble figure keeping this album feeling alive, and the essence of his words is what will remain long after his life in the minds of millions, even if he is indeed the last of his kind." Had chills reading that bit, you summed up this album very beautifully, I am amazed. Thanks for sharing.

One of the best reviews I've read on this site. I hope this inspires more well-needed conversation for this album aside from memes. This was very refreshing.
Jul 7, 2020
Very glad to hear that! I too hope more people can at least approach this release with an open perspective and understand why it may hold some significance and value for many.
Liked By
Rate and review albums along with your friends. Create an account.
Become a Donor
Donor badge, no ads + more benefits.
Also Reviewed By
Popular Albums
The Microphones - Microphones in 2020
The Microphones
Microphones in 2020
Aminé - Limbo
Glass Animals - Dreamland
Glass Animals
Taylor Swift - folklore
Taylor Swift
Victoria Monét - JAGUAR
Victoria Monét
Tkay Maidza - Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 2
Tkay Maidza
Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 2

July Playlist