Into the inner world with the Dalai Lama
The spiritual leader’s recording of the album Inner World is part of his desire for his teachings to reach as many people as possible. Produced by Abraham and Junelle Kunin, Inner World was released last July 6 on the occasion of the Dalai Lama’s 85th birthday.
Into the inner world with the Dalai Lama
SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil (The Philippine Star) - July 27, 2020 - 12:00am

These words come under the title One of my Favorite Prayers. “For as long as space endures and for as long as living beings remain, until then may I too abide to dispel the misery of the world.” This is the opening cut of the album Inner World by the Dalai Lama. Now if only every human being would think that way during every waking moment of his life, ours will certainly become a better place to live in.

That is quite a tall order for people like us. But we can try and that is what the Dalai Lama believes all men should do. It is the reason why the spiritual leader of the Tibetans recites that prayer a hundred times a day, along with every step during his waken moments. And he is hoping that those of us who have listened to this prayer in the album Inner World will take up his advice.

Born to a farming family in Tibet as Lhamo Thondup, he is the 14th in a line of important priests. His selection for the job as a two-year-old boy was based on omens and predictions by holy men. Renamed Tenzin Gyatso, he was ordained when he was four and assumed the position when he was 15. He also holds the position of temporal leader of Tibet. Later events in China forced him into exile and he now lives in Dharamsala in India.

This holy man that even world leaders look up to travels extensively and imparts his wisdom though his talks. These are mostly about Buddhist teachings, the welfare of the people of Tibet, women’s rights, saving the environment, non-violence, interfaith communication and other similar topics. He has also written several bestselling books.  He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

His recording of the album Inner World is part of his desire for his teachings to reach as many people as possible and he sees music as the best instrument for this purpose. Produced by Abraham and Junelle Kunin, Inner World was released last July 6 on the occasion of the Dalai Lama’s 85th birthday.

It is made up of 11 tracks, which are mantras and verses recited during meditation with light ambient music for accompaniment that brings comfort and spiritual strength. After One of my Favorite Prayers, there are The Buddha, Compassion, Courage, Ama La which features sitar artist Anoushka Shankar, Healing, Wisdom, Purification, Protection, Children and Humanity.

At the very least, Inner World calms minds and provides stress relief during these difficult times but it can be more, say, an encouragement to be brave, kind, a better person. The Dalai Lama has been quoted as saying, “I can say that the very purpose of my life is to serve as music as I can,” and he does just that with this album.

Inner World has brought the Dalai Lama to the Billboard Charts.  The album made No. 1 in the New Age hit list upon its release and is No. 8 in the World Albums chart.

Speaking of sacred music, the Rev. Fr. Benildus Manuel P. Maramba, OSB, the leading figure in the field of Filipino liturgical music, passed away last July 13 from pancreatic cancer. It was only a week after he celebrated his 84th birthday last July 4.

Fr. Maramba was a Benedictine monk. A pianist, composer, arranger and pedagogue, he studied at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Conservatory of Music where he served as a faculty member and regent. He established the UST Brass Ensemble and the UST Liturgikon Vocal Ensemble.

He also studied at the Peabody Conservatory of the John Hopkins University where he got his Masters in Music when he was only 19 years old and at the Yale University School of Music. He also studied Philosophy, Sacred Theology and Canon Law.

Fr. Maramba composed music for the Mass, symphonies, operas, zarzuelas, cantatas, ballets, chants and various hymns, some of them in the modern atonal style and many of them incorporating Filipino themes. He was also a liturgist who translated music for the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours into Filipino.

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