The music is exotic but the words are universal on the soundtrack “Dalai Lama Renaissance.”

This collection of music by various Eastern artists, the words of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and narration by Harrison Ford is taken from the documentary film of the same name. It requires thoughtful listening and lasts about 66 minutes, so it seems well suited for a discussion group, road-trip or even an afternoon of casual contemplation.

It begins with a short prayer for the venerated patron saint of Tibet, sung by Techung, followed by the Ford’s rich voice saying, “Everybody thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself.” That simple, powerful statement leads into lovely, reflective instrumental music that evokes the exiled Dalai Lama’s Tibetan homeland.

“Each human being has the responsibility, or moral responsibility, to think about humanity and to think about the future of human beings,” he says, before the music continues.

News reports provide historical context for the life he has led after fleeing Chinese persecution in 1959 to live in India, where he can speak freely and teach his followers or anyone open to his messages of striving to live in harmony.

You certainly don’t have to be Buddhist to appreciate the teachings of this man, now 74, who at age 2, was recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama. These teachers are believed to be enlightened beings who have postponed their own nirvana to be reborn and serve humanity. (For more information, go to

The music that weaves through the spoken words is sometimes mysterious and often joyous. Styles vary from monastic chants to one track that sounds like an American country music instrumental.

Especially engaging is the longest track, “Snow Lion of Peace,” by Techung, which lasts 7 minutes and 33 seconds.

One quick blip in “Drops of Gold” even has a hip-hop flavor, when Ford speaks the ancient Chinese proverb, “Words are mere bubbles of water, but deeds are drops of gold.” He continues that thought saying, “But you, yourself, must make the effort. The Buddhas are only teachers.”

That leads into another passage in which the Dalai Lama, says: “Through the birth, we have every right to have happy life.”

This soundtrack vividly captures the rich culture and messages from this man who continues his tireless pursuits for peace in his homeland and beyond.

This important album was assembled and produced by Michel Tyabji and Rosa Costanza Tyabji as part of a documentary titled Dalai Lama Renaissance. The soundtrack album consists of twenty-six tracks of Tibetan-influenced chants and pieces of music that work as a perfect audio accompaniment to the visual images of the Dalai Lama. Each offering on this album is part of a collective providing a narrative that is overwhelmingly beautiful, compassionate and enlightened. There are numerous amazing artists on this collection and if you are a devotee, or just a supporter of the Dalai Lama’s journey, this album is a must-have.

Producer, music director and performer on many pieces, Tyabji has appeared playing drums and percussion throughout the world and is known for his work with legendary African artists including Ndala Kasheba and Garikayi Trikoti. Tyabiji is only one of many exceptional artists here, in the company of Larry Mitchell, Ralph “Kito” Rodriguez and composer, keyboardist and arranger Henry Medicine Bear Reid, all of whom produce music worth a listen. Tibetan singer/songwriter Techung plays traditional Tibetan instruments and prayers for the Dalai Lama on instrumental tracks and Roop Verma offers an inspired “Alap,” along with other gorgeous tracks. In “Bassant Blue,” and “Jog Jazz,” the New Delhi-based ensemble called Yoginis’ deep thoughtful drones were produced by Seattle-based composer Yogi McCaw. Also noteworthy, Lama Tsering Wangdu Rinpoche had me in tears with his delivery of “Lady of Great Bliss.”

Along with many of the musical tracks offered on this special CD, the listener can also enjoy hearing the words of His Holiness which helps to bring his message of “hope” home. I highly recommend this album for anyone interested in world music and a follower of the Dalai Lama’s journey throughout the world and hopefully back into his homeland someday soon

This CD is the soundtrack for the documentary film of the same title about the Dalai Lama. Like the film, this album also features narration from Harrison Ford, as well as enchanting (and chanting!) songs featured in the film. The music is very soothing and obviously perfect for personal meditation and features Techung, a Tibetan musician in exile; Heyraneh, a female Sufi singer from Tehran (a rarity); and the words of the Dalai Lama himself.