reviewed by Kristine Morris

Buddhist and Christian Prayers

Tina Turner, Dechen Shak-Dagsay and Regula Curti

Buddhist and Christian PrayersThe hauntingly beautiful opening “Alleluia” gives way to a Buddhist chant, then blends the spirit of the two, touching the soul before the mind can enter and interfere; then the voice of Turner calls us to “embrace the cycle of life,” saying that it is “the greatest love.” This album, and the three musicians from vastly different backgrounds who have created it, does what it promises — it takes us, in a way that only music can, beyond fear, beyond right and wrong, beyond division to unity.

This 15-track CD of sung Christian and Buddhist prayers was described by the Boston Globe as “highly esoteric” and its music as “immaculate.” And while those who know Tina Turner as a powerful and energetic entertainer may experience a bit of a jolt upon hearing her in this mode, she brings to it a long history with Buddhism and a deep personal spirituality.

Dechen Shak-Dagsay, a Buddhist, and Regula Curti, a Christian, were inspired to create this album by an interreligious dialogue and ceremony convened in 1995 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Abbott Martin Werlen, head of the Benedictine monastery in Einsiedeln, Switzerland. The two religious leaders called the audience to cultivate and deepen their own religious practice, while seeking to live the values shared across all faith traditions. Shak-Dagsay and Curti then began a quest to understand their own traditions and inspire each other to fi nd their shared truth. The deep love and respect they found for each other through singing their overlapped prayers led them to share this boundless love with others. The team then asked Turner, who had inspired them (as well as millions of women) with her powerful voice, dance, and music, to contribute to the project. Turner used ancient writings, the words of masters from different cultures, the work of Deepak Chopra, and her own spiritual experience to create a message that would unite listeners with the message of healing, life, and love.

“It is our deepest belief that love and compassion are the unifying essence of every religion,” say Curti and Shak-Dagsay. “Together, we can make this world a better place to be. Keep singing. Singing takes you beyond.”


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