Rob Scheps forwarded me this from Jeff Pittson who knew Brecker from an NSA Buddhist temple in New York. This particular form of Buddhism that Brecker was involved in at the end of his life practices a very intense form of chanting, while concentrating on a Japanese scroll called a Gohonzon. Most of you have probably have heard of "Namyo-ho-renge-kyo". Many Jazz musicians have been proponents of this method of spiritual attainment, including Chick Corea, Harold Land, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter. The rhythmic emphasis of this chant seems to have a special call for musicians.
A little story; Mike told us, the last time he was able to come to a meeting. "I just wanted all of you to know that despite what's happened to me over the last 2 years, I fell happier now than I did before I started chanting. My life has been very chaotic and lately many mysterious things have been falling into place. I can definitely attribute this to my chanting." When he went to do the recording, he had been chanting for about 3-4 weeks and, of the recording session and being weak from bouts with chemo, he said "I can't believe I'm doing this! " and later he confided to me that he felt that he felt that he limped his way through the recording. We should all limp so well!! But later when I asked him, the last time I saw him, " Hey Mike, how the record going?" He replied" You know, I'm thrilled with this record and I'm never thrilled with a record." Actual proof from a man who was heard to say on at least one occasion ,"I have 11 Grammys (now 12) and I think my music sucks! Well, we all know differently, but we also know that Mike was hypercritical of his own playing and I think as he brought out his own Buddha-nature. He started to appreciate himself more and more and be more gentle with himself, and I also think that he definitely attained Buddhahood. He practiced with us exactly 6 months to the day...He received Gohonzon on August 14th and passed on Jan 13th. Pleases convey this to all the members that you know and non-members alike. Sam himself is chanting daily and says that when he does he feels his Dad's presence, as indeed we all do, and always will.