using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : July 2019
“Most people misunderstand emptiness, thinking it means to destroy, or to ignore, our existence. This is a big mistake. Emptiness is not negative. Emptiness is letting go of fixed ideas you have had in order to go beyond them.”) Is that what Shorter had in mind? “Yeah,” he concedes, even suggesting that his rogue philosopher is a corollary to the Buddha him- self. But there’s also a classic comic-book function in play: big dreaming. Emanon, Shorter says, “kind of takes the reader and the listener into a place where they begin to wonder about their life—the days and weeks—and about being afraid. They begin to think about taking chances, and then start to take action. “If a kid wants to be like Superman, a grownup might want to be like Emanon, you know?” EMANON ORIGIN STORY, TAKE 2 IT ALL STARTED, IN A WAY, because of bassist Buster Williams. It was in 1972, and he was onstage holding things down, as he always did, providing the bottom end for Mwandishi, the jazz/funk/world hybrid led by Herbie Hancock. But then Williams took a solo that Hancock would never forget. “I was hearing notes fly all over the place, and wondering how in the world he could do all that on a four-stringed instrument,” the bandleader recalls in his memoir, Possibilities. Having heard that Wil- liams was “into some new philosophy or something,” he asked the bassist to let him in on whatever secret had set his creativity so free. Williams was only too happy to oblige. Williams’ “secret” was that he’d taken up Nichiren Buddhism, and its central practice of chanting Nam- myoho-renge-kyo, the title (or daimoku) of the Lotus Sutra. Founder Nichiren Daishonin (1222–1282) had insisted that the Lotus Sutra was the Buddha’s highest teaching, and the daimoku its distillation. By steadfastly chanting it, practitioners could realize its wisdom in their lives. Just as Williams had, Hancock passed the practice on, this time to Ana Maria Shorter, the wife of his buddy and fellow Davis alumnus, Wayne Shorter. “I saw Herbie and Ana Maria putting a box on the wall,” Shorter remembers. “I said, ‘What’re you doing?’ And they said, ‘Oh, we have something this Buddhist monk says opens you up.’” The box was a Nichiren Buddhist shrine, which contains the Gohonzon, a scroll and object of devotion to be faced while chanting. Ana Maria Shorter dove in, chanting regu- larly. Wayne Shorter, a lover of sound if ever there was one, enjoyed hearing the chant as it sounded through their home, but mostly stayed at a safe remove, only dabbling now and then. “ Time goes by, maybe three or six months,” Shorter remembers. “I saw my wife going to practice, and I sat beside her and said, ‘Show me what you’re doing.’ Because by now Ana Maria and Herbie had said to me, ‘Why don’t you try it out for your daughter’s sake?’” That daughter, Iska, had been born in 1969, when Shorter was forty. Deeply, unquestionably loved, Iska nonetheless represented a challenge: having sustained brain damage just weeks after her birth, she required a high degree of medical and parental attention. Help- ing Ana Maria Shorter ground herself had, in fact, been why Hancock introduced her to the practice. Wayne Shorter increasingly saw the practice was helping his wife—and now he was being cajoled into trying it, with Iska in mind. “ That nailed it,” he says. “All my walls came down. What happened to me was a letting go of false think- ing. False to myself. Or misleading, let’s put it that way.” Still, he remained uncommitted. The next year, though, Shorter found himself in Japan on tour with Weather Report, the game- changing jazz–fusion outfit he’d founded with pia- nist Joe Zawinul. There—again, thanks to his wife and Hancock’s intervention—Shorter met drummer and Nichiren practitioner Nobu Urushiyama, who took Shorter to his family’s home for three days of R & R, which happened to include a deep dive into Buddhist texts. Suddenly feeling all in, Shorter let Urushiyama take him to a temple outside Tokyo, where he formally became a Nichiren practitioner, and the two proceeded to an event featuring Daisaku Ikeda, leader of the modern Nichiren organization, Soka Gakkai International. Ikeda and Shorter’s eyes met, and there was a knowing, a familiarity there. As Michelle Mercer recounts in her terrific Shorter biography, Footprints, it had been like “Ikeda was saying, I know what I’m going to do. I know what you’re going to do. So let’s do it together.” All these years later, Hancock and Shorter remain collaborators, most recently as co-authors of the inspiring manifesto “To the Next Generation of Artists,” collected in Lion’s Roar’s best-of publica- tion Awaken Your Heart & Mind. So too do Shorter and Ikeda, promoting Nichiren Buddhism and, with Hancock, releasing the book Reaching Beyond: Improvisations on Jazz, Buddhism, and a Joyful Life. PHOTOBYHERITAGEIMAGEPARTNERSHIPLTD/ALAMYSTOCKPHOTO LION’S ROAR | JULY 2019 60