January 07, 2011
We were very happy to learn today that Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys, who has been battling cancer for roughly two years, has fully recovered from the disease.
Back in 2009, as the Beastie Boys were gearing up to release their album Hot Sauce Committee Part 1, member Adam Yauch, aka MCA, was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in a parotid (salivary) gland. The group canceled their plans, and Yauch threw himself into the recovery process. But now the BBC reports that fellow Beastie Michael Diamond, better known as Mike D, revealed in an interview with BBC radio host Zane Lowe that Yauch is now cancer-free.
As someone who grew up in New York in the 90's, the Beastie Boys will always hold a special place in my heart. From childhood mischief set to albums like Licensed to Ill and Paul's Boutique to teenage shenanigans at jam-packed concerts, the Beasties scored much of the soundtrack to the crazier days of my youth. Yet somewhere along the way it became clear that there was more to the group than loud music and funny lyrics. With the release of their 1994 album Ill Communication, which contained the songs "Bodhisattva Vow" and "Shambala," Adam Yauch started becoming more vocal about his Buddhist practice. Then, as co-organizers of the Free Tibet Concerts (along with the Milarepa Fund), the Beastie Boys helped bring attention to the Tibetan Independence movement.
As a young Buddhist, Adam Yauch was the only "Buddhist celebrity" I felt I could relate to at all. I was very sad to learn about his cancer.
Last Spring, the Gothamist reported that Adam Yauch Requested Cancer Smashing Vibes from "anyone who is into it." From an email he wrote:
a few friends and i are meditating at the same time twice a day. 9:30am and 6:30pm eastern standard time, for about an hour and half.
we are picturing smashing apart all of the cancer cells in the world.
we are visualizing taking the energy away from the cancer, and then sending it back at the cancer as lightening bolts that will break apart the DNA and RNA of the cells. if you have the time, please join us in whipping up this lightening storm. mind over matter......
The email continues:
if you prefer to sit then sit, but if you are not used to meditating, or sitting quietly doesn't sound like fun, put on some music and dance while you do the visualization, and if you want to do it at some other time, or picture curing some other illness that's fine too. yoko will be joining the meditation by visualizing all of us dancing with joy to celebrate the world without cancer. all variations are welcome. this is really just being done with a wish for all beings to be cured of all illnesses and to find true lasting happiness. i'll also be saying prayers for the earthquake victims in tibet, so join in on that if you can too. please feel free to pass this onto anyone who you think may find it interesting. with all my love, adam yauch
Well, it must have worked because, as was reported by the BBC yesterday, he has made a full recovery! Congratulations Adam!
The Bodhisattva path is one of power and strength
A strength from within to go the length
Seeing others as important as myself
I strive for a happiness of mental wealth
With the interconnectedness that we share as one
Every action we take affects everyone
So in deciding for what a situation calls
There is a path for the good of all
-Adam Yauch, "Bodhisattva Vow"
Clich here to read Tricycle's interview with Adam from our Winter 1994 issue.