Re: [shinlist] books, II
- In a message dated 11/25/02 7:51:42 PM Pacific Standard Time, bombu@... writes:
Can you tell me
your other favourites and maybe why you liked them? I'm getting
ready to order some more books and would appreciate your
The following are also books that I highly value:
The Monk Who Dared: An Historical Novel About Shinran, by Ruth M. Tabrah. I was expecting not to like this book very much, but once I started reading I found it to be quite captivating. Being that I am very visually inclined, reading this book was, for me, almost like being there.
Shin Sutras To Live By: a new century publication, edited by Ruth Tabrah and Shoji Matsumoto. I find these translations of Shin personal service readings incredibly well done. The translators have done a masterful job at translating items like the Sanbutsuge, Juseige and Eko into English in a way that is relevant to the modern mind and stylistically elegant. I use these translations in my personal morning and evening services.
Naturalness: A Classic of Shin Buddhism, by Kenryo Kanamatsu. I don't know how to describe this little gem. It will take a number of readings for me to grasp the full impact of this small book.
Ocean: An Introduction to Jodo-Shinshu Buddhism in America, by Kenneth K. Tanaka. definitely one of my top favorites. This is the book that I would give to a person interested in Shin, but who knows little, if anything about it. Especially, if that individual is a Christian.
Shoshinge: the heart of Shin Buddhism, by Dr. Alfred Bloom. A good overview of the Pure Land Tradition of Buddhism culminating in Shin. It is one of the first books that I read. Dr. Bloom got my attention early on.
Buddha of Infinite Light: The Teachings of Shin Buddhism, The Japanese Way of Wisdom and Compassion, by D.T. Suzuki.
Tariki: Embracing Despair, Discovering Peace, by Hiroyuki Itsuki. This book elicited an interesting reaction from me when I began reading it. It really pissed me off! So much so, that I set it aside with the intent of not finishing it. For some reason or other, later on that day, I felt compelled to pick it up and start from where I left off. I finished the book off in about an hour. This book really shook me up. Eventually, I will read it again, but this time slowly and meditatively, the way it was intended to be read.
Honen Shonin and Buddhism, by Sho-on Hattory. This small book is a pretty good introduction to the life and teachings of Honin Shonin, Shinran Shonin's teacher. Like the Shin book, Ocean, it does a very good job on explaining Jodo Shu to a contemporary non-Japanese audience.
Renegade Monk: Honen and Japanese Pure Land Buddhism, by Soho Machida. The best work in English, so far, on the life and times of Honen Shonen. A well written scholarly work which I found hard to put down.
No Abode: The Record of Ippen, by Dennis Hirota. This marvelous book is on the life and teachings of Ippen, who practiced dancing Nembutsu and founded the Jishu tradition of Pure Land Buddhism. This is definitely my all time favorite book on Pure Land Buddhism outside of the Shin Tradition itself. It is so full of quotables, that I would not know where to begin. The following gives a good idea of what he was about:
"While I was in retreat at Kumaro, I received a revelation that declared:
'Make no judgments about the nature of your heart and mind. Since this mind is delusional, both when it is good and when it is evil, it cannot be essential for emancipation. Namu-amida-butsu itself is born.'
At that time I abandoned my own intentions and aspirations of self-power once and for all." (From the Introduction.)
Hope this short list is of some help.
never to be abandoned,