Essays of a Shinshu Priest
By Reverend Gerald Sakamoto
The inspiration for the title of this book comes from the words of Shinran in "Notes on Essentials of Faith Alone." Shinran says, "This is a metaphor. When we entrust ourselves to the Tathagata's Primal Vow, we, who are like bits of tile and pebbles, are turned into gold..."
Through 12 short essays Reverend Sakamoto shares his reflections on a variety of personal experiences viewed through the transformative nature of the nembutsu teachings. One of the essays is "Lab Coats and Light Speed" about the importance of determining for ourselves what is true. Another one is "A Thousand Cranes" in which the reader learns about a relative in Japan, who despite all the suffering he has endured having survived the bombing of Hiroshima, he is happy with his life. Each essay reminds us that when we look deeply into ordinarly experiences we find the nembutsu teachings. The book is also filled with stunning color photographs of nature taken by Reverend Sakamoto.