If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three books related to Buddhism or Buddhist thought would you want with you?
The three books that I would want to have when stranded on a deserted island would be:
1. “Ocean: An Introduction to JodoShinshu Buddhism in America”
2. “River of Fire, River of Water: An Introduction to the Pure Land Tradition of Shin Buddhism” and,
3. “Kyo Gyo Shin Sho,” the Ryukoku Translation Series.
First, the book “Ocean” by Rev. Dr. Ken Tanaka is my favorite book to remind myself of the basics of Shin Buddhism for just ordinary people like me. This book is filled with multiple layers of meaning and discusses topics in an easy-to-understand manner.
Second, the “River of Fire, River of Water” by Dr. Taitetsu Unno is really an explanation of Shinran’s thoughts in relatable situations. This book is also filled with multiple layers of meaning and looks at Shin Buddhism by an American scholar who has
studied deeply into Buddhism.
Third, this book is an unusual choice, but I would love to have time to read and re-read over and over the Ryukoku Translation
Series book which only takes part of Shinran’s own words (and not the long quotations which make up much of the master work).
This book is really to study and understand the depth of Shinran’s thoughts and takes a long time to linger in thought. Unfortunately, this book is out of print and thus not readily available.