Rev. Unno's book "Shin Buddhism: Bits of Rubble Turn Into Gold" is essentially a follow-up work to his wonderful introductory text "River of Fire, River of Water". But while that work provided an overview of Shin Buddhism in of itself, this work provides a broader view of how Shin Buddhism affects the lives of those who practice it, as well as exploring the deeper issues of the Nembutsu-faith.
Weaving a complex yet easily-understood tapestry from personal experience, anecdotes, Pure Land teachings, and philosophical insight, Rev. Unno unfurls an examination of the depth and breadth of impact of Jodo Shinshu in peoples' lives. This school of Mahayana Buddhism, Jodo Shinshu, is essentially a Buddhism for the common man, emphasizing faith in the "other power" of Amida Buddha as its central tenet, as opposed to the complex battery of practices eschewed by other (and more familiar to the West) schools of Buddhism. A branch of the Pure Land school which was formed in the early 13th century in Japan, Jodo Shinshu emphasizes the "true entrusting" in Amida, the embodiment of wisdom and compassion from which all Buddhist thought emanates. And while this form of Buddhism is largely unknown in the West outside of the ethnic Japanese community, it is a powerful...and easily-accessible...path among the 84,000 Paths to Enlightenment as the diverse streams of religious and philosophical thought are known in Buddhism.
Rev. Unno here shows us how this faith affects those who accept it, and why. Just as "River of Fire..." explained the 'what' of Jodo Shinshu, "Bits of Rubble..." explains the 'how' in like manner...which is clear, concise, and readily-understandable. As a text for both beginners/explorers and those steeped in the faith, it succeeds at delivering meaningful messages and points on which to ponder. I would suggest reading "River of Fire, River of Water" before this, as there seems to be something of a continuity from that book's information and manner of imparting it into this one's. But do read this one after that to gain valuable insight into what Shin brings into peoples' lives. Like that prior book, I recommend this one without hesitation.