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LDC’s Virtual Book Club – Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto

After a hot summer that was shared by many of us across the country, the Living Dharma Centre is ready to invite everyone to another wonderful book for the Virtual Book Club starting mid September.

We introduce our next title: Forgiveness: A Gift from My Grandparents by Mark Sakamoto

This is a beautiful and well written true story of Mark Sakamoto’s grandparents, their survival and forgiveness in dealing with the darkest of times throughout human history when the most unthinkable horrors were be- ing unleashed upon the world: one Canadian Japanese family stripped of their home, livelihood and dignity and one Canadian boy who suffered intensely cruel and depraved hardships at the hands of the Japanese as a POW.

“Deep down, they knew each other. They had both discarded the past, keeping only what they needed, leav- ing the rest behind. They did not compare hardships or measure injustices. They knew there was no merit to that……Breaking down is the easy part. Anyone, at any time, can break down. The act of coming together again is what makes a hero. Moving on, with an open heart, seems, at times, impossible. But it’s not”.

Through delusion, greed and anger the horrors of WWII brought grief and hardship to a huge part of the hu- man race, but as this book so beautifully illustrates and as the Buddha taught, you do not cure hate and anger by returning hate and anger, but by love…..and forgiveness.

This book is the 2018 winner of the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) Radio’s book battle called “Canada Reads” where celebrities from many areas (politics, broadcasting, music, sports, etc.) each promote one book as an important book, written by a Canadian, for all of the country to read. The audience listens to the live debates over several months on the books, chosen by the this year’s theme: “One Book to Open Your Eyes. These books challenge readers to look differently at themselves, their neighbours and the world around them”. The audience then voted on which books should remain in contention for the title of the book that all of Canada should read.

Although the LDC has chosen previous works by Jodo Shinshu scholars as books to read and discuss, this is a departure whereby it explores some of the everyday human aspect of life and conflict and we will apply the Buddha’s Teachings to analyze and view this book and ultimately help us view our own lives through the Teachings.

Forgiveness is available at Chapters/Indigo, Amazon and In ebook format for Kindle and tablets. The Virtual Book Club will be starting up again in September. Watch for further details on the Living Dharma Centre’s Fa- cebook site, our national website ( and in your local temple’s newsletter or website or Facebook group.

If you are new to the Virtual Book Club and interested in joining us you can send an email to Barb at: