” ‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.”

These are emotionally trying times. With the coronavirus pandemic lasting longer than many people expected, the only thing most of us can do is stay home to try to halt the spread of infection. However, sheltering in place feels frustrating similar to doing nothing, and the combined psychological effects of helplessness and isolation are taking a toll on many people’s mental state.

At times like this, spiritual leaders can be a source of strength, and one such figure who’s stepping up is Eishin, a Buddhist monk in Akita Prefecture, located in Japan’s northeastern Tohoku region. In a special video message posted to his Twitter account (@namagusaeishin), Eishin reminds everyone that as bleak as things might feel right now, eventually they’re going to get better. However, he doesn’t deliver this message through solemn sutras or stoic meditation…

…but by single-handedly covering Bob Marley’s reggae classic “Three Little Birds,” the chorus of which says (and Eishin sings):

“Don’t worry about a thing, ’cause every little thing gonna be all right.”

The cover is a composite of six videos Eishin filmed of himself, but you’ll notice he’s only using a pop music instrument in the top middle frame, where he’s strumming an acoustic guitar. For the others, Eishin is making music with his temple’s traditional Buddhist chimes and drums, including a mokugyo, and even recording the sessions in the temple’s main hall. Most unique of all, in the top right frame he’s using the clacking of his prayer beads to add an extra line of percussion to the arrangement.

This isn’t Eishin’s first musical endeavor, though, as he’s actually the leader or a Buddhist reggae group called Eishin and The Meditationalies.

He’s also recently posted a solo performance of a new song he’s just finished, titled “Kaban.”

But it’s Eishin’s Marley cover that’s getting the most love online right now, with reactions such as:

“It’s wonderful how some temples are becoming more relaxed places, with yoga lessons and cafes. I want them to be a place where people feel free to visit.”
“I didn’t even realize when it happened, but watching this video, I’ve got a smile on my face.”
“I could listen to this on loop forever.”
“My wife and I are big Bob Marley fans, and when I showed her this, it brought tears to her eyes.”
“I love how here in Japan we can mix other ideas and things into our view of religion.”

It’s looking like life getting back to normal is going to take some time, but with 1.2 million views are counting, Eishin’s video is making the waiting a little easier for a whole lot of people.

Source: Twitter/@namagusaeishin via Japaaan
Top image: Twitter/@namagusaeishin
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