Dialogue Nights Explores the Greater Self

By Mitch Bogen SPECIAL TO THE TRIBUNE IKEDA —Visit for in-depth coverage of the event.

It was fitting that the first public event of the Ikeda Center’s 30th anniversary year was a Dialogue Nights gathering. After all, there is no activity or ethos more central to the life and body of work of the center’s founder, Daisaku Ikeda, than dialogue, in all its forms.

To honor the anniversary, each Dialogue Nights gathering this year will focus on a theme drawn from Mr. Ikeda’s 1993 Harvard lecture, “Mahayana Buddhism and 21st Century Civilization,” which is the center’s founding lecture.

Called “Bringing Forth Our Greater Self: How Do We Do It?,” the Feb. 17 gathering featured more than 50 Bostonarea university students and young professionals exploring this compelling theme.

The event was moderated by Preandra Noel, the Ikeda Center’s program and office assistant, who set the stage with this key thought from the lecture. “I am firmly convinced” stated Mr. Ikeda, “that a largescale awakening to the greater self will lead to a world of creative coexistence in the coming century.”1

Over the course of two dialogue activities, participants offered insights that revealed both the challenges and benefits of seeking to engage with life from the place of the greater self.

The main thread of discussion concerned understanding and actualizing the most value-creative relationship between the lesser and greater self. During an extended exchange, participants agreed that living from the greater self and “always seeking to alleviate the pain of others,” as Mr. Ikeda urges in the lecture, requires us also to attend to self-care.

During closing remarks, Program Manager Lillian I referenced the youth appeal written by Mr. Ikeda and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, quoting their conviction that “there is no challenge that cannot be resolved if we unite in solidarity.”2

“A large-scale awakening to the greater self will lead to a world of creative coexistence in the coming century.”





The World Tribune