News & Blog

Robert Thurman

[New, from our archives, 5-9-13] Columbia University’s Robert Thurman served as a commentator on Center founder Daisaku Ikeda’s lecture, “Peace and Human Security: A Buddhist Perspective for the Twenty-first Century,” delivered at the East-West Center in Honolulu on January 26, 1995. At that time, Professor Thurman met with the Center’s staff to share these views on education, human freedom, and UN reform.

How do you view the role of education in society, and what influenced your thinking on the subject?

RT: I think the question should...

Bin Song

[Posted 4-20-13] The first topic considered during the two-hour, April 6 seminar with Profs. Garrison and Hickman was how to transform our lesser self and come to recognize and foster our greater self. In Buddhism, the former is associated with selfish desires and the latter with compassion and empathy. Garrison, who is Professor of Philosophy of Education at Virginia Tech University, observed that Daisaku Ikeda articulates an important perspective by insisting that “in striving to discover the greater self, the genuine Buddhist approach is not to try to...

[Posted 4-16-13] Yesterday’s destructive and tragic events at the Boston Marathon weigh heavily on all of us. Our hearts and our prayers are with those who have been injured and with the families who have lost loved ones. We deeply appreciate the many encouraging messages we have received from friends throughout the world.
 
We are reminded by these fateful events how very important it is to keep moving forward in the spirit of dialogue and tolerance, especially in times like these. The Center’s founder has said, "Everything is born from hope."...

Hickman-Garrison 4-6-13 Seminar

[Posted 4-10-13] We must embrace the obligation and opportunity of multiple modes of dialogue if we are to achieve fulfilling lives and the peaceful and creative global community that is desired by diverse peoples of good will worldwide. This was the message of a wide-ranging discussion hosted at the Center on Saturday, April 6, as Professors Jim Garrison and Larry Hickman were on hand to engage with a gathering of national and Boston-area university students on themes drawn from the book A New Humanism: The University Lectures of Daisaku Ikeda. We...

David T. Hansen

[Posted by M. Bogen, 4-1-13] Valued friend of the Center David T. Hansen of Teachers College, Columbia University, edited our 2007 multi-author book Ethical Visions of Education: Philosophies in Practice. His most recent book is The Teacher and the World: A Study of Cosmopolitanism as Education (Routledge, 2011). I thought I would share some of his vision of cosmopolitanism as a mode of being an active participant in our ever-changing world. A little background: Cosmopolitanism as a...

Lou Marinoff at the Harvard Coop

[Posted 3-22-13] On the evening of Wednesday, March 20, Dr. Lou Marinoff spoke at the Harvard Coop, Harvard University's official bookstore, in support of The Inner Philosopher, the dialogue book he recently co-authored with Daisaku Ikeda. He reprised many of the themes he introduced at the September 21, 2012, book launch event held at the Ikeda Center's Cambridge lecture hall. Topics included: philosophy's twin responsibilities of healing and the cultivation of virtues; the insight of Epictetus that “people are disturbed not by things but by the...

Rosa Parks

[Posted by M. Bogen, 2-19-13] Black History Month, says NYT columnist Charles Blow, is the perfect time to understand Rosa Parks in all her complexity. Citing a new book by Jeanne Theoharis called The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, he explains in his February 1, 2013, column why Ms. Parks was so much more than the mythologized "meek seamstress with aching feet who just happened into history in a moment of uncalculated resistance." For example, Blow tells us that Parks "spent nearly two decades before the bus incident struggling, organizing and...

[Posted by M. Bogen, 2-12-13] A reader recently contacted me to see if we were familiar with the work of Dr. Jonathan Shay, who lives and works, as we do, in the Boston area. I confessed that I, at least, was not, but soon investigated and found that Dr. Shay is not only an expert on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but is also at the forefront of helping us understand the "moral injury" that afflicts many of those who have experienced war as soldiers. In the introduction to an illuminating...

Denise Levertov

[Posted 2-8-13] With the launch of our new site we took the opportunity to create a section that celebrates poems that capture and invoke the spirit of peace and harmony. We've started by posting poems that have featured prominently in our public events, including works by Langston Hughes, Walt Whitman, and Denise Levertov (shown here). We also feature Daisaku Ikeda's major poem "The Triumph of the Human Spirit," which he wrote in 2006 to celebrate and serve as the Preface for our book Creating Waldens. We will continue to add to this section as we...

[Posted by M. Bogen, 2-1-13] In doing some research for our upcoming book featuring Daisaku Ikeda in dialogue with historian Vincent Harding, I came across this wonderful, concise summary of the four dimensions of the philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr. posted at the King Center website. In addition to a discussion of what King called "the triple evils" of poverty, racism, and militarism," this resource lists the six principles of nonviolence (for example, "nonviolence is a way of life for people of courage"), and the six steps of nonviolent social change (...

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