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On September 24, 1993, Daisaku Ikeda lectured at Harvard University on the topic, "Mahayana Buddhism and 21st Century Civilization." Speaking at the invitation of eminent Harvard faculty Harvey Cox, John Kenneth Galbraith, and Nur Yalman, Mr. Ikeda outlined many of the themes that would inspire the founding of the Center later that year. These themes include: the wisdom of recognizing the cyclical continuity of life and death, providing a more balanced vision of existence; the necessity of ending our excessive focuses on our differences as humans; the benefit of judging religious practices...

The publication of Peace Justice, and the Poetic Mind, co-authored by Stuart Rees and Daisaku Ikeda, provides a nice opportunity to highlight our section devoted to poems on peace-related themes. It features works from fifteen poets, ranging from Emily Dickinson to Kahlil Gibran, Sonia Sanchez to Wendell Berry. Both Rees and Ikeda are poets, and the section features contributions from each. The Rees poem is called ...

On July 27th, nearly sixty university students and young professionals turned out for the seventh Ikeda Center Dialogue Nights, this time on the theme of “Breaking Gender Stereotypes: Revealing Our True Nature.” To open, Ikeda Center Program Manager Lillian I welcomed everyone and explained how the thinking of Center founder Daisaku Ikeda helped shape the evening’s approach to the topic. She said that for Mr. Ikeda, the “important thing is not that society come up with a particular model for how men and women ought to behave, but that people first and foremost make tenacious effort to live...

Dialogue Nights - apathy epidemic

The enthusiasm evident at the Ikeda Center’s third Dialogue Nights event of 2018, held on May 18, belied the evening’s organizing topic: “The Apathy Epidemic.” Instead, the energetic presence of more than forty Boston-area university students and young professionals modeled a compelling answer to the evening’s subtheme, which asked: “What Is the Cure?” The evening was a collaboration between the Ikeda Center and Massachusetts Peace Action (MAPA) Next Gen. Read an in-depth article on the event here!

Catrina Whitman

On April 21, we hosted our first-ever student-led peace dialogue. The topic was nuclear weapons abolition. In preparation for the event, the students had been encouraged by peace educators Betty Reardon and Zeena Zakharia to ask generative questions of themselves and others about nuclear abolition. In so doing, they deepened their thinking about the topic and increased their motivation to act. "No one is an expert," said Dr. Reardon. "We are here to learn together!" During the event, the students shared findings from their research and led small group discussions on...

The occasion of fifty years passing since the tragic, wasteful assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., has inspired an abundance of valuable commentary on Dr. King's legacy. Chief among the points being made is that it wasn't race or civil rights per se that brought King to Memphis, but a sanitation workers strike. His decision to appear and speak on behalf of the workers was of a piece with his growing commitment to what he and others were calling the Poor People's Campaign. The logic behind the campaign was that the creation of the "beloved community" involved the seeking of justice and...

By Mitch Bogen

What better time than now, with polarization and division so ascendant, to celebrate our shared humanity? With this spirit of optimism, on March 23rd the Ikeda Center hosted its second dialogue night event of 2018, this time called “Learning to Live Together: Rediscovering Our Fundamental Connectedness.”

In her welcoming remarks, the Center’s Lillian I shared that the theme was inspired by Daisaku Ikeda’s 2018 peace proposal, which she said “emphasizes the need for people, governments, and leaders to embrace and recognize the fact that every...

Know Nukes panel

On Saturday, March 10, the Ikeda Center’s program coordinator, Lillian I, participated in Massachusetts Peace Action (MAPA) Next Gen’s first event, “Know Nukes.” Lillian (left) joined a panel alongside Max Tegmark (right) from the Future of Life Institute and Michelle Cunha (center) of MAPA to discuss the current state of nuclear weapons, nuclear disarmament, the mentality behind nuclear...

Betty Reardon

The Ikeda Center’s February 2018 student seminar on the topic of nuclear weapons abolition didn’t proceed according to a schedule. Rather, it proceeded with what facilitators Betty Reardon, a pioneer in peace education and feminist studies, and Zeena Zakharia, Assistant Professor of International and Comparative Education at UMass Boston, identified as a “learning sequence.” That is to say, the daylong event was carefully structured in order to elicit from students their considered impressions of the major obstacles to nuclear weapons abolition, and then to help them visualize a clear...

Daisaku Ikeda's 2018 Peace Proposal emphasizes that a "human rights" focus provides the "key to resolving global issues and abolishing nuclear weapons," not least because it can help "overcome social divides." Celebrating last year's adoption in the UN of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was followed by the awarding of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Mr. Ikeda urges us to be optimistic about advancing the cause of global peace in the year to come. "The challenge of creating the new reality of a global society," he...

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