On March 6, 2010, the Ikeda Center hosted a panel discussion celebrating Into Full Flower: Making Peace Cultures Happen, the latest book from the Center's Dialogue Path Press. The event honored the inspiring examples of the books coauthors, Elise Boulding and Daisaku Ikeda, true pioneers of twentieth-century peace building. Panelists included Boulding's eldest son Russell Boulding; her biographer Mary Lee Morrison (above); and Virginia Benson, senior research fellow at the Ikeda Center. The speakers revealed that Boulding, an American Quaker, and Ikeda, a Japanese Buddhist, each exhibit the qualities of fearlessness and dedication in equal measure.
Democracy, says Daisaku Ikeda, is "a way of life whose purpose is to enable people to achieve spiritual autonomy, live in mutual respect, and enjoy happiness. It can be understood as an expression of human wisdom deployed toward a goal of harmonious coexistence. It is in this sense that it can be understood as a universal principal." With this understanding in mind, we will explore "The Democratic Spirit" during 2010. Our investigation will culminate with the 7th Annual Ikeda Forum for Intercultural Dialogue, this year scheduled for November 6. Speakers will explore the democratic spirit as envisioned by Walt Whitman (above), Martin Luther King Jr., Jane Addams, and others.
Learn more about "The Democratic Spirit" in the Current Focus section of our website! >>
In his annual peace proposal to the United Nations, titled
"Toward a New Era of Value Creation" and released in January, Center founder Daisaku Ikeda calls for action in the cause of a world without nuclear weapons. He also expresses concern that the economic crisis will lead to "a slowing or scaling back of international cooperative efforts to respond to the complex array of global issues, including poverty and environmental destruction." Without strong resolve, Ikeda warns, we might enter "a vicious cycle in which crisis gives rise to pessimism, which in turn exacerbates crisis." As always, he confirms our ability to contribute to the well-being of our global community.