Skip to main content


Dialogue Nights Explores the Courage To Listen

Photo Courtesy of Ikeda Center.

by Mitch Bogen
Special to the Tribune

The most crucial element of dialogue, listening, is also the most difficult to practice. This was the focus at the most recent Ikeda Center Dialogue Nights, called “The Courage to Listen: What It Means and Why It Matters.”

Held on Friday, Sept. 23, this second Dialogue Nights since the return of in-person events at the Ikeda Center was attended by nearly 30 Boston-area university students and young professionals.

During welcoming remarks, Center Program Manager Lillian I spoke about Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds. She stated that he didn’t merely listen to the world’s sounds but perceived their true significance with the wisdom of his entire being.[1]

The evening featured two speakers, Em Floyd and Ikeda Center youth committee member Sakshi Khurana. Speaking first, Khurana said that as a school counselor she has found it difficult to truly hear someone if she is too focused on what her response will be.

Floyd talked about how emotional family conflicts taught them that their first act of courage would need to be learning to set boundaries and focus on personal well-being, thus creating the ability to fully be there for the other person.

Next, participants shared highlights from their small group dialogues. One said that while patience is important in dialogue, we also need to be flexible, adapting to what the other is saying. Another said that it’s wise to get past the tone of what the other is saying and focus on the content. 

As always, the evening concluded with participant take-aways, including the insight that learning to listen to one’s self might take the most courage of all.

—Visit for in-depth coverage of the event. 


  1. See The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, vol. 6, p. 96. ↩︎

Education For All

LISTEN: Reflections on Music, Tina Turner and Overcoming Obstacles