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Bringing Your True Self to Your Relationships

Photo by Ikeda Center.

by Mitch Bogen
Special to the Tribune 

The Ikeda Center hosted a Dialogue Nights event on April 5 that had the highest attendance since the pandemic. Called “Navigating Relationships: Can I Really Be My True Self With Others?,” the event welcomed nearly 70 Boston-area university students and young professionals, the majority of whom were first-time attendees.

The first dialogue activity of the night was called the “True Self Barometer,” which asked participants to gauge the presence of their true self in a range of common relationships.

One of the key insights that emerged was that when things are going well, people can be their true selves with family and friends. As one participant put it: “They’ve seen me at my worst and they’ve seen me at my best. So I may as well just be as true to myself around them as I can, because they’ve never judged me.”

The evening featured reflections from two Ikeda Center youth committee members. Both indicated that it was often a challenge for them to bring what they felt was their true self to many of their important relationships.

The first speaker, Saloni Dev, talked about how she struggles with expressing empathy for her mother although deep down in her true self, she does feel it. Her goal is to bring forth her true self by finding the courage to communicate more authentically with those in her life.

The next speaker, Anna Lane, shared how she dealt with her insecurities at work by fully committing to the achievement of a key project. She quoted Daisaku Ikeda’s insight that “the risk of failure is part of trying. If you never attempt to do anything, you’ll never fail,” suggesting that it is the true self that will take this risk.

Another highlight of the evening was the unveiling of the Ikeda Center’s nine new ground rules for genuine dialogue, all of which were inspired by Mr. Ikeda’s dialogic ethos. They include such guidance as: “We will work together to create a safe space where we can be vulnerable and imperfect” and “We will embrace new perspectives with the openness that we may not always be right.”

—For more on the event, visit the Ikeda Center website at

May 17, 2024, World Tribune, p. 4

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