Buddhism Through the Looking Glass: How the Practice Helped Me Discover My True Self and Raise Self-Reflective Kids in Pursuit of Their Dreams


  • Tricia Elam Walker Howard University


SGI, Nichiren Buddhism, parenting, spiritual practice, self-reflection, Soka Gakkai, children


As a Soka Gakkai International-USA (SGI-USA) Buddhist, I have practiced Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism for over 30 years. This essay focuses on my journey of raising three children—two sons (39, 33) and a daughter (29)—two of whom were “fortune babies” or born to parents who practiced this type of Buddhism. I will cover several Buddhist core beliefs and discuss how instrumental they were in my raising children to become capable, successful young Black people on the path to achieving their dreams.

My essay will also discuss the “mentor-disciple relationship” which is at the core of how to live one’s life with beauty, energy, creativity, and passion. Additionally, I will explore how the Buddhist concept of human revolution—a process of reflection and self-reformation—enables one to see his/her/their true self and ultimately transform into an enlightened person. Human revolution guarantees practitioners “absolute freedom,” based on establishing a strong independent self, thus making it a particularly invaluable practice for people of African descent.

Author Biography

Tricia Elam Walker, Howard University

Tricia Elam Walker is the award-winning author of an adult novel, two children’s books, essays, short stories and plays. She is also an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Howard University in Washington, DC.


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