Discussion Questions, Storytelling, Sharing

  • In German the word "beautiful" is related to shining. A beautiful person is one whose inner brilliance permeates his or her entire being. Tell your family or friends about your most memorable encounter with a person who was shining.
  • Share a story about a beautiful place that comforted, restored, or inspired you.
  • Recall a time when a work of art revealed to you the intrinsic beauty in something you had considered ugly or disagreeable. What does this experience reveal about the nature of beauty?
  • Did your parents encourage your appreciation of beauty? What did they do? How is this quality honored in your present home?

Imagery Exercise

This exercise, "Walk in Beauty," is based on a Navajo prayer.

Close your eyes. Breathe out three long, slow exhalations.

See and sense beauty before you. . . . See and sense beauty behind you. . . . See and sense beauty above you. . . . See and sense beauty below you. . . . See and sense beauty all around you.

Breathe out one time. See and feel yourself walking in beauty. . . . Know that it is finished in beauty. How are you feeling?

Breathe out again and open your eyes.

Journal Exercises

  • For one week, or seven entries, describe and react to beauties: (1) a beauty experienced in childhood, (2) a beauty experienced at school or work, (3) a beauty in nature, (4) a beauty in your home, (5) a surprising beauty, (6) something most people consider to be beautiful, (7) something few people consider to be beautiful.
  • Read Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem "Pied Beauty" (reprinted in most collections). Write about the beauty of (1) a dappled thing, (2) the gear, tackle, and trim of a trade, (3) something counter, (4) something original, (5) something spare, (6) something strange, and (7) something fickle.