1. What animals or people have you excluded from your list of beautiful beings? Why?

2. Kenneth Leong finds “liberation, oneness, stillness and harmony” in watching a man with a kite. What do these qualities have to do with beauty?

3. Many people get great pleasure from looking for shells and stones on the beach. What is an activity that brings you similar beauty and pleasure?

4. What struck you about the idea of finding God or mystery in onions?

5. Were you able to imagine traffic as gorgeous? Try reframing an experience you find unattractive and see what it does for your next experience of it.

6. What obstacles do you place in your way from seeing loveliness all around you? What could you use to remind you to see beauty in everyday life?

7. What beautiful acts stand out in your mind?

8. Share your responses to Macrina Wiederkehr's image of God as a mother "opening our eyes to beauty."

Possible Practices

1. In the film beauty is defined as "God's handwriting." At the end of each day, list three beautiful things you have noticed. Try to include unusual beauties, like the red onion, the ant, or the child helping another..

2. Make an effort to leave behind traces of beauty in your actions. Name them and claim them in order to reinforce your intention. Don't be afraid to say, "That was a beautiful thing to do."

3. Identify a spiritual message in a object, piece of food, or animal you encounter. Share your spiritually literate "reading" with a family member or friend. Often, we are hesitant to talk about the deeper meanings we discover in the world around us for fear of sounding too "woo-woo." Only through practice can we get over that hesitation, and yet, when we do, others may share their own examples of spiritual literacy.

Visit the Beauty homepage for more ways to practice this spiritual quality. Follow the links in the left column to:

  • a collection of quotations on compassion
  • book recommendations
  • book excerpts and teaching stories
  • film recommendations
  • music and art meditations
  • a daily cue, reminder, vow, and blessing for compassion
  • a prayer or mantra
  • personal explorations including imagery and journal exercises
  • practices and spiritual exercises
  • questions for discussion, storytelling, sharing
  • take action with household, group, and community projects
  • and more

Prepared by Persephone Zill with contributions from Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat