1. Have you ever found yourself through service to others? How does nurturing others become a rich spiritual experience for you?

2. How has nurturing the earth nurtured you?

3. How do you work to nurture your relationships? Do you feed others and/or are you fed?

4. How has an animal nurtured you?

5. Do you have a source of inspiration (song, poem, Bible passage, object, place) to which you often return? How does it strengthen you?

6. What everyday tasks do you find to be nourishing? How do you explain your response to them?

7. How do you nurture and receive nurturing through touch?

8. What specific practices do you do to nurture yourself so that you can better nurture others?

Possible Practices

1. Observe the Sabbath, either a full day, or an hour during a day when you stop doing your habitual activities and rest.

2. Give yourself some extra pampering — a bath, a massage, or an afternoon nap. Does the suggestion feel too indulgent?

3. Journal about how you might nurture an animal or something in nature.

4. Find a volunteer project where you can support others in their self-care.

Visit the Nurturing 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