1. Where have you expected something in return for your own giving?

2. Who in your life best demonstrates gratitude? What can you learn from their attitude or actions?

3. Share your reactions to the story of the girl picking flowers from the church yard. Do you agree with how the mother handled it? Why or why not?

4. What would you do if you knew this was your last day of life?

5. Have you ever rehearsed your life story just in case someone asks? What do you feel most grateful for?

6. What everyday things such as bedroom slippers or a comfortable chair or an enticing novel are you grateful for?

7. What rituals of gratitude do you have to mark life’s transitions?

8. When was the last time you noticed running water, electricity or heat in your home?

9. What obstacles does our culture present such as feel bad advertising that serve as a road block to having gratitude?

Possible Practices

1. Pay attention to what you are grateful for this week rather than what is bothering you.

2. What items could you put around your home to remind you of what you are grateful for?

3. Experiment with a gratitude practice such as thanking your big toes in the shower or ending your day with a list of things you are grateful for.

4. Journal about an experience that at first seemed traumatic which in time you came to understand as a blessing.

Visit the Gratitude 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