1. What particular act of kindness by a stranger has made the largest impact on you?

2. When have you performed an act of kindness that impacted someone else in a big way?

3. Have you ever performed an act of kindness for something in nature, like the woman who put out lint for the birds to use in their nests? What did you do and what was the response?

4. React to the story of the man who held the woman’s hand while she was dying? Could you see yourself performing such an act?

6. Share an experience of someone who listened deeply to you. Describe how it made you feel.

7. Who have you known that has practiced kindness in unconventional ways such as the man singing to the corpses?

8. Explore why the blacksmith was already considered to be in the Kingdom of Heaven during his life. Are you in your life?

Possible Practices

1. Pay attention to both giving and receiving kindness over the next few days. Watch for kindnesses from strangers, to animals, to someone in pain, through what you do at work or around your house.

2. Try being a little kinder to yourself and see how it feels.

3. Choose one of your daily activities to remind yourself regularly to practice kindness?

4. Do an anonymous act of kindness in your neighborhood in honor of those who plant trees for future generations or collect broken glass on the beach.

5. Journal about an experience of kindness that helped you through a particularly difficult time.

Visit the Kindness 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