1. When and where have you had a sense of participation with the whole Universe? Describe.

2. Share some examples of reverential thinking or reverential actions from your own life.

3. Have you experienced someone who prays through their actions like the Rabbi tying his shoes so deliberately?

4. How could you revere your body in ways that you might with some other sacred object?

5. Share your responses to Thich Nhat Hanh’s concept that “respect for things in nature will help us to recognize the noblest in ourselves.”

6. How might your closest relationships change if you viewed them as sacred adventures as Joyce Carol Oates suggests?

7. Did the woman tending so delicately to the dead swan make an impression on you? Could you ever do such a thing?

8. How does your view of the world change if you view everything as a “network of mutuality?”

Possible Practices

1. Pay attention to how reverence shows up for you toward the people, places, animals and things in your life.

2. As you clean or straighten up this week, pay attention to the objects in front of you, the textures of the things you touch, the feelings of contact with the space and the satisfaction of completing a task with a smile on your face. See how doing daily chores with reverence can transform your view of them.

3. Journal about how you might revere yourself more and how practicing self love and awareness could have a ripple affect onto all those around you.

Visit the Reverence 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