1. Have you experienced the same problems showing up in different people or situations in your life? Share an example.

2. What judgments do you make of others that might be your own “dirty streaks on the window?”

3. Give an example of how working with shadow qualities such as greed, anger, and fear have actually freed you from their hold?

4. What might you find unsung or unsaid if you took a trip down your own throat?

5. How do you feel when you see homeless people on the street? Does their desperation trigger anything in you?

6. When have you experienced the hunter in you like the crocodile laying in wait?

7. Have you ever had a moment with other living beings where you realized the interconnection of all beings?

8. What could “humming the shadow home” look like? How might you explore the darker hidden traits of yourself?

Possible Practices

1. Pay attention to your shadow qualities this week. Try seeing if you can allow yourself to accept them more even though they make you uncomfortable.

2. Consider ways you could expand your own self awareness.

3. Journal about the parts of yourself you routinely try to deny or run from and what gifts they could offer you if you opened to them.

4. Think about someone you know who is accepting of their shadow traits. Ask them how they learned to love all of themselves and what they do when they are triggered by shadow issues and feelings.

Visit the Shadow 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