Finding Our Innerspace

I liked this painting and the caption:

Innerspace


There is outer space.


And there is innerspace. 


Outer space is the universe, the cosmos, the galaxies, the solar systems, the stars, and the planets–it’s the big picture of what is all around us.


Innerspace is the our soul, conscience, thoughts, feelings, who we are, and what we’re all about–it’s the infinity of what makes us up and what’s inside each of us. 


The perspective is infinitely big as we look upward and outward to the heavens, and infinitely small as we zoom inside ourselves to the subatomic levels. 


The innerspace makes me think of mindfulness, meditation, and finding purpose, meaning, truth, and inner peace. 


Our search for self is really the intersection of outer- and innerspace.


We are but a speck of dust and yet we have the power to do such immense good.  


It’s a contradiction that is so powerful–for who are we that G-d is mindful of us and cares for us and gives us the power to choose good from evil. 


Yet that is exactly our world and our place in it–and this is where we find innerspace in all of outer space. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Simple and Beautiful

Thought this was a nice touch on the table. 


Just a simple drinking glass with a little water on the bottom and these three beautiful flowers inside. 


Pink, Yellow, Orange. 


So simple, yet so beautiful.


Maybe that’s the point. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Breaking The Bounds Of This World Thinking

Meditation.jpegMeditation 2.jpeg

Coming from the Metro, someone stopped me and gave me this card for meditation, and I thought it was really insightful. 

“Changing the human mind to infinite universe mind”

Our minds are constrained by our mortality, materialism, and physical limitations of space and time. 

But if we free ourselves even momentarily from these, we can enter into a sort of limitless universal mindset.


“Human is incomplete because human are living inside human mind world which is one’s lived life and thoughts.”

We are beset by a near endless barrage of life’s fears and worries–like that we can’t fully perceive the metaphysical and spiritual world that is the real and meaningful one for us. 

“One can live forever and [when] he has escaped pain, burden, stress, and the countless kinds of agonies; his old self has disappeared and so it is great freedom.”

Through mindfulness, centered and balanced thinking, we can go above the “false world” and enter the “true world.”


Doesn’t this ring fundamental and true?


What an amazing approach to thinking that we can use elevate ourselves above what we live and see every day. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal via Rockville Meditation)

To The Salt Cave

Salt Cave.jpeg

So had a new experience and went to the Salt Cave in Bethesda (a second choice if you can’t get to the secret superhero crime-fighting Bat Cave).

It was a large room filled with Himalayan salt for experiencing all the spa’s “healing” effects.

Supposed to be good to breath in all the minerals infused from the pink salt “micro climate” air and also for exposure to the skin.

It was fairly dark in the cave except for some recessed lighting behind some of the salt stone walls.

The chairs were these weird beach chairs that you could recline in, but it would’ve definitely been worth it to have some fancier cushioned seating to more fully relax in and to match the spa ambiance that they were selling. 

In the background was relaxing meditation music and we were closed in the salt cave for 45-minute to enjoy the dark quiet salt effects. 

It must’ve relaxed me, because when I got home, I had a Buddha face on and took a nice post-spa afternoon nap. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Why Innovation Is On The Decline

Light on off
You’ve experienced it firsthand, innovation is slowing down (and yes, it’s quite disappointing!).  



Do you feel compelled to get a new smartphone, TV, or just about anything else…or do you already basically have the latest and greatest technology, even if it’s a couple of years old now?



But imagine, if something great and new did come out…we’d all be dancing in the streets and eager to buy. 



That’s right, innovation is not what it was…according to the Wall Street Journal, there is “An Innovation Slowdown At The Tech Giants.”



The question is why is this happening?



No, the tech companies are not copying Washington politics (sleepy, sleepy…)! 



But instead, we may have become our own worst enemies to our ability to innovate anew. 



The New York Times today explains that our minds have a toggle switch between being focused on a task and being free to let your mind wonder and innovate. 



You can’t do both at the same time, no you can’t.



And these days, we have so flooded ourselves with information overload with everything from 24/7 work and “big data,” email/texting, social media, and thousands of cable stations and billions of YouTube videos, and more that we are forever engaged in the what’s now, and are not allowing ourselves to rest, recuperate, and think about the potential for what’s new. 



If we want more from the future (innovation, creative problem solving, and sound decision making), then we need to allow some space for our minds to restore itself.



Whether that means daily downtimes, weekly walks in the park, monthly mediations, or semiannual vacations…we need to stop the diminishing returns of constant work and information arousal, and take a little mind breather. 



Instead of chugging along our insane nonstop routines of endless activities and firehose information engagement, we will do ourselves and our children and grandchildren a great service by pulling the train over for some rest and relaxation…and only then will real innovation begin again. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Just Can’t Bear To Think

Whether though endless work, family activities, exercise, computer time, or whatever, people have a hard time just stopping to think. 

According to the Washington Post, a study in Science shows that people would rather do just about anything–including administer electric shocks to themselves–rather than having to just think for a little while. 

Fully 67% of men and 25% of women chose electric shocks over sitting and thinking for just 6-15 minutes!

People are “desperate for distractions”–whether through social media or smartphones and more.

This is why many ancient practices such as Buddhism, martial arts, yoga, and other disciplines teach meditation–sitting silently, without distraction, deeply in thought. 

People are afraid to stop their endless running, rounds of chores and activities, hustle and bustle, and just think about what they are actually doing and where they are going.

Sitting alone with yourself–you have to confront you!

  • Fears and anxieties
  • Life problems of all sorts
  • Mistakes and personal inadequacies
  • Bad habits and even dangerous addictions

Keeping yourself endlessly busy is an enabler to avoid sometimes painful reflection, introspection, and even necessary self-help. 

While you often hear that doctors recommend a certain amount of activity to keep physically healthy, I believe that similarly, mental and spiritual guidance would be for carving out time for physical inactivity and instead focusing on meditation and reflection. 

Perhaps, this is one reason that the Sabbath (kept in various ways by religions around the world) is so important to the mind and soul–it is a time to stop the work and daily mundane activities and instead focus on your spiritual side. 

Contrary to what you might think, refraining from all the activity may be one of the hardest things to actually do, but stopping and thinking (instead of just continuously doing), confronting yourself, and making life course corrections can be some of the most rewarding. 

Can you stop and think for just 15 minutes or do you need that next fix of compulsive distraction? 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Free Behind Bars

Free Behind Bars

Fascinating piece in the Wall Street Journal about going to mock prison to get away from the stresses of life.

Ok, so you know your working too hard, when your only escape is to lock yourself up and throw away the key for a few days.

In South Korea, where they work 18% more than on average (2090 hours per year vs. 1765)–their is a great need to get away from it all.

There where life satisfaction rates a 4.3 out of 10, which is 34% lower than the average (of 6.6), putting yourself in prison is a quality of life thing.

A two-night stay in the makeshift prison for extreme relaxation costs $146–and there you can meditate to your hearts delight.

You can also attend “spiritual classes” and participate in “healing plays.”

Normally smartphones wouldn’t be allowed, but people freak out without them, so they get to check them once a day while on the inside.

Being locked behind bars is a punishment in most places, but here its time to think, reflect, and get back to yourself–most of all you don’t have to go to work on those days.

It’s funny, but one of the hardest things is generally for people just to stop and think–really stop and think–it’s much easier to drown ourselves in endless activity and never have to deal with what’s going on inside.

When we stop to let our thoughts catch up, to deal with our anxieties and fears, to confront ourselves and all the mistakes we make, and to let ourselves feel what can be an tidal wave of pent up feelings–that is a freedom that few can bear to make. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)