The MonA LIENa

(Results of the “Caption Challenge” are found at the end of this post).

In the last post, “The Inner-Alien and Creativity”, I reviewed evidence from Lehrer’s book Imagine suggesting that being a non-expert in a particular field or endeavor can actually make one more creative.  It is not much of a jump from this discussion of what Lehrer called “outsiders” to the quote below from Zen Master, Shunryn Suzuki.

The non-dual approach of Zen requires that we be able to maintain multiple perspectives on any problem, whether artistic, scientific or our own life-problems. This means constantly putting oneself into the unfamiliar and uncomfortable situations.

This requires practice.

Research suggests that living in a foreign culture can foster creativity but I would suggest that meditation can serve the same purpose.   A key skill learned in  Zen meditation is to  constantly interrupt the habitual stream of thoughts that occupy our consciousness most of the time.  These streams of thought make things familiar and provide us with a familiar sense of who we are.


When we plunge into the unfamiliar, we experience discomfort at times but also the exhilaration of greater adaptability and responsibility.  This is how one becomes “refreshed”, “alive” and “awake”.






Through practice, one will find him or herself becoming more non-reactive, more flexible or open.  And so more creative in responding to daily “problems” as they arise.

This “inner alien” is available to us all but it does require being willing to constantly explore your “inner space” and to accept  that the “inner alien” is truely a part of who you are.

Caption Challenge Results

Listed below, in the order received, are the creative responses to this caption-less image I found online.


1. Oh good! More potential converts.

2. OK, OK, I’ll be your leader already!

3. Skewered or nailed, we’re all in jail.

4. Oh Lord, you misunderstood. I prayed for a 100 Gs for the Rectory, not a 100 E.T.s to hector me.

5. How can I tell the truth if you all look Alien to me

6. Ok, maybe now is the time to reconsider the ban on birth control

7. STOP! Just maybe “The Pope” needs to be “EXORCISED” from this normal group of Aliens…

8. Heavenly host at a Papal roast.

Thanks for Your Participation!







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