How did meditation affect Cory?

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Meditation had a profound impact on Cory, particularly during a six-month meditation retreat he attended at a young age. Initially, he experienced significant challenges, including physical pain and emotional distress such as loneliness, anger, and frustration. As he learned to meditate, Cory discovered that much of his suffering was amplified by his own thoughts and narratives about his pain and discomfort. By learning not to take these thoughts seriously and seeing them as temporary—like clouds passing in the sky—he was able to reduce the intensity of his suffering and find a sense of contentment and peace despite the physical discomfort.

One of the key lessons Cory learned from meditation was the ability to sit with pain and remain grounded and peaceful. This helped him manage not just physical pain, but also emotional and psychological stresses typical in life, such as loss or disappointment. By addressing the stories we tell ourselves about our pain, Cory realized he could mitigate much of his suffering and find deeper qualities of contentment and happiness.

As the retreat progressed, Cory found that he could sit alone in what he described as conditions similar to a prison cell—hot, isolated, and silent—for long periods, eventually feeling more contented and fulfilled than ever before in his life. This transformation shows the power of meditation to change one’s relationship with oneself and one's experiences, leading to profound personal growth and well-being 1.

Lessons in Meditation

Cory shares his experience of physical pain and loneliness during his six-month meditation retreat. He learned how to work with his thoughts and emotions by not taking them seriously and watching them like clouds coming and going. By doing so, he was able to mitigate the intensity of his suffering and find contentment.

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061 | Mindfulness | Cory Muscara
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