Cory Muscara Profile picture
Nov 21 20 tweets 5 min read
I meditated 15 hours a day for 6 months straight with one of the toughest Buddhist monks on the planet.

Here's what I learned: Image
This is Sayadaw U Pandita. He was notorious for his unwavering belief that enlightenment is possible in this life & his ruthless expectation that his students get there. We slept 2-5 hours/night. No reading, writing or speaking. Lots of pain. Lots of insight. Let's get into it👇 Image
1. Finding your true self is an act of love. Expressing it is an act of rebellion.

2. A sign of growth is having more tolerance for discomfort. But it’s also having less tolerance for bullshit.

3. Who you are is not your fault, but it is your responsibility.
4. Procrastination is the refusal or inability to be with difficult emotions.

5. Desires that arise in agitation are more aligned with your ego. Desires that arise in stillness are more aligned with your soul.

6. The moment before letting go is often when we grip the hardest.
7. You don’t find your ground by looking for stability. You find your ground by relaxing into instability.

8. What you hate most in others is usually what you hate most in yourself.

9. The biggest life hack is to become your own best friend. Everything is easier when you do.
10. The more comfortable you become in your own skin, the less you need to manufacture the world around you for comfort.

11. An interesting thing happens when you start to like yourself. You no longer need all the things you thought you needed to be happy.
12. If you don’t train your mind to appreciate what is good, you’ll continue to look for something better in the future, even when things are great.

13. The belief that there is some future moment more worth our presence than the one we’re in right now is why we miss our lives.
14. There is no set of conditions that leads to lasting happiness. Lasting happiness doesn’t come from conditions; it comes from learning to flow with conditions.

15. Spend more time cultivating a mind that is not attached to material things than time spent accumulating them.
16. Sometimes we need to get out of alignment with the rest of the world to get back into alignment with ourselves.

17. Real confidence looks like humility. You no longer need to advertise your value because it comes from a place that does not require the validation of others.
18. High pain tolerance is a double-edged sword. It’s key for self-control, but can cause us to override the pain of being out of alignment.

19. Negative thoughts will not manifest a negative life. But unconscious negative thoughts will.

20. To feel more joy, open to your pain.
21. Bullying yourself into enlightenment does not work. Befriending yourself is how you transcend yourself.

22. Peak experiences are fun, but you always have to come back. Learning to appreciate ordinary moments is the key to a fulfilling life.
23. Meditation is not about feeling good. It’s about feeling what you’re feeling with good awareness. Plot twist: Eventually that makes you feel good.

24. If you are able to watch your mind think, it means who you are is bigger than your thoughts.
25. Practicing stillness is not about privileging stillness over movement. It’s about the CAPACITY to be still amidst your impulses. It’s about choice.

26. The issue is not that we get distracted. It's that we're so distracted by distractions we don't even know we're distracted.
27. There are 3 layers to a moment: Your experience, your awareness of the experience, and your story about the experience. Be mindful of the story.

28. Life is always happening in just one moment. That's all you're responsible for.
29. Your mind doesn’t wander. It moves toward what it finds most interesting. If you want to focus better, become more curious about what's in front of you.

30. Life continues whether you’re paying attention to it or not. I think that is why the passage of time is scary.
31. You cannot practice non-attachment. You can only show your mind the suffering that attachment creates. When it sees this clearly, it will let go.

32. Meditation can quickly become spiritualized suppression. Be careful not to use concentration to avoid what is uncomfortable.
33. One of the deepest forms of peace we can experience is living in integrity. You can lie to other people about who you are, but you can’t lie to your heart.

34. Be careful not to let the noise of your mind overpower the whispers of your heart.
35. Monks love to fart while they meditate. The wisdom of letting go expresses itself in many forms.

36. You can't life-hack wisdom. Do the work.
Sayadaw U Pandita passed away in 2016. While I often resisted his style of teaching, I had the deepest respect for him. Through his teachings, my life changed in ways I can't describe; a sentiment echoed by thousands of others. I am forever grateful. Image
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More from @corymuscara

Nov 30
Letting go is key to a happy and successful life.

But how do we do it?

Here's a Zen story that has helped millions of people let go.

Maybe it will help you too: Image
Many years ago, an old zen farmer was using a horse to till his fields.

All day long, he relied on this horse for the health of his farm.

But one day the horse escaped into the hills nowhere to be found...
All the neighbors came by to sympathize:

"Oh, this is such bad luck!" they said.

Only for the farmer to reply:

“Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows.”
Read 12 tweets
Nov 29
"The brain is not designed to make you happy."

Have you ever heard this statement?

It's partially true, but fundamentally incorrect.

And believing it may be holding you back.

Your brain DOES want you to be happy.

Here's why (and how to benefit from it):
Have you ever had the experience of eating a particular food that you loved, but then got sick from it?

Like, throwing up, head-in-toilet sick?

What do you think of that food now?

You can’t stand the thought of it, right?

This is your brain trying to make you happy.
When we finally see the pain associated with our usual way of doing something, it’s like getting sick from the thing we previously thought made us happy, & we no longer feel pulled to it.

Your brain doesn't want you to suffer.
It just needs help understanding what happiness IS.
Read 16 tweets
Nov 28
Buddhist monks have some of the strongest & happiest minds in the world.

I wanted to know why.

So, when I was 22, I spent half a year training with them in a Burmese monastery.

My biggest insight and transformation was NOT what I expected.

Here's what it is: Image
The main question people ask when they hear I spent 6 months in silence is:

"What did you experience?"

They're expecting some trippy, transcendent, ego-death-type stories.

And yes, I have those.

But the biggest thing I got from my time as a monk?

I became my own best friend.
It's like I have a constant inner companion rooting me on, reassuring me, and reminding me of what's possible.

It has made EVERYTHING in my life easier, especially the hard times.

And I'm so grateful for it.

How did it happen?

I'll explain:
Read 11 tweets
Nov 26
Do you struggle with being focused and present?

Here's a 2-minute exercise you can practice in real-time.

All you need to do is slow down and read the thread below.

But make sure you pause 3-5 seconds between each sentence (very important).

Let's see what happens . . .
Start by noticing what it’s like to see. Yes, the kind of seeing you do with your eyes.

In this moment, your eyes are taking in light, color, & shape.

Are you aware that this is happening?

What’s it like to be aware of it happening?
Are you aware that the words you’re reading aren’t happening in real-time, but are instead little black squiggles on a screen that I typed out hours ago?

Your eyes are seeing these squiggles & your brain is interpreting them as words, making it seem like I'm talking to you.
Read 16 tweets
Nov 24
Thanksgiving is a day of gratitude and connection.

But not all of us feel grateful and connected.

Here's a different way to view this holiday:
This day looks different for all of us.

Some of us are with friends and family.
Others of us might be alone.
We may feel connected in certain relationships.
And estranged in others.
For some, this is a great time in our life.
For others, things have never been worse.
It's difficult not to compare our own life circumstances to that of those around us, or to the life we had planned.

This is especially true with social media.

My hope is that however today unfolds for you, you can glimpse what it's like to let go of comparison.
Read 7 tweets
Nov 22
7 Stress Reduction Tips That Take Less than 30 Seconds 👇
1. Minimum Effective Dose

Imagine a number line 1-10.

One is calm. Ten is Stress.

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10

Ask: Where do I need to be in order to be effective at this task?

We're often attached to our stress because we think it's necessary.

See if that's true.
2. Agency & Surrender

Ask: What is within my control?
Do that.

Ask: What can't I control?
Let it go.

Focusing on control activates parts of the brain responsible for hope, shifting you out of helplessness, and buffering against stress & depression.
Read 9 tweets

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