restlessness is good

Restlessness in the seeker is the #1 tool of gaining enlightenment. It is the fire. It is the zeal. It is the discipline to see what you have achieved, where you are now and what needs to be done. It is the drive to work out how to close that gap.

It’s this impatient desire to progress that makes you challenge your assumptions and get clear about your priorities.

Maybe there is something more you can do?  eg Yes I can get out of bed a bit earlier tomorrow to meditate.

Maybe there is something you can change? eg I’m not going to have coffee after lunch this week.

Maybe there is something you can stop doing? eg I’m going to stop finishing my boyfriend’s sentences today.

Contentment on the other hand keeps us in the ever-repeating mediocre. One of the great Vedic sages, Maharishi Patanjali, wrote of santosha (Sanskrit for contentment) as the number one enemy of enlightenment.

Being content comes from a lack of knowledge of a better possibility. “I don’t know of a better option so I’ll stay where I am”.

Whereas if I have knowledge of a better possibility then I can move. It shakes things up, I get restless and impatient for something more. This is progress.

Restlessness is good.

3 responses to “restlessness is good

  1. Dear Jillian, I was puzzled by the Note on Meditation preceding this post. My interpretation of the note was that we are not aiming for perfection, in which state nothing is to be done any more. Your explanation here is much more proactive though. I did not think of it this way, because I am so content in my status quo. Thanks for the nudge!

  2. I loved your blog. I know what you mean. Lately, I have been feeling restless…in need of change. I felt like I needed to realign myself towards a new and meaningful purpose. So I started by taking some “me-time” to determine how I could consciously focus this energy and I finally decided to write a blog. I just wanted to let you know that I love the way you express yourself and consider your blog as an inspiration!

  3. I can remember you saying something to this effect in a meditation class many years ago and it stayed with me. So nice to dip back into your blog today and come across this post. Some forms of meditation I tried in the past, made me feel that my restlessness was a bad thing, that the goal was contentment. This makes your words so much sweeter to here. I love the human desire to progress, to learn more, to experience more and to challenge ourselves to more out of our comfort zone and be more. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

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