Sharon Salzberg, from the third talk, “The Five Hindrances: Sleepiness and Restlessness,” of her Tricycle Retreat:
Restlessness is the energetic opposite of sleepiness. We might have a lot of energy, enthusiasm, and interest going on but not enough tranquility, calm, or peace to balance it out. So we start to get restless.
Sometimes restlessness in our meditation practice manifests very physically, we feel like there is so much energy moving through our body. It’s like we’re about to jump out of our skin. Sometimes restlessness, instead of manifesting physically, tends to manifest psychologically or emotionally.
With restlessness, as with desire, aversion, and sleepiness, we shouldn’t blame ourselves for these feelings. We don’t judge or condem ourselves. Rather, we see the nature of restlessness and agitation: that things are out of balance. Seeing this, we work with mindfulness and compassion and try to bring things back into balance.
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