Another obstacle for spiritual life is laulya, which has many meanings including restlessness, fickleness, temptation, greed, and strong sexual urge. (Last month we discussed Obstacle 3: Gossip or Excessive Talk).
Restlessness is a state of mind where an individual cannot focus on one goal or work in a productive manner. That is why we say, “Our mind is restless.” Just like fire has its nature to burn, water has its nature to be cool, and air has its nature to blow – if you tell air not to move, it will lose its nature. Similarly if restlessness is gone, what is the play of the mind?
Here’s a few tips.
1.    Sit still. Don’t move or change your legs too much and start with five minutes and then increase to ten minutes. If you cannot make your body still, you won’t make your mind still – to bring steadiness into life, make your body disciplined.
2.    Be careful of your food. Some food will cause restlessness and lethargy in the body, whereas some food will bring calmness. If you observe your body and mind you will know which food brings restlessness in your body – too much spice, saltiness, or certain drinks will make you feel agitated. Take care of your food and you will get stillness.
3.    Practice conscious breathing. When your breath is restless, your mind is restless. Breath and mind are causally related. Regulate your breath. The easiest way to do this is conscious breathing. If you observe the mind, it will be quieter.
Another meaning of laulya is related to the tongue, which also makes you restless as it is related to two things: food and too much of talking. If you talk too much, you will be restless.
Laulya also means fondness of men or women, or sexual pleasure. This is another obstacle – but be careful not to misunderstand what I am saying. Family life is never an obstacle; be clear about it. Too much indulgence, too much attachment, extreme enjoyment however is an obstacle for spirituality.
Another meaning of laulya is greed. Our need is not too much, but our greed is too much. When it comes to our own desires for material possessions and pleasure, we must ask ourself. “How much do I really need?”
The "Overcoming Obstacles" series is an excerpt from a transcript of
Paramahamsa Prajnananandaji speaking at the 2014 Sydney Residential Retreat.

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