When people hear I LOVE meditation, the first thing they usually say is - "I can't meditate because I can't stop my thoughts." This used to annoy me, but now it makes me laugh. It perfectly illustrates how far off we are about what meditation is and what it can be.
Why would you EVER want to stop your brain from thinking? You would be a vegetable. (Although it is possible veggies have their own kind of brains so we might want to stop using that phrase. LOL, kidding, kind of.)
Also, if your goal is to stop your thoughts, good luck. That's an impossible task. We are thinking creatures, it's part of our purpose here on this planet. I think we majorly lack appreciation for how far our nice big brains have gotten us. It is good to be sentient, it is a gift.
So, why this extremely pervasive notion that you can only meditate if you become thoughtless?
What if instead, we reframed that? How about your nice big brain gets to keep on churning out thoughts, but you just use the safe haven of your breath to create a little space between you and your thoughts? A little buffer so you can feel what it is like to watch the thoughts flow by without misunderstanding and thinking you are those thoughts and that's all you are.
And then you find another part of yourself, deeper, wilder, more mysterious beyond your thoughts; and then resting and playing and working with that purer, bigger part of you while your brain amuses itself like a puppy off to the side? Then, if you needed your brain in the context of the magic you are making in meditation, you could call it over and let it help you out.
Wouldn't that be more fun, more interesting? Wouldn't that take some of the pressure off?
Welcome to the new style of meditation. It is not what you think. : )
"It is a strange and wonderful fact to be here, walking around in a body, to have a whole world within you and a world at your fingertips outside you. It is an immense privilege, and it is incredible that humans manage to forget the miracle of being here. Rilke said, 'Being here is so much,' and it is uncanny how social reality can deaden and numb us so that the mystical wonder of our lives goes totally unnoticed. We are here. We are wildly and dangerously free.”
- John o'Donohue