I can’t get my thoughts to stop.
What arises for me is lots of thoughts. It’s so frustrating that I can’t get my thoughts to stop.
Remember, we’re not trying to get our thoughts to stop. Our thoughts never stop. Brains produce thoughts. That’s just the way it is.
It can be useful to think of your mind as a rushing, rushing river.
There are always thoughts rushing along in a torrent. With mindfulness practice, we’re not trying to stop the river, we’re just trying to climb out of the river; we’re trying to settle in on the bank for a moment so we can watch the thoughts go by.
You’ll see as you start to work with staying present and becoming aware of your thoughts, that it feels very different to be in the river carried away by the thoughts vs. sitting on the bank watching them go.
So with our meditations and skills we’re teaching, we’re just trying to help you learn to climb out of the river. Of course, you fall back in almost immediately. That’s how it works: climb out, fall in, climb out, fall in. But after a while you’ll notice you can stay on the bank for longer periods of time. And eventually, you’ll notice that the river sometimes slows down quite a bit, but of course only if you’re not trying to make it slow down!