One of the most popular questions I receive as a meditation teacher is, “So what do you teach people; to sit in silence, and try not to think about anything?”
My answer is always “No.”
It’s not necessary to empty your mind to practice mindfulness. The intention is not to suppress your thoughts. Instead, the purpose is to simply observe your own thought processes.
What often happens when you begin to focus your attention, say on your breathing or the sounds around you, is that you become conscious of the fact that your mind is repeatedly galloping off to the same old worries and thoughts.
Once you discover that thoughts come and go in a relentless flow, you can make conscious choices about how you react to your thoughts. Which thoughts will you choose to interact with? Which thoughts will you let pass by? This is where REAL change happens.