It just occurred to me, while meditating just now, that the goal of meditation is not to get rid of your thoughts, but rather to become the observer of them. It’s like watching a play instead of being an actor. Or watching a football game instead of participating.
It’s as simple as that! I heard Deepak Chopra say,
“The ability to observe your emotions without manipulating them.”
That’s it! Just add “thoughts” to “emotions.” Thoughts and emotions are so very intertwined. These are the main activities of the thinking mind. They seem to give rise to one another. Especially if the thought is something that’s very personal or very close to your life. Or something that you’ve been in denial about that suddenly comes exploding to the surface! Then a flood of emotions can come. They seem so intertwined that sometimes that you can’t tell one from the other!
But as you practice observing your thoughts/emotions, stepping back from them, you’ll notice the first and primary benefit from meditation: Calmness.
Before your emotions had you pinned down like in a wrestling match.
But meditation, becoming the observer, helps you step back from that internal conflict and gives you the ability to relax.