By Arden Martin. Originally posted on ardenmeditates.com
Great news! You don't have to. In fact, trying to suppress thoughts creates more mental activity, which is completely counterproductive. Meditation is not all about emptying the mind; expecting the mind to stay quiet is like expecting the ocean to stay still. Quietness is one of many meditation experiences, just as stillness is one of many ocean states.
With that said, experiencing the mind in its quietest state is absolutely blissful and you deserve that experience. However, you don't achieve this state by trying. Any well-intentioned meditator who has sat down, closed their eyes, and willed their mind to be quiet knows how frustrating and futile it is. Thankfully, there's an easy and enjoyable way to quiet the mind automatically. The technique of Vedic meditation is rooted in effortlessness, i.e. you don't have to try to achieve stillness. Instead, you utilize a mantra (a specific sound assigned to you by a qualified teacher), which allows the body and mind to settle down easily. Stillness simply comes.
If you've previously felt intimidated by meditation because quieting the mind seemed too challenging, I hope I've helped dispel that myth and remove that barrier for you. Remember, stillness can be achieved effortlessly with a simple technique that anyone can learn.