One part of Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path is “Right Thought”.
“It is not necessary for all thoughts to cease in meditation before one begins Vipassana. Thoughts may still persist, but if awareness is sustained from moment to moment, that is sufficient to start the work.
Thoughts may remain, but the nature of the thought pattern changes. Aversion and craving have been calmed down by awareness of breathing. The mind has become tranquil at least at the conscious level, and has begun to think about Dhamma, about the way to emerge from suffering. The difficulties that arose on initiating awareness of respiration have now passed or at least have been overcome to some extent. One is prepared for the next step, right understanding.”
p. 88 of Hart’s The Art of Living -Vipassana Meditation as taught by S. N. Goenka.
Reply by Travis Clay Dupont Jr. 3 hours ago on "Meditation Group Site". "Meditation is a creation of your own mind. Many beginners ( I was one) had the assumption of "trying" to clear thier mind and create it void of thought. This is simply not possible...."
I completely agree with Travis on this and was responding to Eckhart Tolle's assertion that one "needs to seperate thought from awareness." I also think "this is simply not possible." Ergo, the first post: "It is not necessary for all thoughts to cease..."
Another example of Silja's brilliance in replying to this same "discussion" on her Meditation group:
Permalink Reply by Silja Saareoks 6 hours ago There is one thing that I discovered lately, although it may seam a bit unusual. But it still works very well to get the feeling of unconditional love to yourself more easily while starting the meditation. It is just that we're so used to set so many goals and have so many expectations to ourselves due to our everyday active lives. That's why it becomes hard to enter immediately to the deeper state of consciousness and to fully accept ourselves the way we are.
Today I found that it can be so easy to take ourselves the same way as when meeting the newborn baby. To observe the inner nature just the same way. Without any expectations for what it should become, but instead the feeling of gratitude and acceptance to the way it is and just by letting the inner smile shine. This I've found also useful when staying in meditation for a longer time, as it makes it so much easier to stay focused and not to be disturbed by what comes from outside. That is the inner silence.With love, Silja