do-i-have-to-stop-my-thoughts-to-meditateI sat down to meditate and couldn’t stop my thoughts even for a second.

Are you intrigued by the idea of meditating but know that you won’t be able to stop your thoughts, let alone connect to some higher power? Well, then you are just like me and probably most people. At this point, a lot of people give up again or, they don’t even get started.

Somewhere along the way we somehow got the idea that we all have to become enlightened Zen Masters in order to do it (meditating) the right way.

Let me tell you something, you might as well give that idea up right away unless you are prepared to sit in meditation many hours every day for a really long time and basically live in seclusion. Nirvana is only for a selected few.

So now you might be thinking: Phew, I am off the hook, I knew it all along, meditating isn’t for me and it doesn’t really work anyway.

But, hold on, not so fast. Let’s back up a few steps. Why did you want to meditate in the first place? Were you hoping to reach enlightenment? Or did you want to try it out because it is the “new thing” to do? Or were you hoping to find a little bit of relaxation, ease stress and calm down?

In fact, the English word meditating is derived from the Latin verb “meditari”, meaning “to think, contemplate, devise, ponder”. So it is perfectly normal to “think” during meditation, the thinking is not the problem, it is our ego that we need to quiet. 

So if your goal is to take 10-15 minutes a day out of your extremely busy day for yourself to sit down and bring some form of relaxation, a bit of quieting your busy mind and body, and maybe gaining some clarity of thought, then meditating IS for you. In fact, it is perfect for you. Just taking a few moments to sit down comfortably, close your eyes and just be, will have an immense impact. it is a start, one step at a time, who knows where you might end up. Don’t be so hard on yourself. The more you think about stopping your thoughts, the more pressure you put yourself under, the less you will stop your thoughts and relax. In fact, the opposite will occur, you will get more anxious about being anxious and the whole idea of calming down is defeated before you even start. 

Here are a few suggestions that can get you started on meditating and reaping some benefits right away: 


  • Try to eliminate anything that might disturb you for the 10-15 minutes. If possible, unplug your phone, turn off your doorbell, leave a note on your door saying that you are unavailable for that time, make sure kids and pets are taken care of and won’t disturb you etc. 
  • Pick a time where you know that there will be no interruptions.
  • Pick a room that is not too cold and not too hot and well aired out. 
  • Wear comfortable clothes, and arrange anything that you might need, such as pillows, blankets etc. within reach before you start. 
  • Find a comfortable position but make sure it is not so comfortable that you might fall asleep. Unless you have a serious lack of sleep and are perfectly ok with falling asleep and relaxing that way. 
  • It is important that the spine is straight and aligned in order for the breath and energy to flow freely, however, you want to make sure you are not tense. If you need, feel free to lean against a wall or chair for support.
  • Your hands may rest on your thighs or you may fold them. 


Start by letting your body relax, let your mind be relaxed and attentive at the same time. Just enjoy a few minutes of a break, peace and quietness.

Take a few deep regular breaths in and out and start to concentrate on something specific that you would like to meditate on or try a guided meditation. 

If your mind goes crazy, let it. There is no room for high expectations, judgement or ambition in meditation.

I would like to finish off with a beautiful quote:

Meditation is a surrender, it is not a demand. It is not forcing existence your way, it is relaxing into the way existence wants you to be. It is a let-go. (Osho)


Anya Bruder,

Daily Zen.

 Author Bio: Anya was born in Germany and now resides in BC, Canada. Anya Bruder is a certified Stress Management Coach who helps soulful women regain control of their lives, health and career through Mind Mastery. 

Learn how to master your mind in order to reach your goals and live a happy, healthy life with peace of mind. Please visit Coaching With Anya and download the free guide.