Useless thoughts, brain chatter are like ripples in a pond. Imagine someone taking to you a ‘disturbed’ pond and telling you “Stop those ripples!!! Right now!! Control them!! Try your best!!! “
The more you try, the worse it gets. The more you control, the more out of control it gets.
Think about it.
What are those ripples? Your thoughts, right? So there is an oversupply of thoughts.
Now you try to ‘control’ them. Where does that control arise from? Another thought, right?
“I should control these thoughts!!”, “I want to kill that thought”, “I want to cultivate this thought”, “That is a good thought!!”, “This is a bad thought!!”, “Why can’t I stop my thoughts!!!” All these are thoughts too!!! 🙂
So you are trying to reduce thoughts using another thought!!!
So the solution is not trying to introduce another good/powerful/better thought into the mess, to kill the bad/weaker/inferior thoughts.
The solution is to:
a) Stop doing anything. Stop adding to the mess. Be silent.
b) Retain that silence until the existing ripples subside
This exercise of ‘letting your thoughts, feelings, mind just be’ is commonly referred to as meditation!
You watch, you observe – but you do not try to do anything. Or to control anything. Not even judge your thoughts. (because the judgements are also thoughts!!) You just let the thoughts be.
In the beginning it’s hard. Your compulsion to think, to control, to direct gets in the way. Gradually the pauses become longer, the ripples subside sooner, then the thoughts start arising slower…the quality of your mind changes.
This is not a ‘tamed’ mind or a ‘controlled’ mind.
It’s a free mind, a sensitive mind. Like a clear pond that does not distort the reflections of objects. And sees things exactly as they are. Hence your clarity of perception and hence ability to understand goes up.
The key thing to note is that you do not try to increase clarity, it just happens by itself – as a side effect of a quieter mind, a meditative mind. Not as an ‘objective’.