You can try to stop the waves in the ocean, but why? There's no need to try to stop your mind from thinking.
A lot of people are confused about meditation. It's a tool, and experience, that helps us improve our life.
Learn to ride the waves and harness the power of the ocean of thought, rather than trying to stop it.
If breath awareness is like ping pong, and body awareness is like tennis, then thought awareness is like sailing. In order to sail, you need to surrender to the power of the ocean, and go with the flow.
With thought awareness, we simply concentrate on the dimension of thoughts - we witness and accept all thoughts. We become aware of thoughts as they form and dissolve, without clinging to any thoughts or avoiding any thoughts. In this practice, we may notice infinite thought loops come up, and that's ok.
In other words, we may notice ourself thinking about thinking about thinking about thinking. Eventually the infinite thought loop dissolves and we might find ourselves thinking about the dream life that we're working to manifest, the delicious lunch that we desire, or that annoying pain in our butt. Great, more awareness. All thoughts are perfectly valid.
Don't just know thyself, on the surface, know thyself on the deepest level and improve the way you show up in the world.
Researchers estimate that humans have an average of 6,000 thoughts per day. Where to draw the line on where a thought starts and ends? Well, let's just not ask that question right now.
The question is, do you want to improve the way that you think and enjoy life more everyday?
You can become more aware of how thought patterns trigger unwanted behaviors, enable limiting beliefs, compile into unhelpful personality traits, and ironically, use this pattern recognition to enjoy life more everyday.
Because when you study the way you're thinking, you can use this insight to improve the way you show up in the world.
When you observe thought patterns, you open opportunities to realize that old habits, limiting beliefs, and distorted sense of self identity were like waves in the ocean that you were riding on. Then, you can explore a new route.
If you want to navigate life successfully, you might as well study the ocean - right?