If you're human, you have monkey mind. Monkey mind is the the state of constant chatter that goes on in our heads. As soon as I sit down to meditate, my thoughts go something like this: "Lori, you idiot, you forgot to go to the bank again. Not just that, the stack of documents on your desk is higher than ever and there's one really important insurance form that reminds me of the unreturned call to the doctor, the client, and what about your mother?"
I sit down and the thought cascade begins. Meditation is the deliberate act of channeling these thoughts down to a trickle. The thoughts do not stop. In fact, it seems as if there are more and bigger thoughts when I sit down to meditate than I have when I'm deliberately going about my day. This is probably not at all true. The thoughts just seem bigger and more frequent because I have stopped and am trying to let the thoughts float on by. When I meditate, I still have thoughts, but I am not attached to these thoughts. And I frequently promise myself I will come back to an important thought later. Then, I keep my promise to myself.
It seems that one of the important side effects of meditation, being a less reactive person, must have something to do with the fact that when I meditate, I observe my thoughts without becoming attached to them. Thoughts are thoughts and thoughts are not reality. In other words, just because I have come up with a brilliant analysis of a situation and have formulated an even more brilliant plan based upon that analysis, and even though I am proud of my achievement with regard to this analysis and plan, neither of these things are reality. They are only thoughts in my head.