Just like two pieces of wood can be rubbed together to produce fire and the same fire consumes them both, intellect and concentration support the contemplative meditation. But when the fire of insight arises, it consumes both intellect and concentration, giving way to pristine awareness. This is the ultimate state for a meditator, not only understanding the nature of thoughts and rising above them, but living in complete awareness.
Like waves in the ocean disappear in the same sea they had originated from, thoughts emerge from and merge back into the same mind. Some start to surf these waves, but no matter how giant or exhilarating a wave, how beautiful the swell, how tidal the sea, how expert the surfer, the waves will toss him eventually. And this brings me to the moral of the story, there are no calming thoughts really, just like there are stable waves.
A thought that’s appeasing today could well be disturbing tomorrow. For example, you love someone today and their thoughts bring you joy, but tomorrow you may fall our of love and those same thoughts of them will give you grief. A good meditator knows that thoughts, at their best, can only calm the mind temporarily and intermittently.
In the ocean of your mind, when it comes to the waves of thoughts, you have three choices, first, surf and accept the highs and lows, second, watch the waves and put up with the constant sound of the sea, and third, move away from the ocean altogether. The lifespan of every thought, however good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, is exactly the same. It emerges. It manifests. It disappears. These are the only three stages in the life of a thought. If you don’t recall a thought or if you don’t pay attention to a thought, it must disappear on its own.
Thoughts that you do not let go leave an imprint on your mind. That imprint is the residue. Meditation is the process of washing away that residue. It is the cleaning of your slate and keeping it that way. When we fail to abandon our thoughts, they assume different forms. They can become desires, expectations or emotions.
Reference : A Million thoughts. Om Swami