“You cannot be afraid of anything when you are in your highest meditation. Your mind is all peace, all silence, all oneness. If thoughts or ideas want to come in, you control them with your inner peace, for they will not be able to affect you. Like fish in the sea, they jump and swim but leave no mark on the water. Like birds flying in the sky, they leave no trace behind them. So when you meditate, feel that you are the sea, and all the animals in the sea do not affect you. Feel that you are the sky, and all the birds flying past do not affect you. Feel that your mind is the sky and your heart is the infinite ocean. This is meditation.”
– Sri Chinmoy

While concentrating and meditating, we endeavour to clear our mind of all thoughts. Yet some thoughts continue to arise, for that is their nature – so how to deal with them?

Sri Chinmoy’s suggestion that we identify with the sky, while thoughts are passing birds, is extremely effective. Remain immersed in the sky’s infinitude, and let the birds fly by: the moment we focus on any bird, that bird-thought becomes a disturbance to our meditation.

A variant of this approach is to imagine that I am the lead bird of a V-formation. All I see ahead is the vast, clear sky. When a thought appears, that is another bird overtaking me and obscuring my clear vision of the infinite. My task now is to increase my speed, and resume my rightful place in the lead.

Never be upset or disturbed by the appearance of any thought: rather take each thought as a summons to redouble our intensity and determination, a reminder urging us onward to our goal.