Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö said, “Look, it’s like this: When the past thought has ceased, and the future thought has not yet risen, isn’t there a gap? Well, prolong it. That is meditation.
Here is what I experience. It is possible to prolong or, in the first instance, notice the gap between thoughts. But this applies only if I limit my definition of thoughts to discursive thought. If I take into account the totality of perception, however…the pain in my back, the sound of floors creaking, the colour of the wall, the play of shadows, the tension at the back of my tongue, incense, music, breathing, the movement just at the edge of peripheral vision, the way my hands rest on my knees…on and on…there are no gaps. Discursive thought stops or slows just long enough for me to perceive some other object.
But then, they say also that thoughts in themselves are not a problem. In fact they are utterly natural. And inevitable. So are other perceptions. The problem arises from our grasping after thoughts. Following the story line. Getting involved. Mere awareness of thoughts or other perceptions is not a problem.