I agree, with Dreambirdie. I think people think they should make their mind go blank and maybe there are people who can but I don't know them.
When one's brain, the thought generator, generates thoughts in its thinky, thinky way, the most useful response is: good, this is just what I need to work with!
Everything happens in the returning of your attention to the breath. Your brain is like a puppy and if it doesn't run away you can't train it to come, sit, stay.
The noisy chaos in your head is not a problem, it is exactly what you need. Getting sidetracked is not a problem, it is just what you need. Forgetting you are meditating and finding yourself lost in thought is not a problem, it is precisely what you need to train your brain.
One returns and returns and returns again... and the brain gets trained to do what one wants it to do and not be on thought spewing auto-pilot all the time.
It all happens in the returning. Come, sit, stay. Good brain!
Some of the thoughts seem really frightening or really important or really compelling... the more so for being rammed up against each other. Let them go. Return to the breath. Breathe away any sense of alarm or worry or fretfulness... just in this moment, that's all, just this moment.
The brain is learning not to attach fiercely to scary thoughts. The brain is being trained to see thoughts for what they are: just thoughts. The brain is being trained, like a muscle to behave in a certain way: alert, awake but untroubled by the thoughts that come and go.
I don't actually meditate to feel peaceful in the moment although I do feel somewhat more peaceful while I meditate. I meditate to train my brain so that the way it functions all the time is different. I meditate so that I feel some mastery over my brain.
My meditation has not addressed my cognitive issues in any way that restores function but my reaction to my cognitive problems, which are mighty, is curiousity rather than alarm. I truly don't think I could handle feeling so befuddled and alarmed all at once, I really don't.
This is not a good thinking day at all. I do hope I'm making sense.