I am a beginner in meditation, and I find that I cannot control my thoughts. How can I have a successful meditation?
If you are a beginner, try to allow only divine thoughts to enter into you, and not undivine thoughts. It is better not to have any thoughts at all during meditation, but it is next to impossible for the beginner to have a mind without thoughts. So you can begin by having good thoughts: "I want to be good, I want to be more spiritual, I want to love God more, I want to exist only for Him." Let these ideas grow within you. Start with one or two divine ideas: "Today I will be absolutely pure. I will not allow any bad thought, but only peace, to enter into me." When you allow one divine thought to grow inside you, you will see that immediately your consciousness changes for the better.
Start with divine ideas: "Today I want to feel that I am really a child of God." This will not be a mere feeling but an actual reality. Feel that the Virgin Mary is holding the child Christ. Feel that the Divine Mother is holding you in her arms like a baby. Then feel: "I really want to have wisdom-light. I want to walk with my Father. Wherever He goes I will go with Him. I will get light from Him."
Some people don't have ideas like this. Creative thoughts and ideas don't come. There is just a vacuum. You may ask which is better-to have many silly messages in the mind or no messages at all. But there is a negative, inconscient way of meditating which has no life in it. This is not the silent mind. It is not productive. In real meditation, the mind is silent but at the same time it is conscious.