Observing and accepting thoughts and then gently redirecting attention to something else disrupts their elaboration (which is more thoughts on the same or related subjects). Accepting the first observed manifestation of a thought is not the same as yielding to the thought. When you yield to a thought, you stay with it as it expands and meanders. You haven’t prejudged whether it will lead of anything of value. It may lead to a tangle of thorny bushes or to a treasure trove. I don’t want this to sound like one is watching the thoughts go hither and yon. It’s more like they are going hither and yon and occasionally another part of the brain – the metacognitive part – listens to the echo of what just went by. This is by nature retrospective. Meaning emerges in time and thoughts are meaning-making processes. To focus on each word as it appears (if that is even possible) is to disrupt the flow of meaning-making.
Meaning-making is an ongoing process (although specific instances of the process stop at some point). Meaning emerges in time and is continually updated. Emergent meaning often requires reinterpretation of what came before. The observed makes meaning as does the observed.
The meaning of a string of words may only become clear when it is finished. The meaning of the string may only become clear after many more strings and much more time. And, of course, meaning-making incorporates a lot more than mere words.
Actually: does meaning ever become “clear”?