Maybe you are trying hard to meditate and separating past, present, future, getting all sorts of anxiousness and worries related to these thoughts that keep bothering you? Maybe you are thinking, oh, I’ll just keep on and I’ll get better at this with time. I have some advice in later paragraphs, but before I want to share some background I think will be useful too.
I am someone who had enlightenment experiences after an extremely short time after getting to know about it. Partly I did it by not buying into any crap about ‘it might take you years or decades to get enlightened’. This means, don’t bother with recommended practices, unless you feel like you’d like to try once for fun, but not that you have to stick around! Think about what all common spiritual practices, especially those with gurus actually are good at: …. yup, getting followers! This doesn’t mean they work (nor that they don’t too a certain point), because then all the followers would be enlightened and no longer followers! So the ones most people are likely to encounter (this goes for any belief system by the way) are those that people have a hard time getting out of! A big part of this is our tendency to believe that since more people are doing it, it must be really something going on there. This is not the same as saying that you must reject everything, it just means that any symbolic system of beliefs (which is essentially the same as thoughts) will render a limited version of reality. Feel free to experiment with it.
Another thing is non-duality and recognizing the paradox of self and no-self in direct experience. For this, reading some theory can be nice, but I still don’t think it is required.
Since I started meditating I’ve experimented with a lot of ways of meditating and also had my fair share of feeling stuck.
Here’s what I recommend when getting stuck with repetitive thought patterns: They often come from taking in too much external ideas on how to meditate and then overdoing meditation or spiritual practices. The best way I’ve found to solve this (and again, don’t listen, unless you dig this, and don’t make it another forced practice, better invent your own in that case), is to bliss out without intention, not trying to be happy even, not even trying to not try, instead let go like it’s the end of the world and you don’t give a s***. Thoughts can be past, present future, you don’t care, you don’t need any teacher unless it would be fun to have imaginary or real company, but you shouldn’t need one, because frankly who is really as interesting as the imagination inside your own mind, it is just so instant, vast and open to explore if you wish, and if not, there is just awareness you can play around with which is healing and amazing in itself …
To sum up; trust that you don’t even need to practice, that you can have the ultimate meditation and reach whatever level of enlightenment you wish at any moment, while doing whatever you want, and that you don’t even need that!