I have a suggestion for something else, then. I’ve had a similar feeling, where a style of meditation where I focus outside my self feels like I’m leaving my self “under construction” to go put attention elsewhere. I can’t help but never want to leave my self behind; it feels like I’m wasting opportunity to improve.
I recommend a very different act. It’s something like “very thoughtful meditation,” in the sense that you’re not trying to be highly present or “thoughtless” but rather highly pensive or “thoughtful.” (Apologies to anyone who doesn’t appreciate my use of terms here, or who thinks I’m going the opposite direction.)
I found two blog posts a while back titled “Cached Thoughts” and “Cached Selves.”
If you’re not familiar with the tech term, sometimes a long set of operations can be broken up by saving intermediate values in a cache. Human brains do a very similar thing by, for example, saving intermediate beliefs on values and using them to make complex decisions. Both sets have an advantage of convenience and efficiency but the same problem: if the base parameters or experiences change, our final decisions don’t unless we recalculate intermediate values.
The two blog posts I put below will elaborate more on this surprisingly widespread and compelling behavior.
I suggest you make an activity of spending time clearing your own cached thoughts. I agree that you shouldn’t stop your thoughts from racing, but when is the last time you charted their direction ? Don’t stop them from racing; construct a track for them.
You’ll also have the small bragging right of doing your meditation like a tech person, not a hippie. Those are really the kinds of people you should be emulating anyway, right?