Is it good practice in meditation to focus on having no thoughts? A purely empty mind. Whenever a thought arises, it is cast off.
From the viewpoint of Theravada Buddhism, we definitely do not teach this way. It's impossible to empty the mind. Thoughts pop up all the time. We can, however, train ourselves not to follow these thoughts. In other words, we want the mind to become stable and free of dependencies.
Here is a basic outline of the method of Mahasi Sayadaw, a prominent 20th-century meditation teacher:
The ultimate goal of this practice is to bring about the insight into the nature of reality. This means understanding—not by thought, but by having seen the truth for oneself—that all experiences are:
That being said, a beginner should have the guidance of a skilled teacher. Here is a meditation manual in the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition, by the Venerable Sir Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu.