Is meditation thinking about thoughts?
Is it rational thinking about our perceptions?
What is meditation? What is the purpose of it?
Can I gain supernatural powers via meditation?
Is meditation thinking about thoughts?
Meditation is when the mind comes back home. When the mind comes back home it can sit by the fire and enjoy its own warmth. It can stop being busy with all kinds of "doing". Meditation is the ultimate "not-doing". Just sit in presence and let the nature of things take care of itself.
Meditation is not thinking. It's more like watching the cows graze. The cows represent thoughts, if they start misbehaving you show them their place -- other than that, you just let them graze. When the mind watches itself, there is some processing going on, some laundering, some mending and healing, some connecting, some letting go.
The practical purpose of meditation, beside processing, mending and healing, is to reunite with the original state of "this is enough", "this is peaceful". The supramundane purpose of meditation is to lose form and go deep into formless, the real nature of things.
When you completely lose attachment to any form, you get supernatural powers - yes.
Meditation is when you stop thinking.
The purpose of meditation is to gain insight on the nature of reality (Who am I? Why I exist? Why everything exist? How it exists? What is suffering? Why is there suffering? What is happiness? etc.).
While in meditation, by attentively observing that which arises, insight can be gained.
You will most likely not gain supernatural powers by meditation. You will probably have experiences where it feels like you gained supernatural powers.
If I am to give a short answer to your question/questions…. You will find the answer to all of your questions if you begin to deviate from the conventional way of thinking and proceed towards a new thinking pattern which is free from causing suffering. I can give you only one example of this otherness.
I believe that you have a fair understanding of the operation of the primary elements in a mind. Let me take this example. Let’s take an individual who practices meditation. Supposing, someone visits him at the time of meditating, he would get irritated and consider this incident to be an hindrance to his meditation practice. He would resist, thinking, “ outsiders always get in my way. It is very difficult to practice meditation with the undue presence of outsiders…”. Why does he get infuriated at this obstruction? His mind has overly embraced his meditation practice; he has excessively attached to the practice; he has locked himself in the practice.
If you can perceive this incident in another light… the operation of pathavi element in his mind is so intense here. The mind has provided free access (operation of apo) for thoughts to be locked with the obstruction to meditation practice. Due to this freedom present in the mind (operation of apo), thoughts could easily get locked, compressed (operation of pathavi) with the obstruction. As a result of the operation of pathavi element followed by the free access accommodated by the apo element, heat (tejo) begins to rise to a higher degree in the mind. The resultant intense degree of heat generates a similar degree of magnetic energy (kama) in the mind. The higher the degree of heat, the higher the degree of magnetic energy in the mind. The magnetic energy generated in this manner has the potential of making vibrations, movements (in other atoms). As magnetic energy, with the potential of making vibrations, is incorporated and carried in these elements, they are identified as “elements of vayo” (vayo dhatu). This is how the functioning of the four primary elements takes place at a time like this, beginning with pathavi dhatu, in the mind.
A meditator ought to have developed a stable mental state where he could perceive his respiration and what takes place within very clearly. In other words, the meditator needs a strong Samadhi (concentration) to accomplish the practice in this way. The meditator who contemplates the mental phenomena with a strong mindfulness based on the Samadhi, would perceive the changes in the mind on the basis of dhatu manasikara. Such a mind can find answers to the kind of questions that you have raised in an experiential way, and not just intellectually.