illustration (attribution, if any possible, is at the end of the article)
A healthy brain is a thought-generating machine, so you cannot "block all thoughts." Don't even try! Thoughts are conditioned (by stimuli), their arising is not in your control.
So what does stilling the mind mean, if it's not "blocking thoughts"?
What you can do is stopping the chain of thoughts. What you can stop is what automatically leads the mind from one thought to the next, what forces pre-defined transitions between thoughts, what constitutes a chain and narrows the vision to a single option (call it 'destiny'?)… What you can stop is what keeps us reverting to the same old path (regardless of what's new), what keeps us sticking to a one-size-fits-all thinking process.
You can break the automatism, you can broaden the vision and open bifurcations, you can do so by 'listening' to the different potentials present at any time (rather than effortlessly rushing into repeating the choice made in a situation from the past arbitrarily deemed "similar"), you can reclaim choice, i.e. freedom.
Stilling the mind is not "blocking thoughts," it is staying with the latest thought that arose without rushing into the next one! It is enquiring what's going on right now, what's new, what's different, "what is," rather than shifting into poor pattern-recognition and prejudiced answers and reactions.