I need some advices about unwanted intrusive thoughts. I have been living a totally normal and happy life until last week. I got random thoughts about sexual images and other unsanitary activites which are very disturbing. Those thoughts would involve around the Buddha, Bodhisattvas and other stuff that are related around the religion. Even typing this out makes me uncomfortable. Everything I do at everytime will activate my mind in some way to automatically redirects it to Buddhist-related, which is disturbing and I just want it to stop. My mind is always alerted because I'm terrified that new thoughts would pop up. There are advices that told me to ignore them thoughts and move on with my life, but then I would think about the consequences of my thoughts and stuff around it, which make my anxiety worse. I want my old life back, just living normally without any issues. I want Buddha to know that I am not disrespectful about the religion or anything, it is the random thoughts that I just cannot do anything about it. Will these thoughts lead to negative karma? I am a teenager and still live with both of my parents. They are both Buddhist and so as their relatives, so I am sure that they won't be happy listening to my problems add I can't really afford a therapy. Any help and advices would be appreciated.

3 Answers 3


Buddhas do not take offense. Buddhas have oceanlike compassion & forgiveness. Our thoughts about Buddhas do not affect the Buddhas. To the contrary, the Buddhas care about us & our welfare.

If you watch pornography, the Buddhas would recommend to stop. Anyone that watches pornography has no chance at real progress on the Buddhist Path.

  • I don't watch pornography anymore, but the affects of it still cause havoc to my mind
    – Tony
    Commented Mar 19 at 11:17
  • yes, it causes havoc. that is why the Buddha's do not recommend it. Best wishes for you Commented Mar 20 at 2:23

When I get angry, I know hatred/pride is getting angry, when I get sexually aroused I know greed is sexually aroused, when I am sad I know pride is getting sad, when I’m frightened, I know pride is threatened. Etc. pride, greed, hatred and ignorance etc are all empty of self. In this way, reminding ourselves, being aware always, I’m one with the Buddha.


Intrusive thoughts can be a symptom associated with OCD, tourettes, and anxiety. I really recommend you read about the topic in general, like the above link. Intrusive blasphemous thoughts are a specific symptom of OCD, and it's known Martin Luther experienced them, and his religiosity was profoundly influenced by such experiences.

It's great that you are asking about this, because many sufferers go through their experiences without doing so, and feel to blame for what their mind is doing. Our brains do many complex and useful things outside of our conscious awareness, the flipside of that is sometimes our brains do the wrong things and it can be hard change.

Recommended treatments include CBT, which may be available through your healthcare provider, or there are free online ways to use it. There's exposure therapy, the treatment of choice, which I think is delivered by psychological professionals. Medication can be appropriate for severe cases, but I don't think clinically you are in that category.

In terms of things you can do right now. Notice how the thoughts, and then anxiety about the thoughts, tends to make them worse. Being in a state of anxiety, tends to make us more 'jumpy', and switch to more automatic responses. Anxiety tends to make us focus our eyes and attention on less of our visual space, but conversely if we pay attention to our peripheral vision, that's a que to the body that tjis isn't a moment where the anxiety response is needed.

The general advice in meditating, is to treat thoughts as like clouds passing, not trying to push or pull them, just letting them arise, not attaching to or embellishing them, and letting them pass. That applies to what you are experiencing too. Rather than concern or discust, try to simply hold neutral curioysity: 'Oh, this is what my mind is offering me now, ok, no judgement, let it go, wait for what it offers next, and observe that and let it go too'. Meditation is not about controlling the mind, it is about learning about our own mind. Common Buddhist metaphors describe our conscious mind to our wole mind as like the mahout guiding an elephant, or the ox-herder pictures in Zen of gradually taming a wild ox, or 'monkey mind' is maybe especially appropriate for intrusive thoughts. That is, we can't treat our whole mind as something to just be told what do, but, by learning it's ways, we can come to cooperate with it.

Do you practice mantras or dharanis? They might help too.

  • Do you think it will work for my thoughts? Sometimes they are so disturbing that I don't ever want to think about it again. Do you think it will go away eventually? When one thought goes away, another more disturbing one pops up.
    – Tony
    Commented Mar 19 at 14:05
  • I don't know why everything I see, learned at school or do, my mind would create thoughts that is related to the Buddha and other Bodhisattvas, literally everything is sexualized weirdly and the product is so weird, like having affairs and stuff like that. Can you give me advices about that?
    – Tony
    Commented Mar 19 at 18:02
  • @Tony: I think you need to think seriously about therapy, even though it's expensive. I'm not a psychological professional, & those are the relevant people here. My experience, is that you can cultivate an attitude of non-attachment even to intrusive thoughts, just see it as a weird film, & try to maintain an attitude of equanimity. But I don't experience what sound like OCD symptoms. This exposure-therapy seems to be what is rated best, I think you should look into it.
    – CriglCragl
    Commented Mar 19 at 20:01
  • I'l try to look for free online therapy first, until I save up enough to get the actual therapy. The thoughts are disruptive, but I can still manage it to my daily lifestyle I guess
    – Tony
    Commented Mar 19 at 21:29

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