Find Happiness 22: “Good Thoughts” and “Bad Thoughts”: Baloney!

by Lucky Balaraman

goodthoughtsbadthoughts Earlier in my life, I used to waste an inordinate amount of mental energy dealing with what I felt were “bad thoughts” (i.e. thoughts which I felt were “wrong” for me to think). If a “bad thought” happened to pass through my head, I would immediately attempt to get rid of it (to no avail, of course, since we cannot really control what we think). Try as I might, the thought would most often keep returning, almost as if to taunt me, and I would struggle to stop it. This occupied much time which I could have otherwise spent productively.

Also, since I was not successful in getting rid of “bad thoughts,” I decided that I was in a hopeless situation. This invoked worrying about how my life was going to be wasted because of “wrong” thinking, and anxiety about whether I would ever be able to fix the problem. More time frittered away.

To make things worse, my hopelessness created downstream effects of dejection and low self-esteem.

The acute mental distress I thus experienced forced me to look for a solution. After much searching and effort, I came across an enlightened person; the great thing was that he wanted to help me find happiness and was infinitely patient. He would not only solve my problem, he said, but would rebuild my psyche into something akin to a shimmering palace.

In time I learned from him that I am the silent being that is aware of my thoughts and am therefore in a way separate from them. Secondly, he taught me that there are no "good thoughts" and no "bad thoughts"; there are only thoughts. He explained that thoughts are like birds flying across the sky and that I should just watch them; I should not try to chase any of the birds away or capture any of them, just watch them fly by.

It took me time to make this attitude fully my own. However, at a certain point in my transformation, I began to find happiness in my emerging new attitude; I did not want to abandon the attitude because it made me utterly peaceful, and the peace was invincible.

I remember thinking to myself how I had wasted so many years in unnecessary pain and misery. When I thought about it in more depth, though, it struck me that perhaps that distress was necessary for me to find happiness. I had to go through it to want and find a solution. I concluded that I should be grateful for the distress.

I know for a fact that many people are trapped by the notion of “good thoughts” and “bad thoughts.” Usually this notion comes to us in our younger years from outside … most commonly from our parents, teachers or trusted friends. They were certainly well-meaning when they advised us; but unknown to them, they were absolutely wrong in their belief.

Allowing thoughts to pass freely without wanting them to stay or trying to stop them takes courage and time. But the courage is in you and the time is well worth it. Start now, find happiness and make your life more meaningful and productive!

To your permanent happiness,



The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Jack November 16, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Question.. I know some of what Buddhism says in regards to monogamous romantic relationships, but it would seem inevitable, if we are not to want to hold on to thoughts or feelings, being forever single is the reality. Do you agree? Can you speak to this, please?

Thank you


Lucky Balaraman November 19, 2013 at 11:32 am

When you are detached from your thoughts, ie you no longer think they are “you” speaking, but regard them as you would a song on the radio. In that situation, if some thoughts suggest an action, like, “I want to brush my teeth now,” it’s up to you to decide to brush your teeth or not (in advanced stages, you are detached even from such decisions, but don’t try to do that yet).

In short, being detached from your thoughts does not mean your mind does not suggest actions and does not mean you do not perform actions.

So, to go back to your specific question, one fine day you’re out with this nice woman and your mind says, “I want to kiss this woman.” You then decide to act on the suggestion or not to. You may also feel emotions like, “I love this woman”, which you observe, and continue to be ready to witness other ensuing caring thoughts about her.

The overall situation is not very different from being attached to your thoughts, except that your life is without the pain resulting from frequent bruising of your ego. That’s because in a state of detachment, you have no ego… you do not claim ownership over your thoughts, especially thoughts like, “I deserve respect as an educated man.” You come to realize that all your thoughts belong to nature (they come out of your brain), and therefore the Universe.

Think about all this, Jack, I hope it takes your further in your understanding of yourself.



Jerr May 11, 2011 at 10:36 pm

I’m so glad I came across your article. I can relate to it so much. I’ve been trying to do this for so long but often the effort slips out and I fall back into a miserable state of being. This article showed me reflection, confirmation and hope, towards sticking to it and to continue no matter what.

Thank you so much.


Lucky May 12, 2011 at 1:14 am

You’re welcome. The method was discovered thousands of years ago and I’d estimate millions of people have used it successfully over that time. I can tell you from personal experience that it works. Be aware that perseverance and faith in the method are key.

Judy K Hall May 11, 2011 at 5:29 am

I have much stress and anxiety in my life right now. Reading your tweets helps. Thanks!


Lucky May 11, 2011 at 5:43 am

You’re welcome. I appreciate your feedback. If there are other questions you have, please let me know what they are. I will post the answers on this blog so that all readers can benefit from them —

lisa March 1, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Thanks Lucky~ This was very helpful for me today. My boundaries have been a bit raggedy today/lately. I had my Mom (rip) to remind me, but now she sent me to you. I am not big on email anymore, deactivated my facebook-so will check in via twitter. Peace and love to you.


Lucky March 2, 2011 at 5:46 am

Sorry to hear about your mom, Lisa. Reading my tweets is a good idea since often they link to important posts on this website. Try my free course if you have the time.

Lucky October 29, 2010 at 3:38 am

Sim. Apenas lhes permitem ir e vir, pois eles são incapazes de afetar o “básico você” que é o seu testemunho.


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