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If you non-do when you are triggered, you do give up something very precious.

In a word, it is certainty.


When you non-do, you give up certainty.


What is nondoing?


Nondoing is taking your hands off of—or, more likely, if you’re good and frothing—it’s retracting your claws out of—a thing that is getting to you. Usually, that “thing” is a thought form. It’s a thought you’re caught in.


Nondoing begins with the realization that  you’re caught in the first place—that you are triggered. That you are, as Pema Chodron says, hooked, perhaps like a fish. Nondoing begins with the realization that you are suffering.


Whether you’re enraged/anxious/bitter/horrified/jealous/etc: nondoing begins when   you realize that, in a manner of a hooked fish, you are indeed hurting.  


It is a huge thing to realize—and then admit—that you are in the midst of suffering.



The question is how to extract yourself.

How to retract your claws when they’re sunk in deep, because once it gets going, the thing, the suffering, takes on a momentum of its own.


And we do try to extract ourselves. We try by doing something—or, some thing. We do some thing. We try to fix the thing.


It doesn’t work—as in, we don’t feel better. Even if we “fix” the thing, we don’t really feel better. But that’s all we know.


With nondoing, we don’t do some thing.


This next sentence is important, so lean in—or do like Fat Joe and lean back, but stay with me:


Instead of doing some thing: we look down at our claws. We just look. 


This looking, this seeing, is what changes the course of your afternoon, your life, the whole world.

We look down, and see how the skin of our fingers is torn and bleeding. We remember that we aren’t fuckin’ Wolverine, we’re regular humans, and it really hurts us, it emotionally and physically hurts us, every time our claws come out.


This looking softens us, softens our claws, even just a tad.


But that tad is all the opening that is needed.



And now we have capacity to notice, to say, “Wow, you are hurting, aren’t you?”


Some bristling, some blustering, may occur.

And then, sure enough, it will give way, just like our claws. Our clenched jaws.


And slowly, we may nod. We may tear up. For there may still be pain, yes; but now, a natural sweetness accompanies it: the sweetness that is compassion. Compassion for our very own selves.


And in that sweetness, we can actually feel what’s actually there.


And in feeling the thing, in seeing it without doing some thing to it:


Well, here is where the giving up of certainty comes in.


Because in the light of our seeing, our softness, our sweetness with ourselves: we will not know for sure what is next.



When we are sure of what is next, we are rigid.


And we are rigid because our backs are stiff and our necks are craned, looking ahead, assuring ourselves that what we’re sure is going to happen, is for sure definitely going to happen, because we’ve had to make it happen. We’ve had to do to make it happen. We’ve done our asses off to make sure it is going to happen and goddammit, it better happen on schedule.


When we are sure of what is next, we are tired all the time.

And we’re hungry, too—we don’t know what for, but even when we eat, even when we’re full, we’re hungry as hell.


When we are nondoing: when we are feeling what is actually there with genuine compassion: we feel fed. We are fed, and we know we are fed.


And we are, finally, relaxed.


And we have no fucking clue what the fuck is next, and we realize it makes no sense to be relaxed when we don’t know what’s next. But we don’t mind.


And our certainty—which we never had, anyway, because it doesn’t exist, but now we feel safe enough to acknowledge this—our certainty falls away more and more. It dissolves. Disintegrates sweetly like sugar candy on our tongues.





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