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No, You're Not Cured

Charlie Brown runs into Lucy in a field. Lucy is playing idly with a football. She invites Charlie Brown to kick it while she holds it. Charlie Brown refuses. Lucy yanks the ball away at the last second every time. But no, she promises, this time will be different. This time she’ll really let him kick the football. Charlie Brown thinks about it for a second, then goes for it. The temptation is too great. After all these tries, he’s finally going to… Lucy yanks the football away.

Charles M. Schulz’s classic strip resonates so deeply with us because it is one of the great metaphors of life. We want, we want, we want what we know we can’t have, but the pull is so strong, surely the world can’t be this cruel, people can’t be so callous and, and, and, we end up on our backs, fooled again. Ugh.


My meditation practice and my demons are constantly lining up to kick the football. Every so often I’ll get to a place where I think, “Hey, things are good, things are under control, I’m mindful now, I got this,” and just as sure as the thought arises, I end up on my back. But surely, no, not this time, right?


Each person’s practice is unique, of course. But they all share one thing in common. They can and will never end. The vigilance to know what is the right course of action - staying on the proverbial cushion - must always be there. Lucy van Pelt, charms and all, is always waiting.

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