Japanese beetles are feasting on my zinnias and potatoes, creating leaf lacework. They copulate on a marriage bed of creamy white marigolds. The beetles themselves are beautiful--iridescent blue-green and bronze shimmering in July's hot sun.
One friend, Kai, goes out to her vegetable garden every morning and picks off the beetles. It's a "weeding" out of bugs. A preventative measure protecting the life of the plant.
This sort of steady attention is a quality we bring to meditation. Every day, we spend some time sitting quietly. At first, we simply notice the weeds in our mind and identify them one by one: irritation, desire, confusion. Eventually we apply the antidotes: loving-kindness for irritation, generosity for desire, and wisdom for confusion.