Asian lady beetle with aphids – Photo by Jef Meul
During the 1970s, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Forestry Commission released large numbers of Harmonia axyridis to reduce the need for pesticides in forests, farmlands and gardens. Capable of eating 5000 aphids in its lifetime, the Asian ladybug has proven itself to be a beneficial form of pest control. This non-native species can vary in color from red or orange to a dull cream and can be found with or without spots. The white ‘cheeks’ of this beetle are marked with a black W (or M). Unfortunately houses resemble the caves these insects used as shelter in Asia during the winter months, so they tend to invade homes when it turns cold. The beetles will also nip (without breaking the skin) and can release a yellow, smelly substance from their joints as a defensive measure. Once praised for their amazing control of aphids, mites and scale insects, Asian lady beetles are now condemned for exhibiting their natural behavior. Likewise, the thirty-seventh slogan implores us not to let the ego convince us that what is helpful has become too much of a hassle to tolerate. Often we succumb to the idea that spiritual practice should remove all of our challenges and keep us from any pain. But mind training is not about building up the ego and separating ourselves from what is unpleasant. Instead of using all our energy trying to make something go away, we can consider how we can work with it.
No matter what is going on, there are always small moments in which we can find some joy or relief if we are open to them. ~ Norman Fischer
For more information on the thirty-seventh slogan, go here.