Thursday Tidbits: Digging Deep for “Meraki”

This week’s Thursday Tidbits considers meraki, a modern Greek word for that “extra something” we add to whatever we’re doing, no matter the task. Usually intangible and often inexplicable, meraki helps us immerse ourselves into whatever is at hand. We dig deep for meraki.

Over the last few weeks, I have had to reinvent my diet, in fact my entire daily way of being. Thanks to Prompts for the Promptless, I now have a word for it, meraki, which actually is often associated with cooking, that hard to identify ingredient or quality so essential to adapting to life.

Although I thought I was on a Slow Boat to Fitness, it seems it was not my boat at all. Last November, I began supplementing Meraki Momentmy diet with a few legumes, bread made from brown rice, and a few fruits. I was able to tolerate the extra carbohydrates but steadily the inflammation increased as did the discomfort. Only apples are still allowed.

At first, I thought it was the yoga so I modified my practice yet eventually, I had to stop. I continued with my walking but as the inflammation and discomfort increased, my distance lessened. Yet, after five months, I finally had a meraki moment.

Did I gain weight? Yes one day and no the next and then yes again, the usual roller coaster that has been my experience with the inflammation from degenerative arthritis and lupus. Overall, my weight did not change, which I attribute to the doshas of Ayurveda, of which I am kapha, mostly. Ayurveda eased me into my meraki moment regarding my food.

The ancient art of Ayurveda is not concerned with classifying carbohydrates, proteins, and fats but concentrates on the six tastes found in food: the hot tastes of pungent, sour, and salty; the cold tastes of bitter, astringent, and sweet. Those tastes carry different messages to the body and it reacts accordingly. Ayurveda is so much more than that but I am just beginning.

For me, Ayurveda provides a way to practice my meraki with maitri or loving-kindness as I let go of a diet that I enjoyed but did not provide my body the fuel it must have to fight inflammation and support my joints. I was looking outside myself for answers that were always within me:

If you look for the truth outside yourself,
It gets farther and farther away.
Today walking alone, I meet it everywhere I step.
It is the same as me, yet I am not it.
Only if you understand it in this way
Will you merge with the way things are.” ~ Tung-Shan ~

Meraki helps me listen to my body rather than sending it commands to which it cannot comply because it does not have the energy. A return to yoga is actually relieving some of the discomfort in my joints, and the walking is easier.

With meraki, which always involves one’s enthusiasm for life, I have added daily trips to the delightful blog, Zen flash, an online temple offering daily posts of solitary images and transcendent lines.  It is a part of my morning meditation practice but I also visit at other times to remember:

“Everyday life

is not divorced from

the Eternal State.

~~Sri Ramana Maharshi

In the spirit of Zen flash, this week’s video offers Schumann’s Opus 15 as a moment of merkai from me to you.

Thursday Tidbits are weekly posts that offer choice bits of information to celebrate our oneness with one another through our unique perspectives. It is how we connect, how we have always connected but in the 21st century, the connection is a global one.

17 thoughts on “Thursday Tidbits: Digging Deep for “Meraki”

  1. gr8 post ……..and beautiful word – meraki , the entire philosophy of sri ramana maharishi in three words ” WHO AM I ” ………simple , yet sums up the whole philosophy of life

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  2. Pingback: Prompts for the Promptless – Ep. 6 – Counterintuition | rarasaur

  3. Pingback: Truth of the Ninja | rarasaur

  4. I find the intersection between the workings of the immune system and the food we eat to be intriguing – not least because I have had to meet similar challenges myself, over the years. Getting to the bottom of it, to me, highlighted the way that the western medical and scientific tradition is founded in thinking that works well enough within its limits – but which, when confronted by those limits, all too often recoils and explodes. It takes a particular mind set to get around them.

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    • I so agree about the limitations of medicine in the West, as you know. Like you, I am intrigued by the immune system and its relationship to food, although it is such a trial and error approach, at least for me. That said, all that I have read is finally beginning to gel and any experimentation on my part is more informed. However, I remain completely nonplussed when it comes to the Western medical establishment. Thanks so much, Matthew!
      Karen

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  5. Ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto…to everyone below! I try to do this too, and I didn’t know there was a word for it! Ah, the limitations of the English language. Sounds like your own journey is an open and receptive one, similar to that of many great teachers and thinkers. Thank you for sharing your learnings with us!

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    • Like you, I am so glad to have added meraki to my vocabulary; it is not often one discovers a word that transforms any task. Meraki makes the ordinary extraordinary. English is a bit precise and not given to such words of essence, as you say. I really appreciate your kind words about my blog and writing. It means a lot.

      Karen

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  6. Another wonderful Thursday Tidbit (that I am experiencing on Friday), Karen. Thank you. I agree with Beth and Ammaponders, you introduce us to so much in your posts. Thank you for the Tung shan quotation, the Zen flash site, and the new way of looking at diet. Keep flying, my friend. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

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    • What lovely words about my blog, Kozo. It means so much that you enjoy the posts. It really does. Meraki in diet may just be the ingredient I have been missing. Hugs to you, dear friend.
      Karen

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  7. So often I’m both challenged and inspired by what you write. You remind me to be “mindful”. Today’s post teaches me that looking within remains a most powerful tool and that ‘meraki’ (definitely a new word for me) is that process of transformation we bring to any task. Perhaps also in telling stories. Have you thought about putting your writings into a daily meditation book, available in print or e-pub?

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    • I agree that meraki in story telling is the intangible ingredient on which the story floats. We build the story and meraki sets its sails.

      Wow! What a compliment, Beth, about my writing. I had not considered a daily meditation book, and I thank you for the suggestion. It’s an honor.

      Karen

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  8. You’re right! Doing things with meraki adds enthusiasm to life, and that’s so important. 🙂 I’m so glad you’re finding your path, and that the path you’ve chosen is filled with meraki. 😀

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  9. Pingback: Prompts for the Promptless – Ep. 5 – Meraki | rarasaur

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