Flourish Beyond 50-with Samyak Yamauchi

by Judy Griffin on June 18, 2014

Image 1

My Guest contributor Samyak Yamauchi has an interesting and creatively written story to share.


A Tourist In Chinatown

The temperature is chilly,

but the sun is too bright.

Her big,Hollywood sunglasses

can’t protect her eyes,

so she shuts them, and

WHACK – a fortune cookie hits her on the head!

She can’t read the signs at the bus station.

She doesn’t hear the announcement on the loudspeaker.

She misses her bus.  She loses her purse.

Not her best vacation…


“I recently came out the other side of a year of challenging awakening experiences and slipped into what I had been looking for my whole life – the spiritual sweet spot of knowing who I truly am. ” ~Samyak Yamauchi


I’m very fortunate. I’m coming to the end of my third year of retirement in good health and relationship.  I don’t have to go anywhere I don’t want to go. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. I get to paint everyday. It’s kind of like being on permanent vacation.

The first year I was retired, my husband and I took a seven-week road trip through the southwest states.  It was fun and exciting.  We saw beautiful land and spent time with good people.

When I returned, rather than asking me “What did you do?”, a friend asked me, “What did you learn?”

I paid attention to the question because no one had ever asked me that about vacation before. My answer was, “I learned how noisy the world is and how hard it is to find silence.”

I did find silence on that trip.  I found it in the cliffs and canyons in Utah and on the mesa tops in New Mexico.

Once I was home I looked for the silence, but couldn’t find it.  My life was noisy:  buses driving by day and night, a block away from my house, fans blowing 24/7 at the switching station next door, my happy husband singing and musically “doot doot- ing” his way through the day.

More importantly, I couldn’t find silence in myself.  My mind was constantly full of too many words and ideas. My days were busy with frenetic activity.

But a couple years later after years and years of fighting it, I slipped into the silence without trying.  I let LOVE into my heart one night – just like that, I just let it in.  There, I found the sweet spot where silence surrounds with calm understanding and acceptance of what IS.

I saw the events that happen in my life to be noisy distractions that manifest to help remind me of how to stay in the space of silence and peace… These events rise up… I meet them, breathe them, let them go and return to my center.  Then something else comes up, and I repeat the process. This happens again and again, and will probably continue throughout the rest of my life. Last month important events took place.  Big things that shook me up and out of the silence.

1. My sister died an unexpected and difficult death.

I was shocked and so saddened. She died just four days after I found out how very sick she was.

I’ve watched four members of my immediate family die. I’ve listened to each of them take their final breath in and release it out.  I’ve felt the silence that follows as the spirit leaves the body.  It’s a stillness that makes me aware of the silence that exists in my aliveness.  I found the silence in the stillness of her death.

2. I closed the book on a friendship that was going nowhere, and I let the friendship go.

My mind told me again and again to hold onto that friendship, even though it didn’t feed my soul.  My mind and my ego-self knew how easily I would grasp on and get distracted by the noisy emotionality of it and lose my peace.

And I did, until through the window of painting and the quiet I find there, I saw the truth. We all get caught up in ourselves, but my friend’s self absorption makes it impossible for us to have the give-and-take that a true friendship requires.  I found silence in the letting go.

3. I may lose a friend to drug addiction.

My friend’s drug addiction was the most destructive noise of all.  It pushed its way into my life and pulled my friend away with no regard for anyone or anything.

I don’t know where my friend is, and I don’t know will happen next.  I do know that there is nothing I can do to help now, except; accept it. I found silence in the acceptance.

The past four weeks have been very intense. I miss my sister, and I miss my friends. I didn’t like that month of my permanent vacation.

I am grateful, however, for the practice they have given me in remembering how to find silence again. I am grateful for the silence.

Now things seemed to have settled down.  The shock, sadness, and grief of the previous month’s events are dissipating.  Two days ago my husband and I went to the beach to accompany our granddaughter’s first grade class on a field trip.

The weather was good. It was fun to see all the little kids having fun.  It was fun to walk on the beach, sleep in a motel, go out to eat, and spend time with our family. It was a little vacation.

What did I learn?  I learned that life is really noisy and it’s hard to find silence – but you can.  It’s just that it might be found in places you wouldn’t think to look.

Samyak’s self description – I retired three years ago after teaching elementary school for 30 years.  Now I am an artist and creativity/soul-work facilitator.  I paint “Playful Primitives” and create/facilitate workshops for women that combine spirituality and art-making.  I’ve been married for 34 years, have two adult children and three grandchildren.  I began my conscious spiritual path about 15 years ago through Reiki and Shamanism.  I recently came out the other side of a year of challenging awakening experiences and slipped into what I had been looking for my whole life – the spiritual sweet spot of knowing who I truly am.

Samya’s thoughts and perspective on silence and loss really resonate for me. She reminds me how silence offers peace and a path back too your true essence. This serves to highlight the importance of breathing through your challenges knowing that you will get though them and return back to you.

Do you feel that your life is too noisy? I often do and really make an effort to get calm and quiet.

Please share what resonates for you.

I invite you to learn about my Flourish Beyond 50 Blog/Book Project and consider sharing your story.

Please check out my recent contributors and share your thoughts. 

Aunt Marie

Polly Leaf

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

polly leaf June 19, 2014 at 12:40 pm

It seems sometimes that the world cannot tolerate the idea of living in silence. Samayak’s contribution supports our capability to “ponder”, to come to a halt and let something live and grow within us.


Judy Griffin June 19, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Great point Polly. Yes, pondering is under rated. I appreciate your feedback.


Leave a Comment

{ 3 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: