Seijaku (silence)

Seijaku is Japanese for “silence”. According to my host Eri, it’s a poetic word that combines two kanji: 静 (calm, quite, peaceful) and 寂 (lonely).

So far the hardest thing about WWOOF has been the silence. The main reason I went on this trip was to quite my mind – I knew it would be a challenge, but  underestimated how hard it would be on a mental level.

Normally I gorge myself on stimuli: watching TV while I eat, listening to podcasts while I clean, reading on the subway, listening to music in the gym, etc. There is a constant flow of *stuff* into my brain, mostly so I don’t have to deal with my own thoughts, full of anxiety and regret.

Taking all that noise away all at once is highly disorienting. Couple that with lack of sleep and repetitive manual labor and things get even tougher. I’ve decided to ease my way into it – I continue to check Facebook and I listen to audibooks sometimes, when I’m particularly tired or bored – but my goal is to cut all of that out.

I want to be ok with silence.

7 thoughts on “Seijaku (silence)

  1. Don’t rush it though. Any change in one’s circumstances is painful, and even more so
    if it is abrupt. The true problem is a complete silence, when not only are there no
    sounds from without, but also from within … one step closer to the big NOTHING …


      1. Oh yeah… just moved LAST week :-). I’m in a small town (appx 2,300 people) in the Columbia River Gorge called White Salmon. I’m in the southern part of the state, about an hour east of Portland, OR. It’s amazing here so far. I’ve also been trying to document my journey – Would love to tell you more about it anytime!


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