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Dadirri: Listening to one another

Miriam Rose Ungunmerr


Dadirri. A special quality, a unique gift of the Aboriginal people, is inner deep listening and quiet still awareness. Dadirri recognises the deep spring that is inside us. It is something like what you call contemplation.

The contemplative way of Dadirri spreads over our whole life. It renews us and brings us peace. It makes us feel whole again. In our Aboriginal way we learnt to listen from our earliest times. We could not live good and useful lives unless we listened.

We are not threatened by silence. We are completely at home in it. Our Aboriginal way has taught us to be still and wait. We do not try to hurry things up. We let them follow their natural course - like the seasons. We watch the moon in each of its phases. We wait for the rain to fill our rivers and water the thirsty earth. When twilight comes we prepare for the night. At dawn we rise with the sun. We watch the bush foods and wait for them to open before we gather them. We wait for our young people as they grow, stage by stage through their initiation ceremonies. When a relation dies we wait for a long time with the sorrow. We own our grief and allow it to heal slowly. We wait for the right time for our ceremonies and meetings. The right people must be present. Careful preparations must be made. We don't mind waiting because we want things to be done with care. Sometimes many hours will be spent on painting the body before an important ceremony.

We don't worry. We know that in time and in the spirit of Dadirri (that deep listening and quiet stillness) the way will be made clear.

We are like the tree standing in the middle of a bushfire sweeping through the timber. The leaves are scorched and the tough bark is scarred and burnt, but inside the tree the sap is still flowing and under the ground the roots are still strong. Like that tree we have endured the flames and we still have the power to be re-born.

Our people are used to the struggle and the long waiting. We still wait for the white people to understand us better. We ourselves have spent many years learning about the white man's ways; we have learnt to speak the white man's language; we have listened to what he had to say. This learning and listening should go both ways. We are hoping people will come closer. We keep on longing for the things that we have always hoped for, respect and understanding.

We know that our white brothers and sisters carry their own particular burdens. We believe that if they let us come to them, if they open up their minds and hearts to us, we may lighten their burdens. There is a struggle for us but we have not lost our spirit of Dadirri.

There are deep springs within each one of us. Within this deep spring, which is the very spirit, is a sound. The sound of Deep calling to Deep. The time for rebirth is now. If our culture is alive and strong and respected it will grow. It will not die and our spirit will not die. I believe the spirit of Dadirri that we have to offer will blossom and grow, not just within ourselves but in our whole nation.

Edited version adapted from the writings of Miriam Rose Ungenmerr.

A couple of links to where I found the dadirri text -

One site is here - a rather large file.

That file also has a bit of a discussion about "robots" that I found interesting as I skipped through it looking for the dadirri text ...

and here in another huge file - here

Here is a link to some excellent dreamtime stories -

Dream Time Stories {Hmmm ... need to check this link ... click}

Will add more links as I think of them ....

Like these didj sites ...

Didjeridu meditations

Mandala light show - and some cool didj music ... :)

The didj shop - genuine termite-hollowed didgeridus

Stephen Kent

More didj music ...

Didjeridu Discography - includes Overtone Chanting

Update July 2002 ...

Without the land we are nothing

Journey into the Dreamtime

Ancient Art including the Wondjina

A few more ...

Aboriginal Fine Arts Gallery

Dreamtime Gallery

Aboriginal mural in Dandenong :)                           {Full-size click here}

Word Circus

Table of Australian-New Zealand Gods

Australian Aboriginals & their world-view

Another interesting page

Plus another

More art

{I found most of those sites while tapping out afew excerpts from Sacred Sites in Australia , which also includes ... loads more ... (you guessed it) ... links }

A rotating yin/yang symbol

Click on this image to go to another nice page ...

Click here for my home page