Lectionary resources for worship, faith formation, and service
“Dadirri is a unique gift of the Australian Aboriginal people, it recognises the deep spring that is inside us…
The contemplative way of dadirri spreads over our whole life. It renews us and brings us peace. It makes us feel whole again… Our Aboriginal culture has taught us to be still and to wait. We do not try to hurry things up. We let them follow their natural course – like the seasons…we wait for the right time…we wait on God, too…We know that in time and in the spirit of dadirri (that deep listening and quiet stillness) God’s way will be clear.” (Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann of the Ngangikurungkurr people from Daly River in the Northern Territory)
The wisdom and voice of Miriam-Rose resonates in the story of Eli and Samuel; Eli encourages Samuel to “inner deep listening and quiet still awareness.”
Eli said, “The next time you hear the voice calling, I don’t want you to come running in here. Instead, I want you to say, ‘Here I am, God. I am listening’” (From A voice in the Night, based on 1 Samuel 3:1–20 p. 120 SeasonsFUSION Advent, Christmas, Epiphany 2011-12).
The key to dadirri is in simply being, rather than in outcomes and activity. The stations and the contemplative corner for January 15 described on pages 121-123 provide opportunities/ways for listening — listening with the heart, and discerning a way.
“Samuel went back to bed. He crawled under his bed cover and listened. The wind whispered outside his window. The night bug chirped in the corner. This time Samuel listened – his eyes opened wide with wonder…” (From A voice in the Night, based on 1 Samuel 3:1–20 p. 120 SeasonsFUSION Advent, Christmas, Epiphany 2011-12).
Reading and re-reading Miriam-Rose’s reflection and re-imagining Samuel in his quiet, sacred space as he listens and discerns, called me back to Lara Bozabalian’s thoughtful and inspiring article “Finding a Path” on p. 6 of SeasonsFUSION, Advent, Christmas, Epiphany.
“I walk because it brings me into a meditative state, and I find nature to be a sort of ceiling-less cathedral for those experiences…I enter into the act of writing much the same way I do with forests: reverent, alert, in peace.”
As you find a place to sit and look and listen to the earth and the environment around you, and the deep spring within you, Julie Perrin offers this blessing…
For you, deep stillness of the silent inland
for you, deep blue of the desert skies
for you, flame red of the rocks and stones
for you, sweet water from hidden springs.
From the edges seek the heartlands
and when you’re burnt by the journey
may the cool winds of the hovering Spirit
soothe and replenish you.
In the name of Christ.
Words: Julie Perrin, © 1996. Music: Robin Mann, © 1996. Used by permission.
(p. 16-17 Seasons Songbook Vol. 4, #33 Seasons Music CD Vol. 4 and also available as MP3 and sheet music downloads at www.seasonsonline.ca