Seasons of the Spirit ~ SeasonsFUSION

Lectionary resources for worship, faith formation, and service

Dadirri – “inner deep listening and quiet still awareness”

“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)

You can read Miriam-Rose’s full reflection >

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).

How might you encourage/provide opportunities to practice Dadirri this week?

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


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5 comments on “Dadirri – “inner deep listening and quiet still awareness”

  1. Jo
    March 28, 2015

    I have loved learning about Dadirri, It makes it easier for me to understand The Aboriginal peoples connection to land/spirituality/ancestors/healing. I could never quite grasp ‘the dreaming’. Anyone looking for more information on this amazing practice, try Judy Atkinson’s, Trauma Trials-Recreating Song Lines. It’s a very informative study. Dadirri is document quite thoroughly.

  2. suse1950
    January 10, 2012

    on the theme of “deep listening and quiet stillness” I found the article “The Joy of Quiet” at interesting and sobering.

    “The Joy of Quiet

    In an article in The New York Times, veteran spiritual writer Pico Iyer notes that the average American spends at least 8 1/2 hours a day in front of a screen and the typical office worker enjoys no more than three minutes at his or her desk without interruption. These two facts alone are cause for concern about the health of our bodies, minds, and souls. Perhaps that explains the latest trend in the travel industry: “black-hole resorts” where you pay extra for the privilege of not being able to get online from your room. In China and Korea kids addicted to the screen are sent to “Internet Rescue Camps.”
    These examples signal that more and more people “crave nothing more than freedom, if only for a short while, from all the blinking machines, streaming videos and scrolling headlines that leave them feeling empty and too full at once.” Iyer talks about a few ways people are dealing with the deluge of data coming their way. Two of his journalist friends take an Internet Sabbath every week, turning off their online connections from Friday night to Monday morning. Others go for walks and purposely leave their cellphones at home. Several times a year, Iyer goes on a three-day retreat to a Benedictine monastery where he skips the services and meditation sessions in order to just immerse himself in the stillness surrounding him.
    The yearning to unplug, to slow down our hectic lives, and to savor silence is an authentic one.”

    • revkaty2000
      January 15, 2012

      This is so true (as I sit here in front of my computer reading and writing!). I did a guided meditation with our youth group last week, and they LOVED it. They are so hungry for this kind of peace and respite–aren’t we all?–so I will do one again this week, and have promised to do them more regularly. Thank you for this lovely additional info.

      • Wood Lake Publishing
        January 17, 2012

        Have you considered setting up a Season after the Epiphany contemplative corner for your young people – “a place to help people live further into the contemplative spirit of the Season after the Epiphany?” Guidelines for each week of the Season after the Epiphany are on the weekly resource pages.

        Perhaps a “meditation” with the poster “The Prophet”, adapted from Reflecting on the Word (January 22), will also provide opportunity for the young people to “un-plug” and be in the moment.

        Hope you will share your thoughts/ideas/insights/plans here. It might be trigger an “aha” moment for others.

  3. Pingback: Dadirri – “inner deep listening and quiet still awareness” | SeasonsFUSION

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