The Way Forward

Debra Jones

Aug 2016

Our culture is changing. We are welcoming the ways of other cultures to help us find the way forward.

‘For centuries we’ve largely ignored the wisdom of those among us who are still directly connected to ancestral ways of knowledge.

As our modern lifestyle collides with the fact that our Earth is not capable of supporting our current way of life, we are finally starting to look to those who once lived in a state of indefinite sustainability and abundance, for a way forward’, says Jonathan Davis in his article An Indigenous Approach to Healing Trauma

We Hurry, We Strive

In our culture, we push ourselves unnaturally.  Many wake up to the harsh sounds of an alarm, be it a buzz or lively music or the news (!), feeling that we could use 'just a little more sleep' - but we dutifully get up anyway and hurry to get ready.  

We travel to work (even if it's just down the hallway) with thoughts about what we need to accomplish today or what fires we need to avoid or put out.  Come Friday, we want to rush through our day to get to the weekend faster.

This constant forward push, that desire to get somewhere - physically or even spiritually - prevents us from truly LIVING our lives.  When we're focused on the future, or focused on past events we're missing the only moment that really exists - the NOW.

As a healer, I understand the benefits of meditation; taking time out from the everyday.  I often suggest it to my clients - firstly as a way to teach balance and secondly as a method of maintaining life balance.

Meditation is a way to return our focus to the NOW.  Focusing on our long, slow, deep breaths turns our mind away from our many thoughts and allows us to break the cycle.

However, as I'm always looking to discover new ways to teach my clients balance, after a meditative experience of my own I was lead to something new:

Australian Aboriginal elder, Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann shares with us the practice of

The Healing Power of Listening in Stillness - known as ‘Dadirri’.

She tells us, '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 watch the moon in each of its phases. We wait for the rain to fill our rivers and water the thirsty earth...

Allow us to introduce you to dadirri:

How YOU Can Experience Dadirri

Non-Aboriginal people would call this contemplation. It’s the way we sit and take time and go in deep.

Reserve a space regularly for about 5 minutes, in the morning or evening. Go outside if you can. Simply sit and look at and listen to the earth and environment that surrounds you.

Focus on something specific, such as a bird, a blade of grass, a clump of soil, cracked earth, a flower, bush or leaf, a cloud in the sky or a body of water, whatever you can see.

You can also let something find you, be it a leaf, the sound of a bird, the feel of the breeze, the light on a tree trunk. There’s no need to try, just wait a while.

Be still and silent and listen…

Following this quiet time, there may be, on occasion, value in expressing in some way your experience of this quiet, still listening. You may wish to talk about the experience or journal, write poetry, draw, paint or sing. This needs to be held in balance - the key to dadirri is in simply being, rather than in outcomes and activity.