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The Native Aboriginal Approach to Meditation

The Native Aboriginal Approach to Meditation

We tend to associate meditation with Buddhism but in fact different ways of contemplation have been part of all our ancient cultures. Dadirri, the native Australian Aboriginal approach to meditation is both beautiful and simple and there is much we can learn from it in our modern hectic world.

The word dadirri literally means “the Deep Water Sounds” and involves tapping into what they see as a deep spring that is within of all us, simply waiting and listening, not asking questions, not asking for anything. It is practiced both individually or in a group.

A way of life

Dadirri is more than just a 20-minute-a-day practice though. It permeates their entire way of life, their whole being, and was passed down t them by their ancestors. It renews them on a day-to-day basis, bringing them peace, balance, harmony and restoring health and wholeness. The traditional Aboriginal people are not threatened by silence – they feel quite at home in it. They do not try to hurry things up but rather they allow them to follow their natural courses—like the seasons… and they wait. And because of this, they never worry – everything will be made clear to them in time!

Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann an Aboriginal elder describes it as follows:

“When I experience dadirri, I am made whole again…I can sit on the riverbank or walk through the trees; even if someone close to me has passed away, I can find my peace in this silent awareness. There is no need of words. Dadirri is a practice that allows us to open up this trapped pain and trauma in a sacred and held space and with the support of those around us, we can finally feel it in order for it to be released.. In our Aboriginal way, we learnt to listen from our earliest days. We could not live good and useful lives unless we listened. This was the normal way for us to learn – not by asking questions. We learnt by watching and listening, waiting and then acting. Our people have passed on this way of listening for over 40,000 years…The Aboriginal people have a special respect for Nature., a connection with the  land that is sacred and unique. Also a  very strong sense of community.  There is no need to reflect too much and to do a lot of thinking. It is just being aware.”

Something we in the West could learn from

She feels that the Native Aboriginal Approach to Meditation is something that we in the West could really learn from;

“We know that our white brothers and sisters carry their own particular burdens. We carry burdens as well. Yet I believe that if they let us come to them, if they would open up their minds and hearts to us and hear what we have to say, we might lighten their burdens. There is a struggle for all of us, but we, unlike them, have not lost our spirit of dadirri…I believe that the spirit of dadirri that we have to offer to the world will help you Westerners to blossom and grow, not just within yourselves, but within your nation as well…There are deep springs within each of us and within them, there is a sound—the sound of the deep calling to the deep. The time for rebirth is now. If our culture and your culture are alive and well, as well as strong and respected, they will grow. In such a case, our culture will not die, nor will yours, and our spirits will not be lost. We will continue, together, as this was always meant to be.”

This video of Miriam rose speaking is well worth watching to get more of a flavour of what dadirri means:   

Or read this article:

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