Dadirri, quiet stillness and waiting

Casuarinas, painted at Dadirri by Stuart Whitelaw

In 1989 I belonged to a little group of esoteric Anglicans who were interested indigenous spirituality. A talk by Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Bauman, an elder from Arnhem Land, was published in the newsletter. I was so struck by her words, and her description of listening to the land, of meditating with the earth, that I named our property Dadirri. It was densely covered with casuarina forest, the thick trees creating an atmosphere of calm, stillness and healing. Now I teach yoga here, and practice biodynamic craniosacral therapy, so many others come to enjoy the peace, and to experience dadirri.

Here are some words from Miriam-Rose:

Dadirri. It is inner, deep listening and quiet, still awareness. 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 watch the moon in each of its phases. We wait for the rain to fill our rivers and water the thirsty earth.

Dadirri recognises the deep spring that is inside us. We call on it and it calls to us. This is the gift that Australia is thirsting for. It is something like what you call ‘contemplation’.

When I experience dadirri, I am made whole again. I can sit on the river bank 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. The contemplative way of dadirri spreads over our whole life. It renews us and brings us peace. It makes us feel whole again.”

Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Bauman

Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann

Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann


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6 thoughts on “Dadirri, quiet stillness and waiting

  1. Sue (Napkinwriter) Beautiful post. Have stuck this in my resource file for a book I am working on about “Being Faithful to the Quiet.” May ask you about source permissions.

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