The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

Dadirri – The Deep Listening Within the Heart

Prisoners of time and meeting deadlines — COVID-19 has turned our lives upside down. The virus is slowing us down. We have to wait. If we don't want to go back to the old normal, what are we learning?

All cultures have a mythology of a spiritual realm, whether it is Nirvana or Heaven or Dadirri, without which life would be intolerable. Humanity aspires to something outside of ourselves with which we can become one.

Father Eugene Stockton, a retired Catholic priest and archaeologist in the Blue Mountains, has spent a lifetime learning from Indigenous communities all over Australia. Writing with Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr, the pair speak of 'Dadirri' — an inner listening and quiet, still awareness; something akin to contemplation. Dadirri recognises the deep spring that is inside us. We can call on it and it calls to us.

Experiencing Dadirri makes Miriam-Rose whole again. She tells of how she can sit on a riverbank or walk through the trees, listening, in that same way in which her community have listened since the earliest days. She knows that her people could not live good, useful lives unless they listen.

As COVID-19 forces us to slow down, may we listen, reflect and learn things that will be useful when these days are over.