Dadirri: An Indigenous Approach To Healing Trauma
People have always experienced pain, and in the vast span of time before the colonial expansion of western culture, indigenous cultures weren’t without their methods of dealing with trauma.
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.
“In order to have sustainable community you have to make sure the people are sustainable. This means healing trauma.”
– Jarmbi Githabul, Ngarakwal / Githabul Custodian
What is Dadirri?
“Dadirri is inner, deep listening and quiet, still awareness. 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’.”
– Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann, Ngangiwumirr Elder
When Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann speaks* of dadirri, she speaks of a form of deep, contemplative listening that is nothing less than a personal spiritual practice. This type of listening in stillness is widely known all across the Australian continent, in many language groups under many names. “When I experience dadirri, I am made whole again.” Miriam describes. “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. A big part of dadirri is listening.”
Learning and healing through listening
According to Ungunmerr-Baumann the act of learning, from a very young age, is all about waiting and listening; not asking questions. In a culture where everyone is so well practiced at listening that it becomes a spiritual art, it makes sense that when trauma occurred the people would come together and deeply listen to each other. For this reason dadirri also refers to a form of group trauma healing that brings the deep presence found in the solo practice of dadirri to a group setting. Details of dadirri as group practice can be found in Prof. Judy Atkinson’s book Trauma Trails, Recreating Songlines. The essence of dadirri, in this wider context, is the creation of a space of deep contemplative, heart based listening where stories of trauma and pain can be shared and witnessed with loving acceptance.
In my own experiences with original Australians who are deeply connected to country, I have felt that they are so grounded it’s almost as if the land itself is listening to you, through them.
“Healing country heals ourselves, and healing ourselves heals country.”
– Prof. Judy Atkinson – Jiman / Bunjalung woman, author of Trauma Trails, Recreating Songlines
According to Prof. Stan Grof, trauma healing comes from finally completing an experience emotionally that may have been physically completed long ago. The initial moment of pain may have become so overwhelming that we make a subconscious decision to ‘check out'; in other words, we emotionally dissociate. Every part of us screams “Stop, I don’t want to feel this!” The problem is that we don’t stop the emotional experience, we just press pause.
When we don’t have the courage or skills (because we are too young, or were never taught) to actually feel all of the emotions of a traumatic experience, we inadvertently trap the part of it we couldn’t handle, and store it away for later. 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.
“Trauma puts you in a disempowered position that makes it easy for you to be influenced. It interferes with your ability to make clear decisions for yourself.”
– Jarmbi Githabul, Ngarakwal / Githabul Custodian
The importance of a practice like dadirri is that it is completely based on non-judgment. Over time, the story is shared on multiple occasions, and by doing so the telling begins to change. The emotional charge is released a little at a time as the circle around them offers an unwavering reflection of loving acceptance. Very often, the person who has suffered trauma starts to adopt this attitude of loving acceptance toward themselves.
Limbic Resonance and Revisioning
The reason this works, from the perspective of neuroscience, is because of: limbic resonance, mirror neurons and neuroplasticity. The notion of limbic resonance asserts that without consistent love and acceptance during childhood our brains don’t develop properly. The part that becomes developmentally stunted is our resilience against emotional distress. Similar problems can occur in people of all ages when they suffer trauma. The process of limbic revisioning is about rewiring the neural structure of person who has suffered trauma or emotional neglect; in order for this to occur there needs to be an external example for the limbic brain to mimic.
Deep, respectful, contemplative, heart-based listening based on loving acceptance instead of judgment may well be the optimal reflection for a traumatised limbic system to use as a model for restructuring. Mirror neurons see this outer, compassionate reflection and fire internally in the same way; and neurons that fire together wire together. With a bit of repetition, neural re-wiring occurs (thanks to neuroplasticity) which gives a neurological explanation as to why dadirri is good for helping people who have suffered trauma.
I feel we’re fortunate to be living in a time where, whether we’re indigenous or non-indigenous, we’re waking up. We’re recognising the common threads between ancient and modern ways of healing ourselves, and by doing so discovering the techniques that actually work.
STORY BY JONATHAN DAVIS
Quelle: http://upliftconnect.com/indigenous-app ... ng-trauma/
Dadirri - A Reflection By Miriam - Rose Ungunmerr- Baumann
NGANGIKURUNGKURR means 'Deep Water Sounds'. Ngangikurungkurr is the name of my tribe. The word can be broken up into three parts: Ngangi means word or sound, Kuri means water, and kurr means deep. So the name of my people means 'the Deep Water Sounds' or 'Sounds of the Deep'. This talk is about tapping into that deep spring that is within us.
Many Australians understand that Aboriginal people have a special respect for Nature. The identity we have with the land is sacred and unique. Many people are beginning to understand this more. Also there are many Australians who appreciate that Aboriginal people have a very strong sense of community. All persons matter. All of us belong. And there are many more Australians now, who understand that we are a people who celebrate together.
What I want to talk about is another special quality of my people. I believe it is the most important. It is our most unique gift. It is perhaps the greatest gift we can give to our fellow Australians. In our language this quality is called dadirri. It is inner, deep listening and quiet, still awareness.
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 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. A big part of dadirri is listening.
Through the years, we have listened to our stories. They are told and sung, over and over, as the seasons go by. Today we still gather around the campfires and together we hear the sacred stories.
As we grow older, we ourselves become the storytellers. We pass on to the young ones all they must know. The stories and songs sink quietly into our minds and we hold them deep inside. In the ceremonies we celebrate the awareness of our lives as sacred.
The contemplative way of dadirri spreads over our whole life. It renews us and brings us peace. It makes us feel whole again…
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…
There is no need to reflect too much and to do a lot of thinking. It is just being aware. My people are not threatened by silence. They are completely at home in it. They have lived for thousands of years with Nature's quietness.
My people today, recognise and experience in this quietness, the great Life-Giving Spirit, the Father of us all. It is easy for me to experience God's presence. When I am out hunting, when I am in the bush, among the trees, on a hill or by a billabong; these are the times when I can simply be in God's presence. My people have been so aware of Nature. It is natural that we will feel close to the Creator.
Dr Stanner, the anthropologist who did much of his work among the Daly River tribes, wrote this: "Aboriginal religion was probably one of the least material minded, and most life-minded of any of which we have knowledge"…
And now I would like to talk about the other part of dadirri which is the quiet stillness and the waiting.
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… When twilight comes, we prepare for the night. At dawn we rise with the sun.
We watch the bush foods and wait for them to ripen before we gather them. We wait for our young people as they grow, stage by stage, through their initiation ceremonies. When a relation dies, we wait a long time with the sorrow. We own our grief and allow it to heal slowly.
We wait for the right time for our ceremonies and our meetings. The right people must be present. Everything must be done in the proper way. Careful preparations must be made. We don't mind waiting, because we want things to be done with care. Sometimes many hours will be spent on painting the body before an important ceremony.
We don't like to hurry. There is nothing more important than what we are attending to. There is nothing more urgent that we must hurry away for.
We wait on God, too. His time is the right time. We wait for him to make his Word clear to us. We don't worry. We know that in time and in the spirit of dadirri (that deep listening and quiet stillness) his way will be clear.
We are River people. We cannot hurry the river. We have to move with its current and understand its ways.
We hope that the people of Australia will wait. Not so much waiting for us - to catch up - but waiting with us, as we find our pace in this world.
There is much pain and struggle as we wait. The Holy Father understood this patient struggle when he said to us:
"If you stay closely united, you are like a tree, standing in the middle of a bushfire sweeping through the timber. The leaves are scorched and the tough bark is scarred and burnt; but inside the tree the sap is still flowing, and under the ground the roots are still strong. Like that tree, you have endured the flames, and you still have the power to be reborn".
My people are used to the struggle, and the long waiting. We still wait for the white people to understand us better. We ourselves had to spend many years learning about the white man's ways. Some of the learning was forced; but in many cases people tried hard over a long time, to learn the new ways.
We have learned to speak the white man's language. We have listened to what he had to say. This learning and listening should go both ways. We would like people in Australia to take time to listen to us. We are hoping people will come closer. We keep on longing for the things that we have always hoped for - respect and understanding…
To be still brings peace - and it brings understanding. When we are really still in the bush, we concentrate. We are aware of the anthills and the turtles and the water lilies. Our culture is different. We are asking our fellow Australians to take time to know us; to be still and to listen to us…
Life is very hard for many of my people. Good and bad things came with the years of contact - and with the years following. People often absorbed the bad things and not the good. It was easier to do the bad things than to try a bit harder to achieve what we really hoped for…
I would like to conclude…by saying again that there are deep springs within each of us. Within this deep spring, which is the very Spirit of God, is a sound. The sound of Deep calling to Deep. The sound is the word of God - Jesus.
Today, I am beginning to hear the Gospel at the very level of my identity. I am beginning to feel the great need we have of Jesus - to protect and strengthen our identity; and to make us whole and new again.
"The time for re-birth is now," said the Holy Father to us. Jesus comes to fulfil, not to destroy.
If our culture is alive and strong and respected, it will grow. It will not die.
And our spirit will not die.
And I believe that the spirit of dadirri that we have to offer will blossom and grow, not just within ourselves, but in our whole nation.
Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann is an artist, a tribal elder and Principal of St
Francis Xavier School, Nauiyu, Daly River, N.T.
© Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann. All Rights Reserved.
Clear a little space as often as you can, to 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 (sea, river, lake…) whatever you can see. Or just let something find you be it a leaf, the sound of a bird, the feel of the breeze, the light on a tree trunk. No need to try. Just wait a while and let something find you, let it spend time with you. Lie on the earth, the grass, some place. Get to know that little place and let it get to know you- your warmth, feel your pulse, hear your heart beat, know your breathing, your spirit. Just relax and be there, enjoying the time together. Simply be aware of your focus, allowing yourself to be still and silent…, to listen…
Following this quiet time there may be, on occasion, value in giving expression in some way to the 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.
In greeting each morning, remind yourself of dadirri by blessing yourself with the following…
"Let tiny drops of stillness fall gently through my day"
~ Noel Davis
© 2002 Emmaus Productions
Quelle: http://nextwave.org.au/wp-content/uploa ... n-Refl.pdf