Home Mindful Living Dadirri #AtoZChallenge

Dadirri #AtoZChallenge

by Vidya Sury April 5, 2017 24 comments
Dadirri Deep listening #atozchallenge #collectingsmiles

Dadirri. inner, deep listening and quiet, still awareness.

Almost everyone, with very few exceptions, will agree that Nature has the power to heal. Spending a little time with her is perhaps the best way to connect with the Universe.

Considering how busy life is, always on the run to finish that never-ending to-do list, it is easy to forget the joy of being still, being one with Nature.

We are so fixed on doing, that we skip being.

And of course, who has the time to listen?

I want to show off that I spend time every day in Nature, walking, observing birds and trees and sunsets. But I’d be a liar because, lately, I’ve allowed myself to get caught up with life’s daily dose of stuff that never ends.

Of course, I try my best to be mindful with everything I do, but it is so easy to get swept away in the tide of the day. Before I know it, another day has dawned.

Even after working hours, when I ought to be spending time relaxing with family, I see that I am frantically rushing to meet deadlines, when I’d rather be having conversations or dozing with a book.

There are times when we are so caught up with what we are doing, we postpone catching up with the things that matter.

I recently read about the concept of Dadirri, which means inner, deep listening and quiet, still awareness, practised among the Australian Aboriginals.

As a concept it is nothing new, but what’s fascinating is how the Aboriginals consciously practice it in an unhurried manner, appreciating and allowing nature to take its course.

Nice reminder. And a timely one.

While I am not sure to what extent we can take time away from our routine to do this, I certainly see Dadirri as a way for some much needed slowing down and mindfully appreciating what is around us. It is a way to be more patient, enjoying the joy in stillness. Deep listening is a way to take a long loving look at what is around us.

It is also a way to strengthen relationships. Imagine a good listener versus someone who’s constantly fiddling with their phone and nodding automatically without hearing a word of what you’re saying.

We know that mindful listening, without judgment, without criticism, without interruption, ensures being fully present in that moment, allowing us to absorb what the other person is saying with empathy. It helps us to develop an awareness of our inner thoughts, reactions and distractions that often interfere with our listening and learn to let go of them. We learn to be open, ready to receive what the other person is saying.

I think including Dadirri in our daily schedule is a wonderful way to practice easy meditation, while honing our listening skills, and naturally, enjoying the benefits of better connections.

It is easy to practice Dadirri.

What you need:

  • 5 minutes
  • Intention

How to practice Dadirri

Set aside a little time in the course of your day—even 5 minutes at a time is enough.

Switch off your phone.

Sit comfortably, preferably in a natural environment. Your backyard, a public garden or park, your balcony.

Breathe deeply, calmly.

Become aware of your surroundings. No need to focus on anything.

Listen to the sounds around you.

Be aware of the fragrance

Observe what you see.

Now become aware of yourself in relation to your surroundings.

Can you feel your body in contact with the ground?

Scan your body from top to toe.

How do you feel? Relaxed, tired, happy, anxious?

Don’t dwell on the thought.

If you find yourself doing so, bring it back to the present.

Let your mind now focus on a specific sight. A bird? A pillar? The pavement? Flowers? Cloud? Pond? Whatever you can see, without stressing over it.

Or just allow something to find you. A fluttering leaf. The sunshine.

Experience the breeze and its movement.

Feel one with the spot you are in.

Let your warmth blend with it.

Listen to your own heartbeat, your breathing.

Just be still. Quiet. Aware.

Focus on just being.

Quietly listening.

Let Dadirri soothe you, dissolve your worries. Reflect on the current state of your body as you become clearer about yourself and your purpose.

The sense of relaxation and calm following this is amazing. You may want to journal about how you feel—or even write poetry, sketch or just break into song. I do.

The idea is to enjoy the feeling of just being, without cluttering your mind with outcomes and to-dos.

sneak looks
at your cellphone
or allow yourself to
get distracted

And since we cannot deny that listening is a big part of our lives, here’s something to reflect on, in relation to how well you practice deep listening:

  • Do you listen deeply to people? How well? How do you know?
  • Did you hear any unspoken concerns in what someone said or wrote to you?
  • Did you experience a new understanding of the people you spoke with?
  • Do you plan to take any action based on what you observed about yourself?

Would love to hear what you think about Dadirri.

Will you practice it? Where?

D for Dadirri

D is also for Do it and Do you want to lower your triglycerides.


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Suzy April 5, 2017 at 6:07 pm

Sounds like mindful meditation. I like the idea of focussing on one particular sight. Will have to give it a go. Thanks for sharing this.
Suzy recently posted…Do Or Do Not … #atozchallenge letter D

Vidya Sury April 5, 2017 at 6:13 pm

I can just picture you, sitting and watching the hills, Suzy!

Darla M Sands April 5, 2017 at 6:09 pm

I can see practicing this right outside my front door. My weeping crabapple tree is bursting with blooms about now. It’s a joy watching pollinators swarm. This is great! Thank you for sharing.

Vidya Sury April 5, 2017 at 6:13 pm

May I join you, please, Darla? 🙂 Hugs!

Darla M Sands April 5, 2017 at 8:36 pm

I would love that!

Shailaja Vishwanath April 5, 2017 at 6:13 pm

This I can do now 😀 Most of the day, my phone is not even by my side. I have been actually missing phone calls. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. Lesser tech is definitely beneficial for us in the long run. I hope more people make time for Daddiri.

shubhangi srikanth April 5, 2017 at 6:22 pm

What a beautiful post! I have never heard the word before but just reading how to practice Dadirri made me feel calmer. I’ll surely like to try this, and the garden in my balcony would be a great place to start, I think.

Anita April 5, 2017 at 6:44 pm

Great! We all need Dadirri.
Wasn’t aware of this word. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Nature does have great power to heal.
These days everyone is so busy. We pay more attention to gadgets…
How easy it is to practice Dadirri! Required: 5 minutes & Intention!
Loved the steps 🙂
Anita recently posted…Dream #AToZChallenge

Debbie D. April 5, 2017 at 7:07 pm

Thankfully, my life has slowed down a lot since I left the corporate world and I do have the time to enjoy nature and whatever else life has to offer. 🙂 This is excellent advice, Vidya. If life gets too hectic, we lose touch with what’s really important. Summer is my favourite time of year because we can sit out on the back deck and languidly observe the birds and squirrels.
Debbie D. recently posted…DAY AFTER DAY | #AtoZCHALLENGE (D) #MusicalMemories

Birgit April 5, 2017 at 7:49 pm

I love this advice and I do practise it daily even if for 5 minutes. I find I need this so much and it is calming and healing. I wish I could walk I. Nature because I always find it healing for me but my joints have been poor plus if I walk alone, I am scared since there have been assaults.

Cathy Graham April 5, 2017 at 8:04 pm

Thanks for sharing this wonderful post, Vidya. I felt calmer and more mindful just reading it. Like Debbie, my life has slowed down a lot since I left the grind of full time work. I think I’m more mindful and in the moment than I used to be when my life was ruled by the clock and the quest of that paycheque.

My photography passion has definitely made me more in tune with nature and I appreciate it that much more when I open my eyes to find the beauty all around me.

That said, I do fall into modes of negative thinking and worrying like anyone does. Good to keep in mind this practice o Dadirri. How interesting that it originated with the Australian Aboriginals. The old ways are so full of wisdom and we need to learn about them.

Roshan Radhakrishnan April 5, 2017 at 8:56 pm

I think it is essential for me right now. But I honestly wonder if I can succeed at it. I definitely have 5 minutes to spare… the intention is average at best. But just the thought of staying calm and still without distractions in this mind which is so frantic and restless right now… I honestly don’t know.
Roshan Radhakrishnan recently posted…Maggie Doyne is a Shining Example of Selfless Devotion #AtoZChallenge

Mithila Menezes April 5, 2017 at 8:57 pm

This is the age when guides to meditation have to have a warning to set mobiles aside! It must have been way easier for our ancestors to meditate and practice mindful listening then!

I remember reading something similar to Dadirri in the Inheritance cycle books. The hero, Eragon, used to practice it, so as to learn to listen to the thoughts of all creatures in nature. In the beginning, it was difficult for him to hear anything. But then he could hear the thoughts of tiny creatures, and gradually mastered the art of hearing the thoughts of other mammals. In the book, it was shown as a survival skill that he needed to have in war. And similarly, mindful listening is indeed a skill we all need to have in daily lives!

Kaddu April 5, 2017 at 9:48 pm

Mindful meditation begins with the breath. The more we focus on our breath, the more we start hearing. The sounds that we don’t otherwise, when we are listening to our minds chatter away. I find it difficult to meditate when I’m too stressed out. But whenever I can do it properly, I also end up singing.
That “Don’t” section in bold was very necessary! 😛
Kaddu recently posted…A to Z of Happiness: D – Disregard #atozchallenge @AprilA2Z

Deepa April 5, 2017 at 10:45 pm

Never heard of Dadirri before but looks like something which we all need. It can help us in many ways. Only if we try doing it. Meditation really helps to calm me down.

Mayuri Nidigallu April 5, 2017 at 10:56 pm

Ok, firstly I learnt a new word today, Dadirri .
Secondly, this is not only doable, it is much needed! And I hope to try it.
Thirdly, my feeling of calm escalated as I read through your post.
I loved it all! Thank you for sharing, Vidya!:)

Wendy April 5, 2017 at 11:27 pm

Australian Aboriginals practise Dadirri as an innate form of respect for the spirit creators. Aboriginals do not belong to their country, they ARE their country. They are one with the land.
It’s a beautiful culture.

Shilpa Garg April 6, 2017 at 1:47 am

Never heard of the word Dadirri but I have been a part of a silent nature walk where we were asked to be in the moment and use our senses to see, smell, listen and experience the nature. It was a beautiful time to introspect and be mindful. I think we all need to practice Dadirri more often given the hectic pace of life we lead.

Soumya April 6, 2017 at 12:00 pm

5 minutes and Intention? A simple enough recipe 🙂

Never heard of the word until now but I’m gonna practice this everyday from today. Trust me, I need it!

Shalini April 6, 2017 at 12:07 pm

Reminds me, why don’t have even 5 minutes everyday to set aside and just breathe, if not anything else. I am doing it from today. Thank you, Mam for sharing this.

Vinodini April 6, 2017 at 3:45 pm

I already practice something on the same lines every morning when I have my coffee while gazing at the natural greenery outside. I might try scanning my body as suggested here and listen to the stillness as well. Sounds like a meditative therapy.

Sreesha April 6, 2017 at 4:51 pm

I knew of this technique, but I had no idea what it was called (and I have a feeling I’m pronouncing it wrong in my head)
The thing is, we can all find 5 mins in a day. But it’s the focus that we lack. I think I’m going to try harder not to be distracted by anything, especially my cell phone
Sreesha recently posted…Epiphany | #AtoZChallenge

Bala Panchanathan April 6, 2017 at 6:51 pm

Reading this made me feel calm :’)

Angel Stew & Devil's Brew April 6, 2017 at 8:01 pm

Great post Vidya. I am totally implementing this in my daily routine. I spend a lot of time outdoors but it’s not mindful time. I’m usually rushing to go here or there. I love this idea of Dadirri. I also loved this, “We are so fixed on doing, that we skip being.” Wise words Mizz V. I am so doing this today and every day! Thank you!


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