Carla continues to grow: Chapter Four

“I am much calmer now. My Doctor told me I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and I realize I have had this most of my life. Since we did the Reiki Fusion session I feel calm in a new and different way. I have an almost universal faith that everything will go as it needs to go. My stress has dropped out of sight. I am amazed. I can just BE now in a way I couldn’t before. It feels so good to be able to relax. I can actually go to the movies with a friend and enjoy it without worrying about everything. I feel like I am in recovery and I am coming back home to myself. it’s like when I was 10 and I was just me: I rode my bike, I swam, I had fun. Later on at about age 13 I realized that my mother was never going to come back, I got angry and pulled inside myself. I held on to my feelings deep inside and when people pushed me around I couldn’t stand up for myself. I just held onto my anger deep inside.


I am more at ease in standing up for myself now too! I feel comfortable in my own skin again! It’s like a miracle. It all started with the work we did. I see in my mind’s eye the shadow of my mother. I say to her now, “Yea, I now you’re there. We will talk soon.”



Here is an Australian Aboriginal approach to healing trauma that I find beautiful and so consistent with the Reiki Fusion approach that I have developed:

Mirian-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann

Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann

“Aboriginal people passed on stories orally as they knew no writing. Listening to the story-teller was vital to reproduce the story accurately to the next generation of story-tellers.

Deep listening describes the processes of deep and respectful listening to build community—a way of encouraging people to explore and learn from the ancient heritage of Aboriginal culture, knowledge and understanding [2].

Deep listening is also called dadirri in southern Queensland.

[Dadirri] is in everyone. It is not just an Aboriginal thing.—Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann, Aboriginal writer [5]

Aboriginal writer Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann describes deep listening as follows [1].

“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’.

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.”

“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.”

“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.”

Another part of dadirri is “the quiet stillness and the waiting,” says Ungunmerr-Baumann.

“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.

Dadirri is also used as a prayer, a prayer in the sense of you just feel the presence of the Great Creator.—Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann, Aboriginal writer [5]

Dr Laura Brearley, author of the Deep Listening Book, says “deep listening is about tuning in… Deep listening is based on stories, silences and the spaces that lie between. As a research methodology, the practice of deep listening is an invitation into culturally congruent ways of learning and knowing.” [2]

It does wonders for a person to just be still and listen to someone else talk about their life and how they probably came through things. You never know what you’ll learn.—Archie Roach, Aboriginal singer and songwriter [4]


Modern uses for deep listening

Deep listening is at the basis of some therapeutic methods used in counselling [3].

Jennifer Thompson, founder of the Jenwakka Indigenous Counselling Service, describes deep listening as “tapping into her ancestors, constantly listening to spirits”. “[Dadirri is] what non-Aboriginal people would call contemplation. It’s the way we sit and take time and go in deep… The Dadirri is a way to take advantage of this [healing] knowledge. It requires people to stop, look, listen and learn.” [3]

“I felt ashamed”

For dadirri to occur it doesn’t need special arrangements, as this story from the 40th anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy shows [6]:

“An Elder from north of Cairns, relayed to a small crowd of us through a mobile phone held to the microphone of the public address system. A rambling, sometimes emotionally incoherent story of his family’s and his mob’s suffering.

“I was getting more and more frustrated, urging him inwardly to ‘get to the point mate, get to the point’.

“I looked around me. Rapt attention. Some tears. I felt ashamed at my whitefella impatience.”

How you can experience dadirri

Reserve a space regularly for about 5 minutes, in the morning or evening. Go outside if you can. 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, whatever you can see.

You can also let something find you, be it a leaf, the sound of a bird, the feel of the breeze, the light on a tree trunk. There’s no need to try, just wait a while.

Be still and silent and listen.

Following this quiet time, there may be, on occasion, value in expressing in some way your 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.”,
Aboriginal culture – Education – Deep listening (dadirri), retrieved 31 October 2015

It is ultimately about listening deeply, with respect and acceptance.  Thank you Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann.