I’m not sure when I first heard about Dadirri (deep listening) as described by Miriam Rose Ungunmarr (1999), maybe it was in a conversation with B when we were talking about how to facilitate the kind of education for young people which creates a space for this experience. In the past few blogs I have tried to seek out and write about a space in which being with occurs… I think that my thoughts have been quite conceptual and have lacked the grounding that comes with actual experience. So I am back to revisiting deep listening and feel like I should dwell in this space, one which I have a tangible and lived experience of. In her exploration of deep listening, Brearley (2009: 43) refers to the work of Scharmer (2009) and talks about it as, ‘a generative form of listening, which opens a space for something new to be created.’
Are generative spaces like deep listening the fertile soil in which cultural transformations take shape? Something to explore… There are so many contexts in which deep listening could potentially influence process and the quality of relationships/dynamics.
Whilst I was reluctant at the beginning of my Masters to acknowledge deep listening as a research method, it seems like I can’t move forward without this critical practice:
‘Taking the time to invest in relationships lies at the heart of deep listening… [it] is underpinned by the concepts of community and reciprocity’ (Brearley, 2009: 44).
For me the relationships I cultivate and nurture with research collaborators/participants are paramount. In the past when I have spoken about remaining objective in my research, I have interpreted that to mean that I need to create a separation between myself and that which I am exploring. Brearley (2009) makes reference to Bishop (1996: 23-24) who attempts to address this issue of distance:
“As researchers ‘we need to acknowledge our participatory connectedness with the other research participants and promote a sense of knowing in a way, which denies distance and separation and promotes commitment and engagement.”
I would love to hear from people who have used the practice of dadirri/deep listening to create a collaborative research space.