I was reading the article Brain in your belly which discusses the intelligence of our gut and it made me think about the concept of liyan which many Indigenous people in the West Kimberley speak about. When I hear people talking about liyan they often associate it with the word ‘feeling’, e.g. ‘I got a good liyan from that place’ (In my mind I visualise the storyteller putting their hands on their stomach when they are telling me this).
“Contact with the hara is an inner listening contact, one that is available to us at any time… simply by cultivating our ability to bear with others in pregnant silence” (Wilberg, 2003).
This reference to hara reminded me of darirri, the philosophy of deep listening which Ngangiwumirr woman Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann articulates as:
“Dadirri means inner, deep listening and quiet, still awareness… Dadirri recognises the inner spirit that calls us to reflection and contemplation of the wonders of creation. Within a deep silence we attempt to find the inner self and the perfect peace. We are not threatened by silence. We are completely at home in it. Our Aboriginal way has taught us to be still and wait. We do not try to hurry things up. We let them follow their natural course – like the seasons.”
Gut brain, liyan, wisdom awareness, hara and dadirri… are they all different articulations of the same type of knowing and connecting within ourselves and with everything else in the world?
Glowczewski, B. (Ed. unpublished) Liyan: The story of a living culture
MacroPlan Australia (2010). Yawuru Indigenous Lands Rezoning Proposal: Final Report, prepared for the Nyamba Buru Yawuru Ltd.
Rosch, E., & Scharmer, O. (1999). Conversation with Eleanor Rosch: Primary Knowing: When Perception Happens from the Whole Field, from http://www.dialogonleadership.org
Ungenmerr-Baumann, M. R. (date unknown). Dadirri: Aboriginal Way – Listening to One Another
Wilberg, P. (2003). Head, Heart and Hara: The Soul Centres of West and East. New Gnosis Publications.