Audio & Video

Nature’s Ragas/ A Panoramic Soundscape

Listening Meditation.

The Indian raga or raag is a musical composition that forms the foundation of all Indian classical music. Each raga has its own unique combination of five or more musical notes which express a distinctive attribute or characteristic depicting a time of day or a season. The word raga is Sanskrit and translates as “colour or hue” implying an emotional colouring which the listener experiences. I have often found myself immersed in the sound of an Indian summer’s evening or a morning in the monsoon when listening to a particular raga.

The ragas are magical in their ability to transport us to a time and place away from the stresses of life, whilst awakening the related emotions.

They encourage profound feelings of empathy and compassion and offer a time for deep reflection.

Sadly I missed my opportunities to learn to play a musical instrument but instead I learnt to listen to music in ways that allowed me to immerse myself in a panoramic soundscape of feeling and emotion. Feeling the passion of the music is part of the raga experience.

Similarly I love the sounds of nature from which the ragas are derived. There is nothing more wonderful than sitting for meditation and listening to the sounds all around us.

Each place has its own unique variety of sounds. At home I love the sounds of the birds in the morning; equally I love the sounds of morning in different parts of the world. Morning in Kolkata or London sounds very different to morning in the countryside of Kerala or the desert in Rajasthan. The afternoons and evenings bring other sounds that are equally wonderful and unique to the location in which we experience them. These sounds flavour our experiences and emotions.

Whilst in Kerala I enjoyed the sounds so much that I decided to tape them so that I could bring them back with me and listen to them from time to time. I taped the morning birdsong and the evening frog chorus. I love listening to these sounds and they take me back to the feelings of peace and calm that were part of that particular experience and time.

If you would like to practise listening meditation you may like to download these sounds. I have named them nature’s morning raga and nature’s evening raga for obvious reasons. They are best played on an iPod or similar device because the quality of sound can be heard without distractions.

Before you start, make sure you are sitting in a suitable position that allows you to relax whilst staying alert and attentive to the listening. (Remember to switch off your phone.)

Start by taking some deep breaths and allowing yourself time to settle into calm, easy breathing.

Immerse yourself in the listening. Leave behind your judgements. No likes or dislikes…..only nature’s panorama of sounds.

The meditation lasts approximately 20 minutes.

Nature’s Morning Raga


Nature’s Morning Raga by Agewellyoga on Mixcloud

Nature’s Evening Raga


Nature's Evening Raga by Agewellyoga on Mixcloud


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