Birdsong: Five Minute Nature Meditations

bevy of birdsHumans are by nature perceptive and compassionate beings in tune with nature and with others but these qualities are usually lost in the deluded busyness of  life.  The more exposure we have to the stresses of  life in a busy world the more important it is that we make the time to relieve the pressure and still our chattering monkey mind.

Meditation is a built-in ability of the human body to enter a state where we give our minds, bodies and spirits opportunities to tune themselves up and re-establish natural balance. Living in the moment is gaining greater recognition as more people realize the physical and mental health benefits that issue from learning how to meditate one minute at a time.

Reconnecting with nature

Reconnecting with nature in the now moment is a relaxing meditation practice based on tuning into the sights and sounds of wind, water, waves, animals calls, and birdsong.  Naturalists claim spending listening to birdsong for five minutes could help us beat the winter blues. I don’t doubt their claims as this form of meditation has been  a part of my life since I was a young child.

Human music making has been inspired by birdsong throughout history. It is perhaps only to be expected that musicians would take as their inspiration the spontaneous – seeming melodies casually thrown off by a creature which has always exerted a strange fascination. The romance and mystery which birdsong evokes has also drawn people in: music making for humans is a conscious creative act, for birds it is a fact of life – a fact pulled dramatically into focus by recent research showing that species’ breeding habits are at risk due to their courtship songs being distorted by excess traffic noise. Now birdsong is studied with a scientific detachment: acoustically, biologically, ecologically. And still the mystery remains. —  Birdsong and Music by Darren Giddings

Birdsong inspires musical score

The vocal ability of birds has inspired poets and musicians for millenniums.  A normal person sees these birds perched on electrical wires and worries about getting crapped on. Brazilian designer Jarbas Agnelli looks at them and sees musical notes. Maybe he’s smarter than the rest of us because the melody is utterly oh-so-sweet-that-I-could-doze-off-right-now.  Agnel explains that he was simply curious about what sort of tune he could create by transcribing the birds into musical notes.  [Vimeo via Wired]

A five-minute birdsong nature meditation

A birdsong meditation can be done while sitting, standing or walking.   Begin with a few deep breaths, breathing deep into the belly, to help you relax and to bring you to the state where you are experiencing fully the sensations of the present moment.  Simply close your eyes focus on sound only.   Focus on one particular sound — birdsong.  When your monkey mind wanders gently bring your attention back to that particular sound.

Relaxing sounds [birds]

This is 5 minute recording of some birds chirping in a backyard, at the outskirts of a city.

Invitation

Suppose you learned how to do a five-minute birdsong meditation. Your body, mind and spirit would benefit from reconnecting with nature.  The music you hear may even inspire you to become a better listener or to become more creative in your work or play.   So why not give five-minute birdsong meditation a try?

21 thoughts on “Birdsong: Five Minute Nature Meditations

  1. I came here via Val’s blog and am so very glad I did. I’m with you. I also love nature and being outdoors hearing bird calls are what makes me the happiest, but I live in the middle of a busy city and I’m so sad that there aren’t many song birds in our neighborhood.

    I also have fibromylgia and know what you mean about problems with cold and wet weather.

    1. Hello there,
      It’s good to meet you. I’m betting there are many birdsong being sung in cities but the noise pollution we humans create is so overwhelming that we just don’t hear it. I hear birdsong all day long and that makes me so happy because we chose to live where we do. There are birdsong videos on youtube. :)

  2. I participated in an equine-assisted therapy workshop and meditation and relaxing your mind and body amongst nature was at the center of the workshop. I never realized how uptight I was until I tried to rest my mind. I just couldn’t do it. It wasn’t until after about 5 hours of attempting to meditate that I was able to actually do it. I was on this natural high for two days – I felt the calmest I have ever felt. Meditation is something I am trying to incorporate into my life each day – and I will try the sing-song approach. Thank you for this post!

    1. Hi Kristin,
      I used to be an equestrian and I was involved in an equine therapy program as a horse handler. I owned a schooling horse who was a superb candidate for use as a therapy horse. :)

      I learned how to mediatate in college but my big breakthrough was a 10 day Noble Silence Vipassana Meditation retreat. Since then I have attended many other retreats as well. I belive it’s usually on the 4th or 5th day at a Vipassana Meditation retreat that people experience “breaking through” into the alpha state.

      Now ie. decades later I use many forms of meditation. Thanks for your comment and best wishes with your meditation practice.

      http://thistimethisspace.com/meditation-practice/

  3. I’m not musically inclined (but I did love to sing once upon a time), meaning I can’t read music nor play an instrument. So birdsong is pleasant sounds of Nature.

    Some birds don’t make great noises. Like the stork which we were rudely surprised in Germany. Yes, we saw live storks, like the ones that deliver babies in nursery rhymes.

    http://cyclewriteblog.wordpress.com/2010/08/07/behold-a-stork-sightings-during-cycling-trip/ Just a bunch of protective parents by the nest. :)

    Speaking of birds though, I miss seeing the red cardinal and blue jay which I saw often when I lived in southern Ontario. Of course, B.C. has bald eagle. Here it’s the magpie bird that is common.

    1. Hi Jean,
      I can read music and I love to sing. Before I could read music I could pick it up by ear. You’re right about all birds not making melodious sounds. I have raised parrots and they squawked. Some also learned some English language phrases and part of what they learned was mimicking me singing. Eagles make a very small and unimpressive kee- kee sound for their size. Bluejays and Steller’s jays are raucous. But all the Finches sing and they have a wonderfully melodious repertoire.

      P.S. As I have lived in Alberta and Saskatchewan I’m familiar with the common birds there as well. :)

  4. TiTi… as I listened to the five minute birdsong, I smiled thinking of how our wildbirds here would react to it. I think they’d like it. Some of our sparrows could do with meditating. :)

    I spend so much time each day with our birds – well, they’re not so much ‘our birds’ as we are their humans as we all know our place on this planet and we’re really in their space more than they are in ours.

    1. Hi Val,
      There’s little doubt about it, I thrive in nature and languish indoors. It’s a terrible catch 22 in winter because I have fibromylgia and can’t withstand the cold and wet. I bundle up and get out every day no matter what the weather is. I have been so busy these last 2 months that taking five minutes here and there to enjoy the birds and mediatate on my covered deck has been a blessing. I have feeders and many birds are regular visitors. In spring and summer they conduct elaborate symphonies. During this season there are no mating songs but they still chitter, cheep, tweet and sing a little too. :)

  5. I deeply relate to this post. Nature is pretty much the only source for my inspiration and I do believe we “Humans are by nature perceptive and compassionate beings in tune with nature”.
    Take care!

    1. Hi Yun Yi,
      We have the medicine we need to heal ourselves all around us and within us. Even 5 minutes of truly tuning into birdsong can be exactly what we need when we need it most — we control the dose. Your appreciation and inspiration from nature is reflected in your art and your poetry, which I deeply appreciate.

      Warm wishes

  6. I love the five-minute birdsong meditation. So clever — and the music IS relaxing! Like you, I can see how listening to birds can aid in wellness. The sound is so pure and it makes me think of Springtime. Double win!

    1. Hi Janene,
      I’m so glad you liked the videos. The frost is not yet on the pumpkins and it will be a long time until we hear the song birds of springtime. Thanks for the vist and viewing.
      Take good care

  7. Gosh TT, it has been ages since I have been here but already I am enthralled and wondering what took me so long….I love the new look :) This one is beautiful and I love birdsong so am smiling at your thoughts. Now I need to check out your Autumn colour too. Thanks for dropping in on my blog…it was great to see you, it made me smile :) I confess that I am spending a little to long on Facebook of late…and of course missing chatting with the people that don’t get on there. I hope you are well…….X

    1. Hi Chrissy,
      It’s so great to see you here. I dropped in for a visit and like the new look (to me) of your blog too. Your art is such a delight to view. The damsel fly photograph is stunning.

      I don’t have a Facebook account — whew! I have too much going as it is already to even consider spending more time on social networking. I’m doing a big contract job and also helping my husband. The time off I get I spend in nature.
      Thanks for the theme compliment. :)

      Be well and happy

    1. Hello there,
      Your love of nature is reflected in your lovely blog. I’m so glad you liked the birds on the wire meditation. I find it very relaxing. Thanks for the compliment on my new theme. :)
      Hugs

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