On this site I describe my personal experience with Zen meditation practice, and relate some experiments I have been doing to investigate breathing, heart rhythm and brain waves during meditation and other activities.
Ever since I began practicing meditation in the Zen style (zazen), I have been curious about whether the things I experience correlate with measurable variables. Recent developments in low-cost, digital wireless sensors and computer software have made do-it-yourself physiological research possible. Here I report on my investigation, in hopes that others may find their curiosity aroused.
My approach so far has been to “muck around” with the science–to carry out simple experiments that can be done quickly without worrying too much about setting up careful controls or using sample sizes large enough to withstand statistical scrutiny. That may come later. For now I have simply been looking for results that suggest plausible hypotheses and may provide hints for robust research. Please bear with me. This is an exploratory investigation, not a research project.
David Daiku Trowbridge
My career has spanned science education (PhD in physics at the University of Washington with a specialty in physics education) and software development (eight years at Microsoft creating science content for the Encarta encyclopedia).
I have continued a meditation practice for over forty years. In 2007 my Zen teacher, Shodo Harada Roshi assigned me the dharma name Daiku, which means in Japanese “Great Sky” or “Great Emptiness.” My study of the neuroscience of meditation began in 2013.
My wife Cynthia and I share our love of travel with visitors to our blog abidingnowhere.net.
Currently retired, I continue my lifelong devotion to teaching, learning and travel. I share my passion for the sky with visitors to my homebuilt Tinyblue Observatory on Whidbey Island in Washington State, where I continue my meditation practice under the tutelage of the owls, the herons and the toads.
Contact me at david.daiku.trowbridge (at) gmail.com