We might ask whether highly trained Zen practitioners display consistent EEG patterns when doing zazen. In this phase of the investigation, recordings were made of four students of Shodo Harada Roshi, each of whom has sat zazen for roughly 10,000 hours or greater. This experience includes training at Sogenji Monastery in Okayama, Japan, at Tahoma Zen Monastery in Freeland, Washington and sitting alone. Four practitioners were recorded for roughly 20 minutes each. However, there was wide variation in settings and context. Here is what we found:
These results serve as a good reminder to not jump to conclusions, or imagine that zazen has the same signature in all individuals at all times, even among expert practitioners. In the EEG patterns above we see many differences .