Breath and Heart


Zen meditation (zazen) is described as a practice of alignment: aligning the body (sitting with in a stable posture with an erect spine), aligning the breath (natural inhalations and extended exhalations) and aligning the mind (quieting the mind by dropping random thoughts).

This investigation began with a project to compare breathing and heart rate for subjects in meditation or reading.

Other experiments were devised to address other questions that arose.


How do breathing rates compare during meditation vs. our regular breathing throughout the day?

How can we characterize the inhalations and exhalations of zazen?

Is there a relationship between patterns of breathing and heartbeats?

Do experienced meditators show different breathing patterns than novices?



Next page: Brain waves

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