Zafu Zabuton

by admin on May 1, 2010

Zafu Zabuton

Zafu Zabuton

All About Meditation Cushions

Meditation is a wholesome activity that must be part of the daily routine not only for Buddhists but for individuals who seek for peace within themselves. Nowadays, meditation is no longer just a matter of religion, but an undertaking. There are different types of meditation techniques that can be applied.

In meditation, the proper posture is one of the significant factors in order to achieve the internal peace that one seeks to have. Keeping the back straight when meditating contributes to the establishment of focus and concentration. And since meditation session take some time, comfort must be worked out too during the process. The meditation cushion is a vital means in maintaining proper posture and comfort.

The meditation cushion is also known as zafu, which literally means sewn seat. The zafu is typically handmade and designed attractively. The meditation cushion is placed under the buttocks while the meditator is cross-legged during the meditation session. Aside from comfort, the meditation cushion also helps to propel the knees downward the floor in order to have stability and balance. The meditation cushion is usually used with the cushioned mat or zabuton.

The meditation cushion is traditionally round and with pleated sides. The cover is generally made of thicker fabric that builds its durability. The materials used for the outer skin of the medication cushion are cotton twill and cotton drill. These come in different colors and designs. The circular top of the medication cushion and the bottom are connected by a pleated side.   Meditation cushions are hand woven that gives it a stylish finish. There are different materials used as a filling but the most popular are natural kapok, cotton batting or buckwheat hulls. The natural kapok is a fiber extracted from ceiba trees. This is a lightweight material that can also produce warmth to the body. Kapok fibers do not easily compact that makes them suitable for filling. The cotton batting is a form of padding used even in upholstery and quilting. The buckwheat hulls are known for their durability. This type of material can easily conform to the desired shape. They are hypoallergenic and environmentally friendly materials. The buckwheat hulls provide a firm seat surface for the buttocks. All these materials can best sustain the shape of the meditation cushion.  The medication cushions are made with concealed openings so that the outer skin can be washed without the filling getting wet. And for added strength, the meditation cushions are double stitched.

The meditation cushions differ in thickness and diameter depending upon personal preferences. On the other hand, the standard measure that most manufacturers use is 40 centimeter in diameter and 20 centimeter in thickness. This configuration is suited for those with average built.

The medication cushion helps sustain the whole meditation period. It also helps avoid back pains which can be experienced during long periods of meditation. The meditation cushion conforms with the policy of medication which speaks of being kind and gentle to oneself.

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Meditation with a Zafu and Zabuton

Meditation/Buddhism: Any substitute for Zafu and Zabuton?

I have been sitting on a rolled up pillow and wonder if someone might recommend an affordable alternative to the traditional meditation cushions. The cheapest I have found were $80, which might not seem like a lot to some, but it is to me. Any recommendations?

Zafus and zabutons can be quite expensive. I have a friend who has made some and she says that they’re very labor-intensive, which probably accounts for the cost.

For the zabuton, you can easily substitute a folded blanket. The ideal blanket would be fairly thin, without a lot of stuffing in it. Fold it into an appropriate size – about 36″ x 36.” If you like a thicker mat, you can fold together two blankets. A folded yoga mat can also substitute.

For the zafu, the primary consideration is to find something that can support your body in a stable sitting position. For most people, this means that the cushion can’t be too soft. It’s also important that the item not be lumpy, so that you can remain (reasonably) comfortable while sitting. When traveling, I’ve used bed or couch pillows. But the most successful thing I’ve found is a folded bath towel. If the towel is fairly large, it can fold into a stable base that isn’t too soft.

Finally, you might check periodically for a used set on your local Craigslist.

Best wishes for your sitting!

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