A meditation cushion, also known as Zafu, is a tool that are helpful in maintaining a proper posture. It is also used in yoga session where a cushion is needed to perform a pose that needs extra flexibility that the person does not have. Zafu is two words combined to mean a cushion for sitting, za for ‘sit” and fu for “cushion”. These are great tools that could help you in strengthening your core muscles, correcting your posture, and renewing your body’s chi.
Where did the meditation cushions come from?
This came meditation cushions came from a long tradition where Chinese monks were very much fond of using their hand weaving mats. This mats made from dried grass, which the monks would also use a shade from the sun or rain. It also served as their mats when the land is still damp, they would lay it down and sit on them. Then, they would meditate in there for hours.
The common Zafu we see today comes from Japan. Originally, they were made from heavy cloth which is filled with fluff filling such as kapok. This Zafu has also become one of the literary topics of Japan, giving birth to many interesting stories. One is about a Zen master who has only used 8 Zafu in his lifetime, and he used them all until they were tattered.
This stories might be interesting, but we don’t need to suffer or do as the masters did with the plethora of choices available at our disposal today. There are many Zafu available on the market that this article is written to talk about how to choose the best match for you.
- Consider your meditation posture
What meditation posture do you prefer? Zafu cushions are perfect for those who are using the Burmese posture. While those who are using half-lotus posture could use just a thin cushion for support. The V-shaped cushion will be better suited for those who will be using a full-lotus position. There are different kinds of the cushion fit for the posture you will be employed, so pick one that will suit your need best.
- Consider the comfort level
Picking out a comfortable meditation pillow will motivate you to continually meditate. People who are using the seiza method of meditation may have a different comfort issue they need to address. It is preferred that one uses a stool or a bench over a pillow. With a bench, support of the upper body does not lie with the foot alone. This could also help for those who are still not flexible enough but want to try out this posture.
- Consider the materials used in the Meditation cushion
There are many materials that is used in creating a Zafu such as, Kapok Fiber, Wool, Cotton, polyester, and buckwheat hulls. These have different purposes and have different levels of comfort. Kapok helps in the creation of firmer cushion, while buckwheat hull has the opposite effect making the Zafu softer. Wool cushions are the lightweight but comfortable cushion that could help in better blood circulation.
There are many types of Zafu out there, so this article might have help in choosing the right one. Thank you for practicing with us. Namaste!