Generally when someone sits and meditates, they sit on something soft. This something can be an old pillow, or a folded up blanket. Now these can work fine for a meditator-as long as he or she is comfortable. The problem, however, with an old standard pillow is that it will flatten out over time. So is there a type of pillow that is comfortable for meditation, and will not fatten out severely over time?
Zafus are a type of pillow used for sitting meditation. It can be round, crescent, or even square shape. Meditators usually sit on a zafu cross-legged, with their legs in front of the zafu. The point of the zafu is to raise
the body up above the legs. This straightens the spine more, and makes for a more comfortable meditation. It also creates a stable Tripod effect between your two knees, and your behind.
Generally the Zafu is sitting on top of what is called a Zabuton. A zabuton is a big pillow that a meditator sits on. The zabuton provides comfort and support to the legs and knees while meditating-that way they are not on the hard floor.
The Zafu works great for cross-legged positions-but what if you like to kneel while meditating?
That’s where a meditation bench comes in handy. The meditator sits on the bench, and their legs go under the seat of the bench. This way, you can meditating while kneeling with no pressure being applied to your legs. Sometimes, meditators put the bench on top of a zabuton so their legs are not on the hard floor.
So where can you get these benches, zafus, or zabutons? I recently purchased a zabuton and a meditation support pillow from zafustore.com. They also sell zafus, yoga mats, and meditation benches. I bought the meditation support pillow instead of a zafu because I don’t need to be high up to meditate-just raised slightly. The products I bought from there are really comfortable and high quality. I recommend them if you want to buy a Zabuton or Zafu.
Although you do not need a Zafu or Zabuton for meditation, they can help in making the meditation more relaxing and comfortable for your body. Let me say that they are more comfortable than an old pillow; but if an old pillow works for you, then keep using it.
So what do you meditate on? Is it a blanket, a Zafu, or a bench?
Zafu picture from http://zafustore.com