Every day of our life is so over-consuming that we rarely get any time where the mind could be put to rest along with the body (No! Am not talking about sleep!), but about the other time of the day, when the mind is burdened with a million problems and is still craving for solutions. That is when meditation helps! It is nothing but a way of controlling the reins of mind and bringing it to rest, in order to relax the body and mind simultaneously. It is the gateway to spiritual freedom and enlightenment. The result is a calm and stable mind, which is often a key to unlock many tough problems of life. So when doing it, ambiance and the accessories involved are equally important. A meditation cushion is one such accessory used while meditating.
Meditation Cushion Types
Meditation has its norms. As per the Buddhist history, it is believed that Lord Buddha attained his enlightenment while he was seated in a lotus position, cross-legged with each foot resting on the opposite thigh, with the hands entwined in the lap and the spine erect. To make your meditation easy and joyful, cushions just serve your purpose aright! There are many kinds of Zen cushions which help in settling with the right postures for meditating and relaxing. The Zen Mountain Monastery has designed special types of cushions based on orthopedic research and have come up with the Zafu and Zabuton cushions to make the Zen meditation techniques easier for you.
Zafu is a round shaped cushion and an invention of the Japanese. A Zafu is about 35 cm in diameter and is about 20 cm high, when it is fluffed. They are usually made from heavy cloth and are filled with plant fibers or buckwheat hulls. These cushions are extensively used in sitting meditation. The way they have been made, makes it much easier for the Zen monks to sit cross-legged for a long duration of time in a stable manner.
Zabuton cushions, too, are Japanese cushions for sitting. These are generally found in the drawing rooms of almost every Japanese home, where they are spread on the floor for a comfortable sitting. Unlike Zafu, they are not quite fluffed up, and can be used even when sitting in chairs. A typical Zabuton is about 50-70 cm sideways and is thick when bought brand new. The aim of such comfy type of cushions is to facilitate a proper posture and alignment to the body when sitting or meditating.
Tibetan Mountain Seat
Available in enticing colors of terracotta red, black, and royal blue, this unique cushion seat is rectangular in shape and is extensively used by Buddhist practitioners. It uses the modern viscoelastic foam technology and has a stabilizing firm foam base. The best benefit, according to the meditation practitioners, is that this foam molds to the shape of the body, aiding to even distribution of weight and spinal alignment of the body.
Mountain Seat Zafu
This Zafu seat has a sturdy buckwheat hull base covered with durable cotton, combined with viscoelastic foam. The foam layer, above the buckwheat base has been designed in such a way that it conforms to the body shape and comfort. In fact, one can also adjust the amounts of buckwheat in the basal layer to suit the individual's needs. They usually come in varied sizes of 5.5 inches, 7.5 inches, and 8.5 inches high. It comes only in black color.
Mountain Seat Zabuton
A black hued, good robust meditation cushion, it uses a layer of viscoelastic foam that is placed between two thick layers of cotton batting. It is excellent for the knees, ankles, and hips. People who practice Yoga and often sit in a kneeling posture, can reap excellent benefits by using this stout cushion.
Buddhist meditation cushions too are inclusive of the Zafu and Zabuton, but they are often hand made too. Zen meditation is an important aspect of Buddhism and has helped a great deal in spiritual healing therapies. One can also practice the meditation techniques at home with the help of these cushions and feel the new inner self blooming within.