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Meditation Zafu

Meditation zafu cushions are very popular. A meditation zafu is a very helpful meditation tool. A meditation zafu can truly enhance your meditation experience by easing the otherwise physically straining postures, especially if you are new to the school of meditation. Zafu is a round-shaped pleated cushion that has been traditionally used in Asia, particularly in Japan and China, for hundreds of years for routine seating purposes. When adapted by meditators to facilitate the sitting postures during meditation, zafu assumes the name meditation zafu.

Meditation zafu’s are typically 14–16 inches in diameter and about 8 inches in height. They are stitched from three pieces of high-quality cloth: two round pieces of equal size for the top and bottom and one long rectangular piece that is gathered into pleats to make the cylindrical surface of the cushion. The filling material of a meditation zafu is usually either buckwheat hulls or kapok (a dense cotton-like material). The quantity of filling can usually be adjusted to your required level of firmness through a hidden zippered opening. This opening also allows the filling to be removed for the purpose of washing the outer cover. All meditation zafu’s come with a handle for easy carrying and are available in a variety of colors and designs.

Common experience of people engaged in deliberation and rumination reveals that correct posture and physical comfort is the key to staying focused on your thoughts. That’s precisely where the role of a meditation zafu comes in. The benefits offered by a meditation zafu are many-fold. The following are the ways in which a meditation zafu can help a person engaged in contemplation and reflection stay focused:

  • A meditation zafu facilitates what is known as autonomous sitting, i.e., sitting upright without any back support. Autonomous sitting promotes lengthening and correct alignment of the spine, which makes deep breathing effortless, enhances blood circulation, and increases body flexibility. Greater flexibility and aligned spine add natural grace to your body movements in normal life too.
  • It adds stability to cross-legged sitting postures by raising the hips, distributing body weight correctly, and maintaining proper blood circulation in the legs, thus allowing you the luxury of soaking up in the bliss of meditation for as long as you want.
  • In addition to its use as a meditation tool, a meditation zafu can act as a perfect bolster to perform exercises for stretching the back or used for converting any chair into a tilt seat for autonomous sitting.

o sum up, a meditation zafu is an essential meditation tool to ensure your physical comfort and correct posture while you are enjoying a long session of contemplation and reflection. It helps avoid back strain, leg strain and other physical injuries due to strain on muscles, joints and ligaments arising from long periods of sitting in one position.

By George White

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