Meditation Cushions and Mats
While you don’t need any special gear to meditate, over the years creative meditators have come up with inventive ways to make meditation more comfortable – and the experience even nicer – including a variety of meditation cushions.
Meditation cushions come in many shapes but the three most popular are the round, the crescent moon and the cosmic, pictured below. They are sometimes referred to as zafu, a Japanese term, courtesy our Zen friends.
Even with a cushion, if you’re seated on a hard surface such as wooden floor or a thin carpet, there will be points on your knees, ankles and feet that take more pressure and these can become painful over time.
It’s far preferable to have a surface with some give beneath you, such as a thick yoga mat, and classic meditation cushions are often paired with a super-thick meditation mat called a zabuton.
The Round Zafu
The classic zafu is round and comes in several sizes (e.g. small, medium and large).
The Crescent Moon Zafu
The crescent moon (also called the half moon) is built very much like a zafu, but with room carved out for your feet, a heel cradle that lets you bring your feet closer in.
The Cosmic Zafu
In addition to the heel-cradle, the cosmic has a built-in slope with a flat surface that supports your thighs all the way to the floor (no drop-off-point pressure).
It’s All Good
There are some absolutely beautiful cushions and mats out there, made of exquisite materials – even a fashionista can find something she loves. And there are some earthy models for the light-footprint minded – rugged, utilitarian pieces that will last a lifetime.
At the same time, don’t feel like you have to run out and buy special equipment in order to meditate. Not at all. Experiment with what you have on hand – cushions and blankets can work really well also.
These are simply options that can make your meditation even nicer, developed over time by people who love to meditate. The important thing is to be at ease throughout your meditation.
Next up: Kneeling and Chair Meditation Postures
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Copyright Sharon Rose Summers 2014. This module entitled Meditation Posture – Your Guide to Finding Balance is a three-part section devoted to meditation posture and is one module of a multi-part series about how to meditate. No part may be copied in whole or in part without prior written permission.