Meditation is the journey by which we may achieve calm, super consciousness and ultimately the inner peace of enlightenment. Our practice can be compared to the evolution of the lotus flower, which in its final stage, blossoms into thousands of beautiful petals. The first practice stage in our blossoming is to achieve calmness, which depends upon a balanced posture and soothing breathe. A balanced posture requires our body to be grounded to the earth much like the lotus flower beginning its journey in the mud.
Physical discomfort while meditating is a common problem and distraction. This discomfort is predominantly due to an unbalanced posture. For the mind to be alert, calm and still, there should be no tension in the lower and upper back, which must be kept vertically straight with natural curves. Meditation cushions enable the body to maintain a comfortable and balanced posture. Choosing the correct style of meditation zafus depends on the posture position you prefer, your height, and your need for support.
All posture positions require zabutons, similar to a padded mattress. Zabutons are placed directly on the floor. They provide protection for your ankles and knees in a seated cross-legged position and help avoid numbness in your legs and feet. Zabutons protect your shins, knees and top of feet in a kneeling (straddle or prayer) position. They also help keep zafus clean.
Round meditation cushions are the traditional Zen zafus. This style may be used in all seated cross-legged positions as well as in the kneeling (straddle or prayer) position. In the seated cross-legged positions, the pelvis has to be in a neutral position not slumping forward or backward. The spine should be erect with all its natural curves. Your body weight is evenly distributed. The function of round zafus is to keep the pelvis in a neutral position. In the kneeling (straddle or prayer) position, round meditation cushions raise your hips slightly above your knees and support a straight back again with natural curves. During practice, round meditation cushions are placed on top of your zabuton. Alignment of meditation cushions on the zabuton depends on your choice of posture.
Crescent shaped meditation cushions are suitable for seated cross-legged positions. This style keeps the pelvis in a neutral position, supports a straight back and provides comfort for your thighs. Crescent meditation zafus are placed on top of the edge of the zabuton that lies horizontally on the ground.
When choosing zafus, you need to select the type of fill and style that suits your practice. The choice of which meditation cushions are best for you depends on your preference and needs. Know what postures, cross-legged position or kneeling (straddle or prayer) position, your preferences and what areas of support you body requires before purchasing.