The 10 Best Meditation Cushions
10. My Zen Home Organic Kapok Filled Dhyana
- helps achieve a natural posture
- different cotton covers available
- seam stitching could be better
|Brand||My Zen Home|
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
9. Mobile Meditator Inflatable
- includes carrying case
- great for backpacking and camping
- inflation requires a lot of effort
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
8. Bean Products Zafu
- clean and modern design
- made by hand in chicago
- buckwheat is not encased in a liner
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
7. Gaiam Zabuton
- cover can be machine washed
- comfy cushioned top
- can feel a bit lumpy
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
6. Trevida Organic Zafu
- high-quality seams
- built-in carrying handle
- cover tends to attract dirt and lint
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
5. Bean Products Cushion Set
- zabuton is hand tufted
- filled with us-grown buckwheat hulls
- dye may run in the wash
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
4. Brentwood Home Crystal Cove
- filling is replaceable
- designed to align the spine
- may be too high for some
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
3. YogaAccessories Round Zafu
- packed firmly for solidity
- unobtrusive side zipper
- heavyweight and durable fabric
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
2. Friends Of Meditation Buddha
- water-resistant case
- ideal for both tall and short people
- reduces stress on the lumbar region
|Brand||Friends Of Meditation|
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
1. Waterglider International Zafu Crescent
- organic cotton twill cover
- convenient zipper placement
- suitable for beginners
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
Why Use a Meditation Cushion (As Opposed to Sitting On The Floor)?
One of the goals of meditation is to achieve an inner-balance; a weightless flow that allows your mind and body to approach transcendence. This might explain why meditation usually takes place in a private setting, or in a place where peace and tranquility are the norm.
Anyone who meditates knows that a person's concentration can be disrupted by anything from an urge to sneeze to a passing siren. One of the most common forms of distraction is a lack of circulation, brought on by sitting in a lotus position (i.e., legs crossed, palms up) while placing one's weight upon the lower body.
The lotus position becomes more taxing the longer a meditation session continues. By using a cushion you can alleviate a certain level of discomfort while promoting blood flow throughout the central regions. On top of which, most high-quality meditation cushions come with a machine-washable liner. This means that you can place crushed potpourri or other fragrances on, in, or around your cushion, and then wash those fragrances clean, thereby avoiding any set-in stains or mildew.
Certain meditation cushions can be placed vertically along a wall to relieve any lumbar pressure throughout your lower-back. Other cushions are compact enough that you can use them as travel pillows, or as a headrest, assuming that you do any of your meditating while seated on a couch. The point of all this being that a meditation cushion adds to the nirvana of any person's daily practice. Modern Buddhists are known to use cushions as a way of heightening their flow.
Mindfulness 101: The Myriad Benefits of Meditation
Meditation has some truly remarkable benefits. For starters, meditation is proven to increase a person's focus and concentration, both of which are critical to developing superior problem-solving skills. Meditation has also been proven to reduce stress, while having a sustainable impact on cases of anxiety, high blood pressure, and depression.
Research shows that meditation causes a person to exhibit more patience, which, in turn, leads to better listening and more productive communication. Meditation leads to introspection and self-evaluation, along with increased levels of empathy and compassion. Meditation has a positive effect on mnemonic abilities, while also promoting creativity and an ability to think outside the box. Meditation leads to relaxation, helping people to overcome insomnia and several other sleep-deprivation disorders.
According to a study published by the Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine, people who meditate are prone to higher levels of immunity and an increased resistance to pain. What's more, various studies have concluded that prolonged periods of meditation can actually reduce cellular inflammation, thereby decreasing the risk of heart disease and several other circulatory disorders.
As if all of this isn't enough, meditation is free (short of the initial cost of learning how to practice). More to the point, meditation doesn't have any negative side effects. A consistent practice can have a positive impact your outlook, along with your health, and your quality of life.
A Brief History of Meditation
Meditation, which literally means "to think, contemplate, devise, or ponder," dates all the way back to the 6th Century, BCE. During its formative era meditation was cultivated among the Taoists in China, the Hindus in India, and early Buddhists throughout Nepal.
Around 1,000 BCE, meditation began to spread into various parts of Europe and Northern Africa. Whereas the majority of organized religions had been built around looking outward to a God, meditation taught that spiritual enlightenment could only be attained from within. Chinese Buddhists, in particular, had commenced a new tradition based on "Zen," or deriving heightened states of being. Every meditating student was provided with a guru and a mantra. These mantras were usually a one-syllable sound that was meant to be chanted throughout one's routine.
By the 12th Century, meditation had become a widespread practice, with devotees extolling the virtues of this new-age technique. Mainstream religions including Judaism and Christianity continued to shun meditation as little more than an ego-driven form of prayer. Scientific data disagreed, however, with Victorian-era researchers documenting the wide range of benefits being reported by meditating subjects.
Meditation began to draw a worldwide audience during the 1970s, particularly after it attracted the attention of American intellectuals, including Ram Dass, the author of Be Here Now. Today, it is estimated that 18 million American adults practice some form of meditation. The unofficial capital of meditation - at least for Buddhists - is considered to be Nepal.