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About Cushions and Mats


Zafus (round cushions) are the basic cushions used for zazen. We make two styles of zafu shells, one for kapok filling and a second for husk filling. Kapok is a natural fiber similar to cotton but more resilient. As well, it does not compress as quickly as cotton. Each zafu is filled completely and new cushions are quite firm.

Recently husk zafus have become very popular. These cushions have a different quality in that they shape to your body. The shell of these cushions have less pleats, so the cushion does not collapse as much as kapok-filled cushions. Also you can shift the husk filling to pile up the cushion so that it is higher or lower.
Deciding which cushion to use is a personal choice. If you need more height, the husk cushion might be better. However, kapok cushions are softer.

The zabuton, or mat, is a square, large pad you place under your cushions on the floor. It is filled with three layers of cotton batting. The brown mat has an extra cover which can be washed if needed. Although you can sit on a carpet floor or place a blanket under your zafu, it is much more comfortable to have a mat.

Support cushions are used in many different ways and were developed to serve different needs:

Rectangular kapok-filled support cushions are used mostly at add extra height under the zafu. They can also be used as additional padding for the knees, or to relieve pain.

Rectangular husk support cushions can be used to aid sitting in the seiza, or kneeling, position; to add extra height under the zafu; or as a support for your hands' mudra.

Flat support cushions can be used under the zafu or knees. They can be folded in many ways and also rolled to add support where needed. They are the most versatile of the support cushion family and people find many ways to use them.

Small hand cushions were developed for those who sit in the half-lotus position and may need support under the hand which does not rest on the foot. However, there are many other ways people have found to use these small cushions.

Special cushions can be made to order. Please contact us for more information.

One final note about cushions:  Because kapok looses volume and flexibility over time, you may need to refill the cushion every few years. When you purchase replacement kapok, the quantity is sufficient to fill an empty zafu shell.