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Buy Japanese Zafu Cushion For Meditation, Mind Clarity, And Zen

Updated on May 25, 2010

Created in Japan and made popular in China, for thousands of years a Zafu cushion has been used for seated meditation. Often mistakenly translated for "sewn seat" Zafu actually means "seat made of cattails" which for a very long time is what the Zafu cushion was truly made of.

During the practice of mental discipline known as meditation, a Zafu cushion was made to create a comfortable, stable place to sit that created stable body alignment to help promote a deep meditative state of awareness.The thought being in many cultures that a when the spine is straight it encourages the circulation in the body of spiritual energy or the persons life force.

Although in the past the Zafu cushion was made of cattails. Today stuffing materials used vary but are generally buckwheat hulls or natural kapok fiber to 100% cotton and covered with a natural cotton or silk canvas. What you will find is that although the meditation cushion looks somewhat awkward, that it is actually quite comfortable and really does promote a posture that is prime for relaxation.

Zabu and Zabuton cushions
Zabu and Zabuton cushions

Do You Need A Zafu Cushion For Meditation

Obviously, no, you do not need a Zafu cushion to practice the relaxing art of meditation. However, many people find that setting up a special serene place with meditation cushions, candles, music and other relaxing, calming mood setting objects helps them to separate from the day to day stress of work, family, and bills and let go into a more peaceful mood wherever that may be. Creating an environment that is meant to soley promote the user into going within themselves and letting go of what surrounds them can be quite helpful.

Having a Zafu cushion helps some individuals who are not able easily detach from what they are doing throughout the day and let go into a deep meditative state.

Hugger Mugger Zafu Meditation Cushion (Black)
Hugger Mugger Zafu Meditation Cushion (Black)

This Zafu is filled with buckwheat hulls, which mold to the shape of your body, yet are resilient. The cotton cover is zippered, so you can add or remove filling to customize your cushion. Convenient handle is attached.


The Zafu Pillow

  • Supports lotus, cross-legged, or kneeling positions during meditation

  • Eases stress and pressure on the knees, ankles, and back, and encourages proper alignment of your spine

  • Maintains stable support while conforming to your seat

How To Use A Zafu Cushion

A Japanese traditional Zafu cushion is a round, plump, pleated pillow. When sat upon the cushion promotes sitting in an upright position by supporting the spine. The meditation pillow is generally about 5 to 8 inches high to help you sit in a full or half lotus position with your knees resting on the floor. A slight tilt of your body is created.

In this position your spine in corrected in an erect position that makes it easier for long meditative sessions that are easy on your body. If those are difficult, having your legs crossed will work just as well until you are able to work in to the lotus position if you so desire.

The Zabuton Cushion For Underneath The Zabu

For those that are concerned with sore knees and ankles when sitting in that position, many people who enjoy the use of special meditation pillows such as the Zafu also use a Zabuton The Zabuton is a larger, square flatter cushion usually about 2 to 4 inches thick that is placed under the Zafu to make it easier on knees and ankles. Zafu and Zabutons are often found as sets.

Your Zafu cushion and Zabuton cushion if you choose to own one should ONLY be used during meditation.These are not couch pillows, or meant to lay on the ground and watch movies.

Your Zafu and Zabuton cushion should only be used during your zen meditation practice. Using them for other reasons will take away the special aspect of it. The same goes for any other objects or music you use for meditation. The items you use for this purpose should be put away, or remain in an area that is only to be used for your meditative practices.

When your mind associates certiain objects with relaxation, it will help you to ease into a more aware and relaxed state of mind.

Favorite Relaxation and Meditation CD's

Other Meditation Items

Blessed Herbal Candle - Vision Quest (Meditation and Problem Solving)
Blessed Herbal Candle - Vision Quest (Meditation and Problem Solving)

This candle is designed to enhance visualizations, meditations, and trances by taking you to a deeper and more intense level.



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    • profile image

      best meditation 

      7 years ago

      I would like to have one of those. It can really help you become comfortable when meditating.

    • profile image

      beginners meditation 

      8 years ago

      Cushions are great for meditation as they give you that height to allow you to tilt your pelvis forward which puts the spine into a natural alignment for the cross legged postures. Thanks for the article.

    • Charia Samher profile image

      Charia Samher 

      9 years ago

      Ah so that's what you call it, a zapu cushion. =) In this modern day, you can also use the Wii fit for your meditation, as it also has a Yoga feature. And you can use the Wii board as a zapu cushion. =)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I could not sit like that if forced too. My joints are too oldt and unflexible. I might do myself a mischief trying to get up too. LOL


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