A zafu (座蒲 in Japanese or 蒲 in Chinese) is a small, round cushion that is used for meditation; it is sometimes referred to as a zafu meditation pillow. Occasionally they are offered for sale with a zabuton. The traditional zafu is round, like a flattened sphere but crescent shaped pillows are available. They originated in Japan and were widely used in China. Traditional zafu pillows were filled with kapok, the fiber from the seed pod of the kapok tree. Kapok is harvested for use as stuffing in Asia, Malaysia, South America, the Philippines and on Hainan Island in China. It is popular for its strength, water resistance and lightness.
Buckwheat hulls have replaced kapok in many zafu today. Both substances provide a firm and comfortable surface to rest on. Today zafus have zippered seams that allow buckwheat hulls or kapok to be added or removed as needed to change the height and firmness of the pillow. Zafu covers are usually made from cotton or silk and usually have a fabric handle. Most covers are removable by zipper to allow for machine washing.
Zafu are used during meditation to help the body hold specific positions. The pillow is placed below the hips. It elevates the hips, increases the range of motion and makes kneeling positions more comfortable and stable. They are used with a zabuton, a large flat pillow. The zabuton is positioned on the flooring as a base for the person meditating. A zafu is positioned on top of the zabuton. The zabuton cushion provides comfort and support to the knees, lower legs and ankles while meditating.
For more information about Zafu or Meditation Cushions made from an individual pattern according to a customer’s measurements, style and fabric specifications, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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