Posted in Zen Buddhism

The Importance of Good Equipment

About 8 years ago, I finally invested in a zafu (the round meditation cushion your butt goes on) that I found on sale in a local yoga studio.  I was a starving student, and it was a large financial commitment at that point in my life.  I did without the zabuton (the big, square mat that goes under the zafu, where you rest your knees).  For all these years, I’ve put my zafu on the bed and convinced myself that I had an adequate substitute.

I learned better, of course, from going to my Zen Center and other meditation halls, places that had the “right” cushions.  The bed tends to lead in toward the center as the mattress wears over the years.  Zabutons, being thinner, don’t have that problem.

Finally, last week, I ordered myself a zabuton.  I found the company that had made my 8-year-old zafu and ordered from them.  (Hey, the zafu has proven to be good quality, so why not.)  I’d been meditating daily since my return from the retreat at Spirit Rock, and my back was no longer up to the angle produced by the mattress.

Immediately, there was an improvement in my meditation posture.  Now I’m usually meditating twice a day, with no more discomfort.  If I’d known what a difference this would make in my practice, I’d have purchased a zabuton years ago.  Then again, I wasn’t this dedicated to my practice years ago.  So it all works out as my karma ripens.

Author:

Ven. Dr. Myodo Jabo (Sandy Gougis) is a Zen Master and Priest in the Five Mountain Zen Order. She began studying Theravâdin Buddhism in 1998, adding Zen in 2003, and Vajrayana Buddhism in 2008. She currently practices in both the Zen and Tibetan traditions. Her Zen teacher is Most Ven. Wonji Dharma of the Five Mountain Zen Order, and her Tibetan guru is Lama Tsultrim Allione of Tara Mandala. In her free time, Myodo enjoys painting, jewelry making, and other creative endeavors.

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