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.