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Thread: Zabuton Filling Question

  1. #1
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Zabuton Filling Question

    Hi all,

    I have had a zabuton for several years that is becoming flat and isn't cushioning my knees anymore. So, I've decided to refill it. Most I have found seem to use cotton batting. Has anyone ever had one filled with buckwheat hulls? Do you think it would be better or worse than cotton? The reason I ask is that I have a lot of buckwheat hulls and am tempted to try it, but hadn't heard of anyone doing that before.

    Thanks in advance!

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Ordained Priest -In-Training & Shuso (Head Seat) for November - Ango 2014
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    Please take what I say with a grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Shujin's Avatar
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    Hi Dosho,
    I don't have any experience with buckwheat hulls in zabutons. My thought is that, while it might be okay for sitting, it would shift about when you picked up the zabuton. I've heard of some people using old blankets/comforters as a substitute for batting. That's what I would go for.

    Gassho,
    Shujin

  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Shujin,

    Thanks for the advice! I can see the shifting issue, but it doesn't get moved very often since I am lucky and have a dedicated sitting space in the house. And I doubt most people would do it for economic reasons since buckwheat hulls are expensive and heavy (shipping costs would be a nightmare!). But I have a very large bag of buckwheat hulls I bought from a local company and it seems silly not to use them. But I shall investigate any old linens in the house such as you describe.

    Any other thoughts?

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Ordained Priest -In-Training & Shuso (Head Seat) for November - Ango 2014
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    Please take what I say with a grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma!

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
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    I hadn't thought about filling a zabuton with buckwheat hulls. It seems like it would make it fairly heavy and a lot harder. Last year I was going to take apart an old Samadhi zabuton to put a new layer of batting in and also an inch of memory foam on top, you might consider that Dosho. It would give it a nice Tepurpedic feel like the fancy Zen Mountain Monastery ones.

    Gassho.
    Seimyo

    明 Seimyō (Christhatischris)

  5. #5
    Hey Dosho,

    I learned a trick with my zabuton from a guy who creates futons. I used loose cotton batting, but put a piece of open cell foam in between. This allows for the zabuton to keep it's shape and give the body a little cush.

    Hope this helps.
    Gassho
    Shingen
    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  6. #6
    I order extra kapok stuffing from Zen Mountain Monastery's store. It's the traditional filling and works well. I have a buckwheat hull one as well, but the contents shift a lot (more like a beanbag pillow), and it tends to break down over time as the hulls get pulverized. Kapok isn't as mold-able to the body as buckwheat, but I find it more supportive.

    http://www.dharma.net/monstore/produ...oducts_id=1028
    Gassho,
    Kaishin

  7. #7
    I agree with Kaishin. I have a buckwheat stuffed cushion and a kapok one. The buckwheat I never use as the contents shift too much whereas the kapok one is a daily companion.

  8. #8
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaishin View Post
    I order extra kapok stuffing from Zen Mountain Monastery's store. It's the traditional filling and works well. I have a buckwheat hull one as well, but the contents shift a lot (more like a beanbag pillow), and it tends to break down over time as the hulls get pulverized. Kapok isn't as mold-able to the body as buckwheat, but I find it more supportive.
    Quote Originally Posted by Karasu View Post
    I agree with Kaishin. I have a buckwheat stuffed cushion and a kapok one. The buckwheat I never use as the contents shift too much whereas the kapok one is a daily companion.
    Are you guys talking about a zafu or a zabuton? My question was about the latter, but based on your comments I am seriously considering kapok for my next zafu.

    Thanks!

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Ordained Priest -In-Training & Shuso (Head Seat) for November - Ango 2014
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please take what I say with a grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma!

  9. #9
    Oops, yes sorry, I was certainly confusing my zabutons and zafus! I don't actually have a zabuton.

    Andy

  10. #10
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    They are a luxury to be sure...but they are nice for us "bigger boned" fellas.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

    Quote Originally Posted by Karasu View Post
    Oops, yes sorry, I was certainly confusing my zabutons and zafus! I don't actually have a zabuton.

    Andy
    Ordained Priest -In-Training & Shuso (Head Seat) for November - Ango 2014
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please take what I say with a grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma!

  11. #11
    On a related note, what's a good way to wash a zabuton? I've recently been given one that's rather old, and I believe hand-sewn, and I would like to take good care of it.

    Gassho,

    Zac
    However much we become enlightened, it is not very much.
    Rupan shunyata shunyataiva rupan

  12. #12
    Hey Dosho.

    I have a Zabuton that is filled with cotton and i dont use it too much. since if it is either too full and than i tend to sink in it a bit since cotton isnt very supportive. or if i take some out it gets too shallow and doesnt doo the job.
    i have been using an old blanket made out of some kind of cotton blend. it isnt too thick and inst too shallow so it seems to be perfect. iv'e been using it for years now. almost as long as i've been at treeleaf (which seems very... long ago).

    on a side note. i havea buckwheat zafu that really needs a refill but buckwheat hulls arent available in israel. so i kinda have to put it on its side now. since the shipping costs is crazy expensive. (about 20$ for 5$ worth of Hulls).
    so lately im thinking of alternatives... is the kapok supportive at all? i've tried cotton filled zafus and they werent nearly as supportive as i might need. im not very flexible so i sit in the burmese position and need a higher support than just 10cm (4 Inch).

    Gassho, Dojin.
    I gained nothing at all from supreme enlightenment, and for that very reason it is called supreme enlightenment
    - the Buddha

  13. #13
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
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    Hey Dojin,
    Have you considered trying to source millet hulls as an alternative to buckwheat hulls? It sounds like they can be used but I've never seen them on the market.

    I've got an older kapok zafu, and it works well enough. I just prefer the way I settle into the buckwheat more. Kapok does not settle like buckwheat hulls and should give you a touch more height.

    Zac: I'm not sure you want to wash the whole zabuton. If you were able to remove the cover I might suggest hand-washing it, but the padding might be better replaced than washed.

    Gassho
    Seimyo

    明 Seimyō (Christhatischris)

  14. #14
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    I never used a real zabuton. Best I had was an old cotton -filled comforter. Worked fine and was very comfortable for the ankles. I might say it was a bit "fluffier" than is required, but it wasn't problematic. Nowadays I pretty much chair sit only as it's easier to sit for longer periods.

  15. #15
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the input! I'll let you all know how it turns out.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Ordained Priest -In-Training & Shuso (Head Seat) for November - Ango 2014
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please take what I say with a grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma!

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