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Thread: Advice on buying a zafu?

  1. #1

    Advice on buying a zafu?

    Hello,
    like I said, I'm really new, so I don't have a zafu. I'm sitting on a cell foam block, which might be fine, but my legs get sleepy. Now you get zafus of all colours and shapes on the internet... I guess I'll be fine with black???
    What about the filling, some sounds like you'd rather eat it than sit on it?
    I'd really appreciate if some of you gave me a link or a picture of what is appropriate.
    Imagine I get to show up on your screen one day, being the only person with a fluffy orange zafu!! Yuk.
    What about a zabuton, is that just for the knees or for other purposes too? My floor is hard.
    How did you find the zafu that was right for you?
    Thank you!
    Gassho,
    Danny

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Hi Danny,

    I just recently upgraded myself. I don't know where you reside, but I went with this, and it's seriously comfortable. I'm a bit of a sucker for comfort and don't have carpet, so I got the kit with zafu, zabuton, and a small pillow (which I did not need, as it turns out). As you can adjust the amount of fill, it makes it easy to customize as you like it if you find it too high/firm from the factory.

    http://www.zafuzafu.com/zafu-canada-1-5b.html

    Others will no doubt have thoughts as well, but I'm REALLY happy with mine, so don't mind being a bit of an advocate. Downside- they ship from Canada, and will charge the full shipping rate, so if you're not in Canada, you might want to consider something more local to you.

    Gassho,
    Morgan

  3. #3
    Hi Danny

    I currently sit on one I made using this pattern: http://www.buddhamind.info/leftside/.../medi/zafu.htm. Is surprisingly easy and produces good results. You can also add or remove stuffing to suit your preference.

    Pics of my making process are here: http://eastkentsotozen.wordpress.com...your-own-zafu/


    Gassho
    Andy

  4. #4
    Hello Danny,

    There are lots of sites out there that sell zafus, but the biggest advice I could give is, each to their own. Finding a zafu that fits you is important ... Andy has made a good point about being able to add or take away the filling, so then you can customize it for your body type.

    This is the one I use and love it http://www.zenike.net/servlet/the-77...ion-zen/Detail. 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.

  5. #5

    Advice on buying a zafu?

    Hi Danny,

    You can Google's zafu or zabuton and come up with a lot of sites. Try Zafu.net. In my case, after trying different zafus I always go back to my seiza bench. I stretch every day but my back hasn't become quite comfortable with using a Zafu.

    Gassho, Jishin
    治 Ji
    心​ Shin
    #SatToday

  6. #6
    Senior Member Genshin's Avatar
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    Hi Danny,

    You don't say where you are from, but one site I use is Blue Banyan (http://bluebanyan.co.uk). Their Zafus are good quality.

    I had been using a husk filled zafu for a bit, but it was a pain it the butt for long sits and to carry around. Recently I've been using a quallofil filled zafu which holds shape well and is comfortable for longer sits. But we are all different, so best to try different zafus so see what suits.

    Gassho,
    Genshin

  7. #7
    Thank you all for the answers.

    I'm very impressed by the do it yourself idea, Kokuu, but I have never sewn anything before...
    However, I made a one footed seiza bench - very comfortable, but that was before I read about zen... Now I have the ambition (haha!! ) to sit right. Well, at least to see if it makes a difference.
    Sorry for not telling my location, and not having a picture yet.
    I'm sitting in the west of Germany, so experiences of the German or Nederlandse sangha members would be appreciated very much.

    Gassho,
    Danny

  8. #8
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Danny,

    One thing to keep in mind is that you can modify your zafu to fit your needs. I bought one filled with cotton batting that gave out over time, but then put buckwheat hulls inside. So, even if you buy one that is not to you liking (or more to the point, your bottom's liking!), it is not a waste if you try some other fillings as well as varying the amount of filling you use. I'd just make sure the one you get is big enough. I ordered one that was definitely too small.

    Hope that helps. I guess my advice boils down to just picking one and then tailoring it later if need be rather than waiting too long to find the "right" one.

    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
    I used to sit Burmese and preferred kapok. Now I sit seiza and prefer buckwheat hulls. You can always change fillings, like Dosho said.
    Gassho,
    Kaishin

  10. #10
    I am happy to report that since a few hours I'm the owner of a zafu!
    Well, how happy I am I will know after sitting quite a few times, I guess.
    I've chosen a kapok zafu, the picture looked similar to the one Shingen recommended, but it's "world cup-style" - a nearly round, fluffy ball! It's got an opening, so I can do all the things suggested, like take out kapok.
    Contrasted to my hard cell foam block it's wobbly. I need to have a look at Taigu's sitting instruction again.
    I guess when used a few times and wedged under the butt correctly, the zafu will flatten.
    Otherwise I'm the first Burmese simply butt-balancing on a football.

    Thank you for your advice!
    Gassho,
    Danny

  11. #11
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Good to see, Danny! Happy-non-happy sitting, gassho.
    迎 Geika

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Danny B View Post
    I am happy to report that since a few hours I'm the owner of a zafu!
    Wonderful wonderful ... happy sitting! =)

    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.

  13. #13
    Hey Danny,

    The first four years I sat zazen daily, I refused to own a zafu or zabuton, using just two folded-over pillows (not even any particular pillows). Shortly after I bought my first zafu, I abandoned daily practice.

    My knees give me trouble and pain in half lotus these days, so I sit on a seiza bench. My first one was basic black but I had to put it in vacuum sealed storage (I got bed bugs in Savannah. You don't screw around with bed bugs!). The newer one is blue just because blue is my favorite color. Stephanie has a zabuton and a blanket. I'd like to say we share the two, but more often than not she lets me use the zabuton because I'm sitting on my knees. She sits half lotus or Burmese.

    Chet

  14. #14
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny B View Post
    I am happy to report that since a few hours I'm the owner of a zafu!
    Well, how happy I am I will know after sitting quite a few times, I guess.
    I've chosen a kapok zafu, the picture looked similar to the one Shingen recommended, but it's "world cup-style" - a nearly round, fluffy ball! It's got an opening, so I can do all the things suggested, like take out kapok.
    Contrasted to my hard cell foam block it's wobbly. I need to have a look at Taigu's sitting instruction again.
    I guess when used a few times and wedged under the butt correctly, the zafu will flatten.
    Otherwise I'm the first Burmese simply butt-balancing on a football.

    Thank you for your advice!
    Gassho,
    Danny
    I went from a buckwheat hull to a kapok zafu and I had to take out a lot of stuffing to make it comfortable for me. I saved all the stuffing in a gallon ziplock bag so I can put it back in if I need to, but I've been sitting on it a while and it's 0% flatter.
    Try not to be a jerk-- one of the Buddhas

  15. #15
    Senior Member ScottH's Avatar
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    Hi all. I too used to do the rolled up pillow trick for sitting Burmese, though I prefer to use my seiza bench. I feel it is much easier on my bad back. Though I am fascinated by the process of making a homemade zafu. I think I might give that a try, though I will need a bunch of help from my wife in the sewing machine department. Gassho, Scott

  16. #16
    Hi all,

    I meditated on a bed pillow for 25 years. Then my sister mailed me 12 little jars of homemade strawberry jam with a lovely 2-inch thick piece of dense foam over the top, and I meditated on that for 5 years (just the foam, not the jam, it’s all gone ). Then I said, maybe I will commit to this meditation, and I got a V-shaped zafu filled with buckwheat hulls. I like it very much. I still have the piece of foam and use it for meditating outside.

    Gassho
    Lisa
    Last edited by raindrop; 06-27-2014 at 06:19 PM.

  17. #17
    Hi everyone,

    Lisa, that's a wise idea, to keep the foam for outdoors. I used a slice of wood while on vacation, and, well, it was hard.
    I've also tried sitting on a bag of rice , but it was too low.
    Nengyo, I have taken some kapok out now (and stored it in a bag), but now the zafu tends to slip out from under my back. It's quite a procedure to get onto it - I'm lucky I'm having trouble with G+ and nobody can watch!
    ScottH, sewing machine?? Oh, I thought "sewing" here always referred to sewing by hand. (Not that I could do either.)

    Has anyone tried sitting on air-filled pillows or swimming aids??
    Would be nice to know for travel.

    Gassho,
    Danny

  18. #18
    It's not very hard to make a zafu yourself... just two circles and one 'stripe' of cloth, a small zipper, needle and thread. Fill it with buckwheat chaff (usually can be ordered from local organic supermarket)

    I found a nice link here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Make...tation-pillow/

    Just takes some patience and it's a lot cheaper than buying one

    Last holiday I flew to my destination and could not bring a 'heavy' zafu. I stacked my Teva sandals and put a cloth on top. A bit hard to sit on, but then does that really matter? It is as it is...

    Still I was thinking of getting one of these, since it's easy to take with you: http://www.zafu.net/litecush.html But I don't know if they're sittable

    Edit: The inflatable zafu site itself says they're made of a beachball with cloth around it. So instead of buckwheat you could get a cheap beachball! My next project for sure

    Gassho

    Vincent
    For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.

  19. #19
    Hi Vincent,

    yes, I thought of something like a beachball.
    Following your link, I liked the question "Does it squeek"
    Please post or PM if you try with the beachball, I'm really interested.

    Nice new avatar!

    Gassho,

    Danny

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