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Thread: Use permitted for a zafu/zabuton

  1. #1

    Use permitted for a zafu/zabuton

    Hi all,

    on the one hand, we have learned we can sit on anything, it need not be a zafu or anything special.

    Then, when carrying the zafu, one is encouraged to do so with special care. Not like anything.

    I'm asking because apart from sitting zazen, I like to sit on my zabiton reading or sewing.

    And yesterday, when I was lying down and my whole body hurt, I thought if I only had one more cushion, that would help me.
    So I grabbed my zafu lying next to me and put it under my head. It was so good!

    Afterwards I thought, maybe that was not right. The zafu is for practice, not just a cushion.

    But I don't feel guilty.
    Shikantaza does not depend on a zafu vs a rolled-up blanket.
    So using a zafu to relief pain is as sacred as any practice, or any cushion?



  2. #2
    Hi Danny,

    I sit wherever I can sit and a cushion is just a cushion. I don't have a zafu and I use rolled up blankets, which I use in the bed when it's cold! So my Barney blanket keeps me warm and serves as a zafu.

    In my view, what's sacred is your practice and your sincerity. If you need to use the zafu as an extra cushion, I don't see anything wrong.

    However, when a cushion becomes a zafu, then we treat it with as much respect as if you were in a traditional zendo.

    Bur again, that's just my point of view.


    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  3. #3
    Hello Danny,

    I also agree with Kyonin ... what is sacred is our practice and your intention towards that practice. Not all folks who sit use a zafu, maybe they use a chair - when they sit zazen on the chair it is sacred, when they sit on the chair to eat supper, that too is sacred.

    If your zafu can support your practice and your sore body, all the better. I feel it is not s0 much about the object, but our intention and action with and toward that object. =)


  4. #4
    Hi Danny,

    If I don't take care of my body then there is no Zazen. It seems that you are taking care of your body as best as you can so you can continue to practice.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  5. #5
    It's just a bag of waste really. If it may carry your butt why not your head?
    Take care, Danny

    Sat today
    Ongen (音源) - Sound Source

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Danny B View Post

    The boundary between practice and not-practice, between sacred and everyday, between heads and tails, is thought.

    sat today

  7. #7
    Gassho, Lisa
    Thank you for that reminder

    Sat Today
    Ongen (音源) - Sound Source

  8. #8
    The boundary between practice and not-practice, between sacred and everyday, between heads and tails, is thought.
    So well put, thank you, Lisa.


  9. #9
    Thank you everyone.
    As I said, I did not deel guilty, Lisas words (as always) express my feelings so much better than I could.
    But I am happy to get some feegback, especially yours, Kyonin, that others change the use of the objects too and that intention makes anything anything.


  10. #10
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Redding California USA
    Hi Danny,

    I'm a little late to reply but wanted to share something. I have gone on retreat a couple of times at Sanshinji, Shohaku Okumura's temple. The cost of the retreat includes being able to sleep in the zendo for no additional charge (there is also a dormitory but that costs a little more). So, during the day, the zendo is a sacred place of sitting. During the evening, the zafus and zabutons become beds and pillows.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

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