Let’s face it, half the battle of meditation is getting comfortable enough to stop thinking about sitting. Sitting comfortably, traditionally, in an unsupported cross-legged (or lotus) position on the floor, means sitting with your back and neck straight. This position requires a level of mobility in the ankles, knees, and hips that most of us don’t have. Even in a chair, we often slouch and dont keep our spines straight. Our bodies end up cramping up or slumping and that makes it difficult for our minds to keep focused on anything other than when we can get up. The key is to have a straight neck and spine so you can sit comfortably and support yourself for a longer period without pain.
Sitting only your hips on a meditation cushion (or firm blanket) gives your hips the height so it's above your knees and legs. It allows your hips to roll forward, allowing the spine to straighten making it comfortable to stay in for longer periods. Use a chair, a bench or the floor -- all of them are fine! Use the support of a cushion or blanket to keep your hips higher so your back can straighten. As you practice, your body will get used to sitting in meditation and practice will become more and more comfortable.
The MIT meditation cushions are custom designed and are made of high quality materials with a local partner. They are filled with buckwheat hulls so the cushion will not flatten overtime and will stay comfortable and supportive for years to come. There are a few designs to choose from, with the MIT logo and/or a bodhi leaf and/or mandala design.
The ideal cushion to start your meditation habit. Perfect as a meditation seat or meditation floor cushion for a peaceful and relaxing meditation, or as an elegant floor pillow or chair.
Our meditation cushions, known as a “zafu”, have been specially crafted for the MIT community and are not available elsewhere on the market. They are optimized to maximize sitting comfort and meditation practice of long hours, with just the right height and firmness. The rectangular shape allows your spine to fall into place for extended periods of comfortable sitting.
Design: The cushion comes with a removable cover that is machine washable. Buckwheat hulls can be easily added or removed from their pouch inside the cushion to adjust pillow height. Modeled after the traditional Japanese Zen meditation cushion, MIT meditation lab cushion design is inspired by the Buddhi tree and the Mandala circle.
Bodhi Leaf , is a heart-shaped leaf that comes from the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya, wherein Siddhartha Gautama sat under to meditate and reached enlightenment. According to Buddhist texts, the Buddha meditated without moving from his seat for seven weeks (49 days) under this tree.
Mandala (which means “circle” in Sanskrit), is a geometric design that is believed to represent different aspects of the universe and are used as instruments of meditation in some cultures. The center is a dot, free of dimensions, the beginning of contemplation. The dot is surrounded by lines and geometrical patterns that symbolize the universe, in the form of a circle which represents the cyclical nature of life.