Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Have a seat ...
I think I may have mentioned here the new meditation habit I'm trying to establish. Did I also mention that in pursuit of such, I was going to make myself a zafu, which is the Japanese way of saying "meditation cushion"? So anyway, I made the zafu (pictured above), and I'm quite pleased with the way it turned out. (But I'm going to make another because I think I may actually be more pleased with one that's a little smaller in circumference.)
I used these instructions, which were pretty good. The one thing they didn't specify was finishing the ends of the pleated strip before you sew it to the top and bottom circles. I think that's sort of a crucial step, and fortunately I recognized it needed to be done and did it before it would have entailed any seam-ripping. The other thing it doesn't specify is how much one should adjust the length of the pleated strip to account for any decrease in the circumference of the circles. This is something I'll need to monkey with when I make my next one. Also, I'm going to add a handle to the next one, which will be pretty easy.
I stuffed it with buckwheat hulls from this place, which is actually local (Morrisville) so I was able to save a bit on shipping by picking them up. I think it's pretty cool that the woman started the buckwheat hull business to provided employment opportunities for developmentally disabled people. So if you need buckwheat seeds or hulls, that's where you should buy them.
Since I just used fabric I already had lying around, the only out-of-pocket cost to me was the buckwheat hulls (I used about $10 worth). It only took me about 2 hours to make, and I've got more time than money so it was really worth the effort (I would have spent at least $45, probably more, on an already-made zafu). The best thing is that I was able to make it to my own preference, which is important in a meditation cushion because discomfort can be a big obstacle to establishing a regular meditation practice.
Once I make my second zafu I'll still have enough fabric left to make a zabuton, which is a little mat you put your zafu on (it cushions your knees and ankles). Right now I'm just using an old folded-up comforter for that purpose. It works just fine ... but if it's cheap and easy to do I may as well make a matching one. Right?