Buddhist meditation pillows

The 12 Best Meditation Pillows of 2022

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Meditation pillows may help you get more comfortable as you meditate. Here are our top 12 picks.

Due to its many purported health benefits, meditation has become increasingly popular.

Data from 2017 shows that 10% more U.S. adults practiced meditation in 2017, compared with 2012.

Meditation has been linked to:

  • increased calmness
  • physical relaxation
  • blood pressure improvements
  • reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • improved sleep

While there are many types of meditation and positions you can meditate in — including standing, walking, or lying down — many require you to sit.

While it sounds simple in theory, sitting for meditation can be a complex process.

If you’re sitting on the floor, you’re going to want to work toward a position that you can maintain for some time while keeping still.

Though research on their effectiveness is lacking, if you meditate for longer than a few minutes a day, your body may thank you for a supportive, well-fitting meditation cushion.

A meditation pillow is a firm yet comfortable cushion designed to help you sit comfortably for meditation, especially for longer periods. Traditionally, there are two main types of sitting cushions:

  • Zafu. This is a round firm cushion usually filled with either buckwheat hulls or kapok tree fiber.
  • Zabuton. This is a rectangular cushion, generally placed under your zafu or meditation bench, or used on its own.
  • Best overall: The Monastery Store KaBu Zafu Meditation Cushion
  • Best meditation pillow set: Halfmoon Essential Cotton Round Sit Set
  • Best Buddhist meditation pillow: San Francisco Zen Center Zafu
  • Best zafu: Seat of Your Soul Meditation Cushion
  • Best zabuton: Samadhi Cushions Zabuton Meditation Mat
  • Best buckwheat meditation pillow: Florensi Adjustable Meditation Cushion
  • Best yoga meditation pillow: Ajna Wellbeing Yoga Bolster Pillow
  • Best for travel: BrightSpot Solutions Mobile Meditator
  • Best for outdoors: GoZafu Outdoor Meditation Cushion
  • Best for budget: Waterglider International Rondo Meditation Cushion
  • Best for kids: DharmaCrafts DharmaKids Zippered Buckwheat Hull Zafu
  • Best innovative meditation cushion: Alexia Meditation Seat

We selected cushions that are best for the most common meditation postures of either sitting cross-legged on the floor or kneeling with your feet tucked under you.

Our topmost considerations are quality construction and ease of use. We also give high points for:

  • having positive review comments
  • being made of natural and sustainable materials
  • being provided by reputable, socially conscious companies that are highly regarded by meditation experts

Plus, all pillows have been vetted to ensure that they meet Psych Central’s medical, editorial, and business standards.

A note on price

General price ranges with dollar signs ($ to $$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is lower-priced, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher price range.

Pricing guide:

  • $ = under $50
  • $$ = $50–$100
  • $$$ = over $100

Best overall

The Monastery Store KaBu Zafu Meditation Cushion

  • Price: $$$
  • Size: 14″ diameter x 8″ height
  • Weight: 5.7 lbs.
  • Filling: kapok fiber and buckwheat hulls
  • Cover: cotton twill
Why we chose it for ‘Best overall‘

What makes the KaBu Zafu unique is that its filling is half kapok and half buckwheat hulls. You can sit on the kapok side for a softer seat or rotate to the buckwheat side for a firmer base.

Also, you can turn it on its side (like a wheel) for added height or sit with it between your knees for a seiza, or kneeling posture.

This is a versatile meditation cushion sold by The Meditation Store at Zen Mountain Monastery in upstate New York. It’s the zafu (round) cushion style, which is the most common and adaptable cushion.

What we like
  • Its dual filling makes the KaBu Zafu very adaptable.
  • The cushions are handcrafted by a small, family-owned business in Shelbourne Falls, Massachusetts, with USA-made materials.
  • The cover is zippered and removable for cleaning.
  • The monastery website calls these cushions “monk-tested, monk-approved” because monastics developed and regularly use the cushion line. Cushion sales support the work of the Zen Mountain Monastery.
What to look out for
  • The KaBu Zafu cushion is a little higher than some zafus. You can remove some of the filling if you prefer a lower cushion. There is no inner lining, so if you remove the cover, be careful to preserve the filling.
  • Shipping usually takes about 2 weeks, as the monastery is a small religious nonprofit that cloisters 1 week every month.

Get at The Monastery Store

Best meditation cushion set


Essential Cotton Round Sit Set
  • Price: $$$
  • Size:
    • zafu: 18″ diameter x 5″ high
    • zabuton: 24″ deep x 30″ wide x 4″ high
  • Weight:
    • zafu: 6 lbs.
    • zabuton: 6.8 lbs.
  • Filling:
    • zafu: buckwheat hulls
    • zabuton: cotton batting inside an unbleached cotton liner
  • Cover: 100% cotton
Why we chose it for ‘Best set‘

You’ll see many longtime meditators using a zafu-zabuton set, which combines a traditional zafu (round cushion) with a rectangular zabuton, or floor cushion. Together the two parts of the set support your seat, legs, and feet. The floor mat provides cushioning for your feet and ankles so you can keep a comfortable seated position longer.

What we like
  • Both the zafu and the zabuton have zippered, removable, washable 100% cotton covers.
  • Both provide firm and durable support.
  • You can customize the height and firmness of the zafu by adding or removing buckwheat hulls.
  • There is a handle for easy carrying.
What to look out for
  • You must take the buckwheat hulls out from the meditation cushion and transfer them into a plastic bag before you can wash the cushion cover.

Get at Halfmoon

Best Buddhist meditation pillow

San Francisco Zen Center Zafu

  • Price: $$
  • Size: approximately 13″ diameter x 8″ high
  • Weight:
    • with kapok filling: 3 pounds
    • with buckwheat hulls filling: 6. 5 pounds
  • Filling: either buckwheat hulls or natural kapok fiber
  • Cover: cotton twill
Why we chose it for ‘Best Buddhist meditation pillow‘

This zafu is available through the world-renowned San Francisco Zen Center Bookstore.

The cushion is made nearby in Stockton, California, by Yan’s International Inc. in the traditional zafu style associated with Zen Buddhism, with pleated sides and firmly stuffed filling.

If you choose the kapok-filled version, you’ll be getting natural kapok, which does not collapse after a few sittings as artificial kapok does. The cushion with buckwheat filling compresses very little with use, and the store likens it to sitting in sand that holds your shape.

What we like
  • This is a traditional, firm, durable, double-stitched zafu.
  • You can choose either buckwheat hull or natural kapok tree fiber filling.
  • The cover is removable for cleaning or adjusting the amount of filling to alter the cushion’s height and firmness.
  • It’s provided by a well-known nonprofit meditation center in the Buddhist tradition that offers many community outreach programs, including meditation instruction and sitting sessions online free of charge.
What to look out for
  • You can purchase this cushion online, but you must contact the bookstore if you want it shipped. The cushion is also available for pickup at the Zen Center Bookstore in San Francisco.

Get at the San Francisco Zen Center Bookstore

Best zafu meditation pillow

Seat of Your Soul

Meditation Cushion
  • Price: $
  • Size: 15″ diameter x 5.5″ height
  • Weight: 6.5 lbs.
  • Filling: U.S.-farmed buckwheat hulls
  • Cover: 100% organic cotton
Why we chose it for ‘Best zafu‘

This is a firm, well-constructed meditation cushion in the popular zafu style. It molds well to your shape, and you can alter its height by removing buckwheat hulls from the inner pocket that holds the filling. This cushion is very versatile, and you can shape it to use on a bench, a chair, or kneeling.

This company had an unfortunate incident of bug infestation in their cushions in 2017. They say they have remedied the situation by using hulls that are U.S.-farmed and carefully treated without harsh chemicals and inspected in-house for quality control.

What we like
  • The cover is removable and has a carrying handle.
  • It has sturdy double-stitched construction to support body weights of 350+ pounds.
  • Zippered inner 100% cotton liner allows removal/addition of buckwheat hull filling to personalize cushion fit.
What to look out for
  • Some reviewers find the cushion needs a break-in period to allow filling to settle and mold to your body.
  • Cold-machine wash the outer cover and let it air dry, not in a machine dryer.

Buy at Amazon

Best zabuton meditation cushion

Samadhi Cushions Zabuton Meditation Mat

  • Price:
    • Regular: $$
    • Large: $$
    • To use under meditation bench: $$
  • Size:
    • Regular: 27″ depth x 33″ width x 4. 5″ loft
    • Large: 30″ depth x 33″ width x 4.5″ loft
    • To use under meditation bench: 27″ depth x 33″ width x 2.5″ loft
  • Weight:
    • Regular: 6 lbs.
    • Large: 7 lbs.
    • To use under meditation bench: Not specified
  • Filling: there is an inner cushion made of cotton batting
  • Cover: cotton, cotton-poly blend, recycled poly/organic cotton, or 100% organic cotton
Why we chose it for ‘Best zabuton‘

Samadhi Cushions has been making quality meditation supplies since 1975.

We picked this as the best zabuton because it comes in various sizes and provides substantial cushioning and good support for your knees and ankles. It’s also available in several kinds of fabric for the cover and various sizes to fit all sizes of meditators.

Samadhi Cushions also offers an excellent summary of how to choose your meditation cushion.

What we like
  • Cover is zippered to allow removal of the inner cushion.
  • The filling is a separate cushion itself.
  • You can order both the cover and the inner cushion separately if you ever want to replace them.
  • It’s handmade at the company’s workshop in northern Vermont.
What to watch out for
  • The company advises that the filling will compress with use. The large size might be a better choice if you’re a larger size yourself, or you plan to sit for extended periods.
  • Be sure to wash the cover in cool water by hand.

Get at Samadhi Cushions

Best buckwheat meditation pillow

Florensi Adjustable Meditation Cushion

  • Price: $
  • Size: 16″ diameter x 5″ height
  • Weight: 5.39 lbs.
  • Filling: buckwheat hulls and 1″ of foam
  • Cover: polyester velvet
Why we chose it for ‘Best buckwheat‘

This is a zafu-type meditation cushion designed to be used for either meditation or yoga. It offers substantial support and can be molded to fit your body.

The fill is made of buckwheat hulls that have been treated with high heat to avoid the bug infestation that tends to trouble buckwheat-filled meditation pillows. The buckwheat hull filling creates a cushion with a firm, comfortable base that settles into your body contours.

What we like
  • Foam padding inside supplements buckwheat hulls filling for comfort.
  • Beautiful mandala-patterned cover comes in four colors and is removable for washing.
  • It has a handle for easy carrying.
  • Height is adjustable by adding or removing filling from the inner pouch.
  • A paired zabuton is available.
What to look out for
  • Reviewers say this cushion had a previous problem with bug infestation, but the company says it has resolved the issue.
  • This is a straight-sided zafu shaped like a drum, rather than with pleated sides like some other zafus.

Get at Amazon

Best yoga meditation cushion

Ajna Wellbeing

Yoga Bolster Pillow
  • Price: $$
  • Size: 25. 6″ wide x 10.2″ depth x 5.9″ height
  • Weight: 4.8 lbs.
  • Filling: two layers of recycled polyester foam
  • Cover: 100% organic cotton or faux suede
Why we chose it for ‘Best yoga mediation cushion‘

This rectangular cushion is designed for meditation, yoga, stretching, or all at the same time. It can be used as a meditation seat, a block for yoga practice, or under-the-knee support while lying down or stretching.

What we like
  • Materials are eco-friendly, ethically produced, and nontoxic. Some are recycled.
  • You receive a separate complimentary cotton carrying bag.
  • Cover is removable and has a carrying handle.
  • It’s available in soft colors, like amethyst, rose quartz, or emerald.
  • The inside has two mixed-density layers of recycled foam, designed to be durable and long lasting.
What to look out for
  • One reviewer comments that it compresses significantly when sat upon.
  • To clean the cover, the company recommends dry cleaning but says it can also be gently handwashed with line drying, or on a gentle/delicate cycle in the washing machine with the bolster cover turned inside out.

Get at Amazon

Best for travel

BrightSpot Solutions Mobile Meditator

  • Price: $
  • Maximum inflated size: 18” width x 6” tall in the rear x 2” tall in the front
  • Filling: air
  • Weight: 12 ounces
  • Cover: flocked fabric (exact material not specified)
Why we chose it for ‘Best for travel‘

This is a unique meditation cushion you’ll be glad to have on your next hike, camping trip, or retreat. It’s an inflatable air cushion carefully designed for cushioning, spine support, and pelvic tilt.

It has three air chambers for you to customize your position. You can adjust the two side chambers for hip and thigh support, while the main chamber gives you the lift you need.

What we like
  • It’s easy to inflate — no pumps needed.
  • The sitting block angles forward so you can position yourself in a traditional sitting meditation posture.
  • When deflated and flattened into the complimentary 9″ x 10″ carrying case, it takes up hardly any room in your backpack or suitcase.
What to look out for
  • Make sure you get the current model. It has been updated since the earlier models that had trouble with leaking valves and seams. Reviewers say the current model no longer has these problems.
  • Maximum recommended sitting weight is 200 pounds.

Get at Amazon

Best for outdoors

GoZafu Outdoor Meditation Cushion

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 9″ long x 7.5″ wide x 5.5″ high
  • Filling: tri-density laminated foam
  • Weight: 13.6 ounces (a little less than 1 lb.)
  • Cover: 1000 denier Cordura nylon fabric
Why we chose it for ‘Best for outdoors‘

You can take almost any meditation cushion outside, but this one’s made for the outdoors. It’s designed for use anywhere from hiking trails to the neighborhood park (though nothing can stop you from using it at the office).

This combination pad and cushion is made up of two main pieces. The first is a block of foam that is angled forward so you can sit in the traditional triangular meditation position with hips supported and knees on the ground. The second main piece is an attached six-panel apron that stretches out in front where you put your legs and feet.

The whole thing folds up neatly into a lunchbox shape, reminiscent of an ingenious origami.

What we like
  • Outside covering is a tough nylon fabric designed to withstand abrasion, water, and other rigors of the outdoor world.
  • Has a carrying handle and magnetic clasps for secure closure.
  • It’s comfortable, durable, and easy to carry anywhere.
  • It has loops for attaching it to carry-on luggage, backpack, or bicycle rack.
What to look out for
  • The only way to clean it is to wipe it down.
  • It’s a fairly new product and has few online reviews yet.

Get at Amazon

Best for budget

Waterglider International Rondo Meditation Cushion

  • Price: $
  • Size: 12″ diameter x 6″ inches high
  • Weight: not specified
  • Filling: buckwheat hulls inside inner liner
  • Cover: organic cotton twill
Why we chose it for ‘Best for budget‘

Although this is a budget-priced cushion, the reviewers love its size, quality, and firmness that supports even large meditators. One of its best features is its inner liner containing the buckwheat hull filling, so you can add or remove some to get a custom height.

What we like
  • It has a zippered cover and an inner liner to make it easy to remove or add filling.
  • It’s made of natural materials: 100% organic cotton cover and U.S.-farmed, commercially cleaned buckwheat hulls filling.
  • The company says its products are all assembled by new immigrants to the United States. The company has a commitment to help refugees make a new life for themselves. It says it pays workers above minimum wage, with regular increases and opportunities for profit-sharing.
What to look out for
  • Some feel this cushion is a little too high. This can be remedied by removing some of the buckwheat hulls from the inner liner.
  • This is a rondo-shaped cushion with straighter sides resembling a drum, rather than the rounded pleated sides of a traditional zafu. Waterglider also makes a traditionally shaped zafu.

Get at Amazon

Best for kids

DharmaCrafts DharmaKids Zippered Buckwheat Hull Zafu

  • Price: $
  • Size: 12″ diameter x 4″ height
  • Weight: not specified
  • Filling: buckwheat hulls
  • Cover: organic cotton duck (colored with low-impact dyes)
Why we chose it for ‘Best for kids‘

Data from the National Health Interview Survey 2017 indicates that about 5. 4% of U.S. children practiced meditation in 2017, compared with less than 1% in 2012. And just like adults, children may benefit from a good meditation pillow.

This is a child-size zafu sitting cushion that looks just like zafus designed for adult use — well, maybe a little more colorful and bright. It’s designed for children ages 3 to 12 years.

The zippered cover has a carrying handle. The cover is removable for easy cleaning. The filling is organic buckwheat hulls inside a zippered muslin shell, making it easy to add or remove some of the filling to customize the firmness and size of the cushion.

What we like
  • Available in nine bright colors and some two-toned designs.
  • Replacement cushion inserts are available.
  • Products are handcrafted by a small company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, founded in 1979 by a young practicing Zen Buddhist.
What to look out for
  • Dry cleaning is recommended for the two-toned cushion covers to avoid bleeding.
  • Be sure to introduce meditation carefully to children, monitoring and guiding them along the way. Try reading tips for getting started.

Get at DharmaCrafts

Best innovative meditation cushion

Alexia Meditation Seat

  • Price: $$$
  • Size: 27.6″ length x 33″ width x 12.8″ height
  • Weight: 15 pounds
  • Filling: steel frame and high-density foam
  • Cover: available in various fabrics, leather, and vegan leather
Why we chose it for ‘Best innovative meditation cushion‘

There are many ingenious designs for newer meditation cushions. Here we present the luxury model of innovative meditation cushions.

Its unique shape mimics a wing chair, only more cushiony and without legs. It’s designed to ease pain in the hips, joints, and lower limbs during long periods of meditation.

The idea is that you sit on the uplifted center back, then position your hips and thighs on the wings, and tuck your legs and feet into the recessed area below.

What we like
  • It’s usable out of the box and doesn’t need to be assembled.
  • Reviewers say it allows for a comfortable sitting position even for beginning meditators and those with less flexibility in their hips and legs.
  • It comes in a variety of beautiful fabrics, leather, and faux leather.
What to look out for
  • The fabric coverings should be spot-cleaned by hand.
  • At 15 pounds, this cushion is primarily stationary.
  • A newer meditator warned in the reviews that you should sit on it, not in it. The recess below the seat is intended for your lower limbs, not to try to sit in.

Get at Amazon

The Monastery Store KaBu Zafu Meditation Cushionoverall$$$14″x8″• kapok
• buck-wheat hulls
• cotton twill
Halfmoon Essential Cotton Round Sit Setset$$$• zafu: 18″x5″
• zabuton: 24″x30″4″
• zafu: buckwheat hulls
•zabuton: cotton batting
• cotton
San Francisco Zen Center ZafuBuddhist$$13″x8″• kapok
• buck-wheat hulls
• cotton twill
Seat of Your Soul Meditation Cushionzafu$15″x5. 5″•buck-
wheat hulls
• organic cotton
Samadhi Cushions Zabuton Meditation Matzabuton$$• regular: 27″x33″x4.5″
• large: 30″x33″x4.5″
• under bench: 27″x33″x2.5″
• cotton batting• cotton
• cotton-poly blend
• recycled poly/organic cotton
• organic cotton
Florensi Adjustable Meditation Cushionbuckwheat$16″x5″• buck-wheat hulls
• 1″ foam
• polyester velvet
Ajna Wellbeing Yoga Bolster Pillowyoga$$25.6″x10.2″x5.9″• polyester foam• organic cotton
• faux suede
BrightSpot Solutions Mobile Meditatortravel$18″x6″x2″• air• flocked fabric
GoZafu Outdoor Meditation Cushionoutdoor$$9″x7.5″x5.5″• tri-density laminated foam• nylon fabric
Waterglider International Rondo Meditation Cushionbudget$12″x6″• buck-wheat hulls• organic cotton twill
DharmaCrafts DharmaKids Zippered Buckwheat Hull Zafukids$12″x4″• buck-wheat hulls• organic cotton duck
Alexia Meditation Seatinnovative$$$27. 6″x33″x12.8″• high density foam• various fabrics
• leather
• vegan leather

You may find that our list doesn’t have exactly what you’re looking for in a meditation cushion. Here are some pointers on how to find a pillow that works for you.

  • Position. Decide what position you prefer for sitting meditation. The cross-legged position is the most common, but remember you can also do sitting meditation while kneeling on the ground or sitting in a chair.
  • Height. The best starting point in choosing a meditation cushion for the cross-legged sitting position is to determine how far off the ground you need to sit for your knees to touch the ground.
  • Firmness. Decide what degree of firmness you prefer in the filling. Kapok fiber gives you a soft cushion, while buckwheat hulls tend to be firmer.
  • Shape. Decide if you want a traditional zafu-shaped cushion, or would you like to try something different like a crescent, wedge, or even a flower.

Can I use a regular pillow for meditation?

Yes, you can, but it most likely won’t support you very well. Meditation traditionally uses a zafu-and-zabuton combination, which works quite well to support you in an upright, stable position. A good meditation pillow or set is often a once-in-a-lifetime purchase and may soon become a companion in your meditation practice.

Do meditation cushions fit?

Yes, meditation cushions do fit. You want them to be:

  • big enough for you to sit cross-legged comfortably
  • the right height to allow your knees to rest either on the floor or on added support cushions
  • firm enough to support your body for long periods of time
  • flexible enough to let you position and angle the cushion so that your hips flex forward to just the right pitch to comfortably support your body in a triangle shape

Can I tweak the fit?

Yes, you can. You can adjust the positioning of meditation cushions to accommodate your sitting style or squish them to mold them into the shape you want.

Don’t hesitate to keep experimenting. Over time, you’ll hit the sweet spot.

How do you sit on a meditation pillow?

Sitting cross-legged on the ground or floor is one of the most common positions for sitting meditation, also called zazen in the Japanese Zen tradition. There is no one correct way to do this since bodies and flexibility vary greatly.

However, a sitting position is considered to be most comfortable and supportive for cross-legged sitting meditation. To achieve a grounded, stable position:

  • Try to sit cross-legged on the front third of a meditation pillow to raise your behind just a little so that the cushion acts like a wedge supporting your hips and letting your knees angle downward.
  • Do your best to ensure your knees touch either the ground or added support cushions. In this way you form a firm tripod base with your lower body.
  • Aim to keep your spine straight but not rigid.

You can also turn a zafu on its side, like a wheel, then place it between your legs and sit with your ankles tucked under you to meditate in a kneeling position. You can also meditate in a chair.

Shosan Vicki Austin of the San Francisco Zen Center has a video showing detailed instructions for optimal sitting meditation positions on the floor and in a chair. She emphasizes that sitting postures are adaptable to all body conditions.

What are these cushions filled with?

The filling of traditional meditation cushions is usually either kapok tree fiber or buckwheat hulls. Some use polystyrene beads to avoid their tendency to become hard when sat upon.

Buckwheat hull filling will generally make your cushion about twice as heavy as one filled with kapok tree fiber, which is extremely fine and light. When you sit on a cushion filled with buckwheat hulls, it will mold to your seating position and not compress much further over time.

Kapok is softer but less firm overall. Some prefer it for its lightweight and softness.

A good meditation cushion will help you sit in a comfortable, stable position and may very well last you a lifetime. Take time making your choice, but remember you can often tweak and adjust a cushion once you receive it. Also, time and regular sitting will give your cushion its unique shape.

Consider height, shape, firmness, and type when you choose your meditation cushion. All of these will help you achieve the balance, awareness, and rest your meditation can bring.

Zafus, Zabutons & Yoga Pillows – Buddha Groove

Meditation Cushions: Zafus, Zabutons & Yoga Pillows – Buddha Groove Skip to content

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47 products

Just Breathe Turquoise Chenille Meditation Zafu Cushion, Buckwheat Insert


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Brocade Zafu Cushion, 10.5 Inches

Regular price $64.00 Sale price$48.00 Save 25%

Yellow Red Green Blue

Meditation cushions are essential to yoga, meditation and breathing exercises. Also referred to as zafu cushions, these items can truly enhance meditative practice for beginners and experts alike.

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    Product features

    • Origin: China
    • Filler: 903 PU foam0030
    • Type: Seat Cushion/Back Cushion
    • Features: Memory
    • Features: Water Resistant
    • Features: Decubitus Resistant
    • Custom: YES
    • Style: Japanese Style
    • 9059 Design Type: 909 Pattern Type: 905 Saddle 9059 Solid
    • Disassemble and wash: Non-removable and non-washable
    • Pattern: Patchwork
    • Techniques: HANDMADE
    • Shape: Rectangular
    • Age group: Adults

    Show all

    Zen Meditation in Minsk — School of Zen Buddhism "Kwan Um"

    Zen Meditation in Minsk - School of Zen Buddhism "Kwan Um"
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    The heart of the Kwan Um Zen school is practice.

    The practice is to return moment by moment to our primordial nature, as it is before the emergence of thought. Teacher - the founder of Seung Sahn, very simply called it "Don't Know". It means that at every moment of time, we must unconditionally open ourselves to everything that we seem to perceive clearly and act with compassion and wisdom, to benefit all beings.

    Zen Kwan Um Centers around the world offer training in Zen meditation, public talks, koan practice, retreats, seminars and community life. Our programs are open to everyone, regardless of previous experience.

    The Minsk Group organized a weekly practice on weekends, consisting from prostrations, chanting sutras and meditation.

    The goal of the School is to make Zen practice accessible. We want to help people of all world to find your true direction.

    Teaching lineage: kwanumzen. org/our-lineage

    Our Teachers: kwanumzen.org/our-teachers

    Zen is very simple. Who are you?

    All over the world people seek happiness outside, but do not understand their true nature inside. They say "I" - "I want this, I like that." But they don't understand this "I". Before you were born, where did your "I" come from? When you die where will your "I" go? If you sincerely ask: What is "I", then sooner or later you will come to a stop of thinking. We call it Don't Know.

    "When you walk, stand, sit, lie down,
    You speak in silence,
    On the move while still.
    Anytime, Anywhere,
    Incessantly - what is this "I"?
    One mind is endless kalpas."

    Formal Zen practice means keeping the Don't Know mind when doing bows, eat or sit on a pillow. Besides, when you do something, just do it. When you drive - just drive when you eat - just eat, when you work, just work.

    Eventually your "Don't Know" mind will become clear. Then you can see that the sky is blue. You can see that the tree is green. Your mind is like clean mirror. Red comes - red mirror, white comes - mirror white. The one who is hungry comes - you can give him food, the one who comes who is thirsty, you can give her a drink. No desire for myself himself, only for all living things. This mind is already enlightenment, that which we call Great Love, Great Compassion, Great Bodhisattva Way. It's very simple! It is not hard!

    Therefore the Buddha said that everything that lives has Buddha nature (enlightened nature). But Zen Master Jo-Ju said that a dog has no nature Buddha. Which of the two is correct? Which of the two is wrong? If you find answer, you will find the right way.

    About practice

    Traditionally, in China and Korea, only monks practiced Zen. Now Zen came into everyday life. This means to keep the "still" mind in any situation, that is, when you do something, do only that.

    The heart of Kwan Um Zen School is daily practice. Founder of our Zen master Seung Sahn used to say that if you practice on your own, then progress in Zen is very slow, and if you practice with other people progress is faster. To do this, our school has a joint practice, to help each other and ultimately ourselves. We work together, together we meditate, we eat together, gradually reaching a clear compassionate a mind that, from moment to moment, is ready to help all beings.

    Joint practices at the Zen School "Kwan Um" are held according to certain rules, the same for all schools. The practice itself consists in the ceremony of singing the sutras, joint sitting meditation, walking meditation. Morning practice is complemented performing obeisances.

    Also, in the Kwan Um School there is a practice of koans. When the teacher asks question to the student to check his understanding, this question becomes his practice.

    Full instructions for meditation : kwanumzen.org/meditation

    In the morning and in the evening, usually for half an hour. During retreats half an hour the seats are separated by short, ten-minute walking meditations. At sitting, the classic meditation posture is used: legs crossed, back straight, eyes half closed, hands folded in mudra, and the mind follows the breath. During sitting meditation, the practitioner can also ask himself the question "Who am I?". Faced with the immensity of such a question, thinking stops, and "I don't know" appears. We can call it mind, Buddha, primordial nature, absolute, holiness, energy or consciousness, but this has no no name, no form. Cutting off all thoughts and returning to the "Don't Know" mind allows the Zen practitioner to return to their true being.

    There are three types of chants: prayers for the benefit of all beings, sutras and mantras. During the chant, each sound has its own meaning and can penetrate into consciousness; that is why chants are sung like mantras. At that At the same time, the Teaching explains the meaning of words, echoing in our minds, helping us deepen your practice.

    in order to improve our well-being, but in order to clarify our direction. Our direction is to become clear and get enlightened. in order to save all beings from suffering... Therefore, when you sing, you must perceive the sound of your voice: you and the universe are already becoming as one, suffering disappears, real happiness appears. It is called nirvana" - Zen Master Seung Sahn

    Every day for Zen students begins with 108 bows (prostrations). There are 108 Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the Korean tradition. Or they explain that a human being has 108 delusions and we bow down to to overcome them. More often, however, it is taught that we bow not to the Buddha, but to ourselves. yourself. Our small "I" bows to our big "I" until it disappears.

    During retreats, the teacher assigns koans to each student. "Who am I?" considered the main koan. The Chogye Order uses a collection of 1700 koans, coming from Indian, Chinese, Korean and Japanese traditions. mood, generated by the koan allows the mind to become very attentive to meditation and daily activities. One of the teachers of the Kwan Um School said: “How a sinker at the end of a fishing line can help the hook sink into the depths ocean, so the koan can lead the mind to deep realization, to places which is difficult to achieve otherwise than by maintaining a constant direction.

    Seung Sahn "Sprinkling Ashes on the Buddha"

    Seung Sahn "I just don't know"

    Seung Sahn "Compass Zen"

    Seung Sahn "10 gates"

    Seung Sahn "The whole world is one flower"

    Seung Sahn "Wanting enligthment is a big3 mistake"

    Shunryu Suzuki "Zen mind, beginner's mind"

    Shunryu Suzuki "Not always so"

    Shunryu Suzuki "Branching streams flow in the darkness"

    Suzuki Teitaro Anthology of Zen Buddhist Texts

    Suzuki Teitaro "Fundamentals of Zen Buddhism"

    Hakuin Ekaku "Wild Ivy" (Autobiography of Zen Master Hakuin)

    "The Unborn. The Life and Teachings of Zen Master Bankei"

    Mumonkan. Outpost without a gate (commentary by R.H. Blythe)

    Longchen Rabjam "Precious Treasury of Dharmadhatu"

    Chogyam Trungpa "Overcoming Spiritual Materialism"

    Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche "Painted with a Rainbow"

    Namkhai Norbu "Crystal and the Path of Light"

    Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche "One Hundred Tips on the Essentials"

    Machig Labdron "Cutting Out Hope and Fear"

    heart of the heart

    Lotus Sutos

    Diamond Sutra

    Sutra of the sixth patriarch

    Lancavatar Sutra

    Avatamsaka Sutra

    Mahaparinirvana Sutra

    Patanjali Yoga Sutra

    Campbell Joseph "Hero with a Thousand Faces"

    Maria Louise Von Franz Archetypal Patterns in Fairy Tales

    Banzhaf Haiao Tarot and the Hero's Journey

    Hannah Barbara Inner Journey

    Karen Horney Neurosis and Personal Growth

    McWilliams Nancy "Psychoanalytical Diagnostics"

    "The Tale of the Subtle Seven" Absalom Podvodny

    "Yoga Art of Communication" Boyko V. S.

    "New book on yoga. Step by step guide" Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center

    The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga by Vishnu Devananda Swami

    The Heart of Yoga T.K.V. Desikachar

    "The ABC of Yoga Therapy" Agapkin S., Kremenets A.

    "Yoga Anatomy (Second edition)" Kaminoff L., Matthews A.

    "The Living Gita: the entire Bhagavad Gita" by Satchidananda Swami

    "Hugging the tiger, I return to the mountain. The essence of Tai Chi" Al Chunliang

    "Mindfulness. How to find harmony in our crazy world" D. Penman, M. Williams

    "The Miracle of Mindfulness" Tit Nhat Khan

    "How to Sit Mindfully" Tit Nat Khan

    "In One Breath" Tit Nat Khan

    "Contemplation of Thought" Tit Nat Khan

    "Guide to Walking Meditation" Tit Nat Khan

    "Finding Peace" Khan

    Eckhart Tolle "The Power of Now"

    Alan Watts "The Way of Zen"

    Fritjof Capra "The Tao of Physics"

    Stanislav Grof "Beyond the Brain. Birth, Death and Transcendence" in psychotherapy"

    Jeff Foster "Life without a centre"

    Baba Ram Das "Be here and now"

    "Technology of recreational physical culture" Seluyanov V.N.

    "The science of flexibility" Michael J. Alter

    "HR, Lactate and Endurance Training" Peter Jansen

    "Health Fitness Instructor's Guide" ET Hawley, BD Franke

    "Theory and methods of fitness training" Kalashnikov D.G.

    "Fundamentals of a healthy lifestyle (lecture)" Minvaleev R.S.

    Insight Tmer. Application for meditation. (Music for sleep, guided meditation for stress management, anxiety, etc.).

    Space Ambient

    Soothing Relaxation


    Lauge & Baba Gnohm

    Mantra OM

    Mantra Meditation

    Deep Relaxation / Yoga Nidra (Compilation) (Soundcloud)

    Yoga Nidra (Classic Yoga Boyko V. S.)

    Guided meditation (alignment of posture) Zaitsev P. YouTube

    Directed meditation Zaitsev P. (alignment of posture) SoundCloud

    Deep relaxation Zaitsev P. (SoundCloud)

    Deep relaxation Zaitsev P. (YouTube)


    The process of making the Round Meditation Cushion.


    The process of making a Crescent-shaped meditation cushion.


    Meditation bench manufacturing process.


    A simple 6 posture workout that trains the body for sitting (aligns and strengthens back), also trains flexibility, strength, endurance, cardio. Usually performed from 6 cycles.

    Link to instructional video.

    Link to training video.

    Link to tutorial video.

    Brief instruction on one page.

    Learn more