We're thrilled to re-introduce The KaBu—a versatile meditation cushion that you won't find anywhere else. The KaBu is finely constructed with half kapok, half buckwheat hulls. Sit on the kapok side for a softer seat; switch to the buckwheat side for a firmer base. Turn it on its side to get more height, or sit with it between your knees to take a seiza, or kneeling, posture. This cushion is a favorite for tall and less-flexible meditators for its sturdy construction and versatility.
The monastics living at Zen Mountain Monastery and who make up the staff of The Monastery Store sit on the same meditation cushions that we sell in our store. Here are a couple talking about sitting on the Mountain Seat:
"I've been sitting on a KaBu since 2007. It sits fairly high for a kapok cushion, I can let the kapok be softer, and the buckwheat behind it still helps it retain firmness. Turning it on its 'formed edge' like a coin gives a really high kneeling cushion without a bunch of fussing with straps and adding/removing buckwheat hulls. I like sitting on the buckwheat side as a change of pace."
—Kyosho, Monastery Store Financial Manager
"I sit on a KaBu that I've had for probably close to 10 years. I like it because it gets me up high enough (I turn it on its side). It's stable, and I sit on the kapok, so my butt doesn't get sore."
—Gokan, Monastery Store Operations Director
Please choose Black, Charcoal, Chocolate, Navy, Burgundy, Cinnamon, Sage or Saffron.
Donate your old cushion to a practitioner with limited means.
Watch a short video on Taking Your Seat: Arranging the Body for Zazen.
*U.S. Patent Number 9,668,584 B2
The KaBu Zafu wasn't what I expected, but it's ended up working pretty well for me after all. As the zafu is shown flat in the pictures, I had expected that I could lay it flat with the top half kapok filled and the bottom half buckwheat filled. Instead the "front" half is kapok filled and "back" half buckwheat filled when laid flat. Sitting on it flat is too uncomfortable for me no matter how I turn the cushion. The buckwheat is just too hard, and I'm in direct contact with it. The only way I could make this cushion work for me was to turn it on its side with the top half kapok filled and bottom half buckwheat filled. That puts me in a very high sitting position, and I'm able to sit in a seiza position quite comfortably from that height. I hadn't realized that I would need the extra height so getting this cushion has actually turned out well. My flexibility is improving as a result of regularly sitting on it for pretty extended periods. The only downside is that I sometimes like to switch my position to cross legged, and doing so is not comfortable for me with either the flat or side lying position of the cushion. So I'm going to need to purchase a second cushion if I really want the option of sitting cross legged. Others may have a different experience. I'm 5'9" and weigh 185 lbs. I wholeheartedly recommend this cushion if you're planning to sit in a seiza position with the cushion on its side. If not, you might want to consult with someone at the store first for a recommendation and possibly get a different type of zafu.