Built to Last a Lifetime (or Two)
The Mountain Seat was designed by a group of modern-day monastics right here at Zen Mountain Monastery.
We spend over 1,000 hours a year meditating, which is why we created such a comfortable and supportive cushion. Our cushions are hand-crafted by a small, family-owned business in Shelbourne Falls, Massachusetts with the highest quality USA-made materials. Our cushion covers are made and dyed in India and the USA.
Our patented Mountain Seat combines a stable buckwheat-hull base with soft memory foam and conforms to your body, whether you’re sitting for a moment or a week. The result is a cushion that you will return to again and again. Available in Black, Charcoal, Chocolate, Navy, Burgundy, Cinnamon, Sage or Saffron. Purchase with the Mountain Seat Zabuton as a set.
All proceeds from the Mountain Seat go to supporting the hundreds of people who come through the Monastery every year. Need a reason to upgrade? Donate your old cushion so that we can offer it free of charge to low-income people, students, military servicepeople, formerly incarcerated people, and non-profits working with women, children, LGBTQ+ youth and people in recovery.
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 few of us talking about sitting on the Mountain Seat:
I sat on a buckwheat zafu comfortably for 15 years, but I started to notice new hip and knee pain popping up during a recent sesshin. A chiropractor I was seeing suggested I change my cushion, so I went for the Mountain Seat. I like the size and shape. I took some of the buckwheat filler out to make it sit a little bit lower, so it feels customized to my body and it is much more supportive than my old cushion. The layer of memory foam on top is extremely comfortable--even a little bit plush. I also like the way it holds its shape and looks so upright and dignified.
—Shoan, monastic, Creative Director & Assistant Training Coordinator
I’ve been sitting on a standard Mountain Seat on and off over the past 15 years. I love it because I can build it up or just catch a small flat piece for support. The soft foam on top can be folded and really softens the impact of the buckwheat hulls.
—Hojin Sensei, resident teacher, Training Coordinator
I’ve been using a standard Mountain Seat for 5 years and like it for its height, its smooth contact and the way it will squash and settle as I do.
—Rakusan, monastic, maintenance supervisor
I’ve been sitting on a standard Mountain Seat for over 10 years. It’s flexible with a lot of its buckwheat removed. This gives support to my hips, as I sit in a modified Burmese posture, which means my hips aren’t level. The memory foam protects my sitz bones from hurting during longer meditation retreats.
—Taikyo, postulant monastic, Mountain Record editor
I’ve been sitting on a standard Mountain Seat for over 10 years and on a Cloud Zabuton for about 5 years. This is the most comfortable cushion combination I’ve been able to find. I sit on the firm-foam side of the Cloud zabuton; it makes me feel grounded and supported but still gives me plenty of cushioning so my knees and ankles don’t hurt.
—Zuiko, monastic, The Monastery Store manager
Watch a short video on Taking Your Seat: Arranging the Body for Zazen.
U.S. Patent Number 9,668,584 B2
I found this zafu great to sit on - I am 5'10 and 245 lbs and so finding a large enough cushion was a challenge. The other challenge is that I typically sit seiza, which I know is not ideal for this cushion because of the memory foam on top - but I actually found with some adjustments that it worked for me quite well. A bit unconventional, but I found it was comfortable and accommodating to my body.
I am thoroughly enjoying the study comfort of this cushion, and also appreciate that the fabric is a nice color and thick, the foam top helps with longer sitting, and the height is good for me now that I am past age 60. I know I will enjoy sitting on this zafu for many years to come.
I got the large mountain seat, and it is amazing. It has truly revived my daily practice. I am a bigger guy 6'2, 250+ lbs. Sitting for me has always been an exercise in pain management. Now with this product I am able to elevate my body higher allowing for a more natural seating position with my weight shifted forward. I am also able to meditate with the seiza posture which helps to alleviate leg and knee pain.
Its great! Well made. So nice to have a tall zafu at last!
I returned to a regular sitting practice and injured my leg. My right knee was giving me a lot of pain- I could hardly bend it without feeling like I was doing potential damage to myself. I ordered this zafu, looking for relief. I am 100% satisfied with my purchase. My knee is feeling much better now. I am sitting half lotus comfortably and regularly 2 x a day. Also- for reference, I am around 5'9" and weigh around 160 lbs.
Nice high cushion that works for me.
The Mountain provides the stability of buckwheat with memory foam top. The height allows one to sit crosslegged and relieve pressure on the legs and ankles. The Cloud zabuton provides a soft cushion for the ankles. No pain. No legs going to sleep. I like this combination.
I bought this cushion in hopes of replacing a kapok zafu that I've had for a decade. I was disappointed to find that this cushion, despite being 3x the price, was actually less comfortable. I knew the buckwheat would be a bit firmer than kapok but was hoping the "memory foam" would balance that out and provide more support for extended sits. The foam is only 2 inches thick and not very dense so it compresses very easily and your left with only a little more comfort than a standard buckwheat. If this cushion was only $40 I wouldn't feel the need to write this review, but for a $110 pillow I was hoping for a bit more... :/
What more to say? Of course I haven't had time to use it very much yet. It seems quite high when first trying it. But it's VERY comfortable. I'm eager to try it for multiple sittings in a row.
very tall, very supportive.