Meditation Posture: Beginner’s Guide

Beginning meditators should know that an upright Meditation Posture allows you to relax and breath freely. The best meditation cushion choices for the beginner in meditation are actually simple. It all comes down to a question of height and flexibility.  What, for you, is the right distance between your bottom and the floor?  The Goal: you are high enough off the meditation mat so your thighs angle downward from your hips. When they do, your back can be straight without straining.

A Cloud Bench is like a meditation chair, just lower. The rectangular firm foam block in a beautiful fabric cover known as the Gomden meditation cushion is high enough to support a simple cross-legged posture. The Zafu cushion from Zen works when you are comfortable with your knees flat on the meditation mat. And yes, there is another option here. Kapok stuffing for the Zafu starts firm, but will break in over time. Buckwheat hulls are even firmer than kapok, but can be shaped immediately to fit your needs.

OK, there’s a another twist, if your hips or knees just don’t like it when your legs are crossed, then consider a kneeling meditation bench from the Zen tradition. New this year is the Kneeling Meditation Bench Plus, for the bigger, taller practitioner of meditation.

And please, do consider a Zabuton Mat.  This is the mat that goes on the floor under the meditation cushions described above. Depending on how you sit, it will cushion your knees, ankles or both. You will save when you buy your Zabuton Mat in our Meditation Cushion or Meditation Bench Sets (Gomden, Zafu, Kneeling Meditation Bench or Cloud Bench). Note: our Deluxe Cushion Sets (Gomden and Zafu) include a firm Cotton Support Cushion. This cushion is available to give you additional height in your meditation posture.

If you still think choices are a good thing, then you may be happy to consider that all of our cushions are now available in a range of Eco friendly fabrics. We said this was simple. It is, really. Remember, the question is: how high do you need to be for your knees to rest comfortably below your thighs? Once you answer that, you will be in a position to make the right choice.

If you want see what we are talking about, check out our videos. Still not sure? Call us (M-F, 800-331-7751) to talk to someone who has sat on all the cushions and benches we (make and) sell. Or if you prefer, send an email to Put Cushion Question in the subject line.

Thank you for visiting our site. Since 1976, Samadhi Cushions has been genuinely interested in helping people find the best sitting meditation solution.

5 Replies to “Meditation Posture: Beginner’s Guide”

  1. It is very important that you know the rationale why do you need to have a cushion when meditating. You just don’t buy anything for you to have something ti use but, everything has a reason. You have to be in a comfortable state before starting your meditation. This article is very informative and thank you for sharing this!

  2. Hello,

    I am new to practicing Zen. I was formerly in the military and did a lot of damage to my knees. They tend to slip out of place when I sit in any lotus position. I have been doing kneeling meditation but I seem to have discomfort with most benches as they tend to make my legs fall asleep. I am a larger guy around 6’2 and 200 lbs. Please send me any suggestions in models that would help. I have read most of the descriptions on all your benches but I’m still at a loss. Thanks so much for your help.


  3. Hello Braden,
    Many knee problems come from not sitting high enough. Adding a bit of extra height can help alleviate some of your knee pain. Sometimes it is as simple as adding a support cushion. Here is a link to a video on our benches. Benches can be very helpful for taller people. If possible, a meditation instructor can be very helpful for helping you with your posture and finding the source of your pain.

    Thank you,

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