Author Topic: DIY Zafus and Zabutons  (Read 19334 times)

GoGet

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DIY Zafus and Zabutons
« on: March 25, 2010, 06:06:12 pm »
If you're anything like me (and a lot of other Buddhists as well), you're on a budget and sometimes practice supplies can be too costly.  Some things are hard to do without, like meditation cushions.

I have a couple Zafus and a bench - I bought those.  For a zabuton I use a cheap doggie bed made from burlap and filled with cedar shavings.  It actually works pretty good.  Doggie beds can be as expensive as a good zabuton, but you can still find some pretty good deals.

I found some doggie beds at Walgreen's for something like $10.  They weren't exactly deluxe, but they'd make a perfectly adequate floor cushion.

GoGet

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Re: DIY Zafus and Zabutons
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2010, 06:09:55 pm »
Here's a link for a real DIY set of cushions that are made from blankets:

http://www.karidasangha.net/blanketzafu2.htm.

If you don't have any spare blankies lying around, check places like Goodwill or Savers.  Military surplus store often sell GI blankets that are extremely durable.

A great idea for the Buddhist on a budget.


GoGet

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Re: DIY Zafus and Zabutons
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2010, 06:15:04 pm »
Here's some patterns that would be a good start for someone with some sewing skills:

A basic Zafu pattern.  It's a crumby scan, but someone with a little skill would be able to figure it out.

http://zen.columbia.missouri.org/pics/zafu.jpg

A basic zabuton.  Nothing fancy.  A slightly better scan.

http://zen.columbia.missouri.org/pics/zabuton.jpg

A better zafu pattern and instructs.  In 2 parts.

http://zen.columbia.missouri.org/pics/zafu1.jpg
http://zen.columbia.missouri.org/pics/zafu2.jpg
« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 06:17:44 pm by GoGet »

GoGet

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Re: DIY Zafus and Zabutons
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2010, 06:23:21 pm »
Here's an interesting blog posting that discusses zafu/zabuton making.  It includes a discussion about how you can add a "rise" to a zabuton to make cushier.

http://www.urbandecline.com/articles/2006/03/13/how-to-make-a-zafu-and-zabuton

There's a few heavy pix on this site so you may find to slow-loading.

Offline santamonicacj

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Re: DIY Zafus and Zabutons
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2010, 06:25:23 pm »
Personally I have a 2'x2' piece of plywood that is raised on one end a couple of inches with a pad on it. There are no pressure points. It is like sitting on a sloping hill.
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

GoGet

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Buckwheat Hulls for Zafus
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2010, 06:34:59 pm »
I think Buckwheat hulls make the best zafus.  They can be hard to find, but they aren't to expensive.

here's a link to a 5# bag of cleaned hulls (very important):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000P7RBQE/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_2?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B002NVSCQI&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1QC8RGFRZK8Y50Y6BJQ9

Organic, dust-free, a little expensive

http://www.homencomfortstore.com/shop/index.php?categoryID=92

There are plenty of other sources - just google "buckwheat hulls".

GoGet

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Re: DIY Zafus and Zabutons
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2010, 06:41:16 pm »
Personally I have a 2'x2' piece of plywood that is raised on one end a couple of inches with a pad on it. There are no pressure points. It is like sitting on a sloping hill.

Hey CJ!

That sounds like an excellent idea.  I've thought of trying something like that.

There's a spot outside my office building I use for lunch break practicing.  The spot has a good incline to it and I find I can sit comfortably for a longer time without a cushion than on my kit at home.

You say "a couple inches" of rise?

What kind of pad do you use?

Have any pix?



Offline santamonicacj

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Re: DIY Zafus and Zabutons
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2010, 08:28:23 pm »

You say "a couple inches" of rise?

What kind of pad do you use?

Have any pix?
I'm kinda small (5'6") so the right size of ply for me is actually 19"x19". I just stuck a 2"x4" along the length of the back so the bottom of the ply is 2" off the ground. I've been using 2" foam rubber as the pad, but I just today got some 1" closed cell foam and am going to try swapping it out. I use double sided carpet tape to attach it.

If you're bigger you'll just have to sit down with a tape measure to see how much of a footprint (buttprint?) you'll need for the ply. And of course you can adjust the height. If you end up with a too high back edge you'll feel like sliding down. But basically if there is a slope somewhere you like to sit on then what you are doing is trying to recreate that same slope.

Sorry, don't have any pix, and even if I did I don't know how to attach that kind of thing.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 08:40:19 pm by santamonicacj »
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

GoGet

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Re: DIY Zafus and Zabutons
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2010, 08:46:04 pm »
CJ:

Do you use a Zafu with that board?

Offline santamonicacj

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Re: DIY Zafus and Zabutons
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2010, 10:19:51 pm »
CJ:

Do you use a Zafu with that board?

No, just the board, like sitting on a hillside. No pressure points!

You could, I guess, take the top of the board where your butt cheeks sit and flatten it out a bit so there's no sensation of wanting to slip down, but if it isn't steep then it's not a problem anyway. That's why I have it kinda low.
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

Offline pung S

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Re: DIY Zafus and Zabutons
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2012, 03:19:20 am »
I have made my own zafu for some time now.  I take the hood of an old sweatshirt by cutting it above the seam so that it is hollow.  Then I stuff it and sew it back up.  The first time I did this, I stuffed it with scraps of old clothes that I had previously used in other projects.  It was sort of soft, but comfortably firm.  A good zafu I would say.  I could have been a little more selective with what I put in there because there wre a few lumps. 

Here is the latest one I did.  I stuffed it with the filling of a pillow that was labeled, "firm."  It is sort of springy, but when I get settled it, it works well.  I put another cushion I made on top of it.  The top one is just a piece of foam that I covered with some clothe.  it takes the springiness out of the cushions and also raises my legs off of the other zafu so that I can get my knees on the floor in a stable position.



sorry if this image is HUGE.  I'm not that great at posting here yet.
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