Category: Uncategorized

Our New Nomad Folding Meditation Bench

Nomad Bench in black on zabuton meditation cushionWe are so excited to introduce our new Nomad Folding Meditation Bench. We launched this bench in 2017 and the feedback and reviews have been wonderful:

This is a beautiful seat. The design is ingenious and by the way it’s functional too! It’s small and light and comfortable.
This bench helped me sit through a 7 day Zen retreat. Adjustable and comfortable.
Sitting in lotus or half-lotus pose for more than 20 minutes is becoming challenging for me as I get older. Sitting seiza-style was my preference but I struggled finding the appropriate bench until now. This bench made it possible for me to extend my practice comfortably.

Woman holding folded Nomad Bench

We saw this folding meditation bench for the first time in Norway a few years ago. We got in touch with the designer, Åsmund Skard, and decided to team up to produce his unique design for Still Sitting. We are currently making it entirely in the Pacific Northwest. Åsmund co-founded the well-known Norwegian architectural firm 4B Arkitekter and has designed several types of meditation bench. With the Nomad, his goal was to design the perfect bench: lightweight, adjustable, easy to carry, economical and stable to sit on. We think he nailed it!
We are absolutely blown away by the comfort and design of the Nomad.

What Makes the Nomad Special

This folding meditation bench combines portability and comfort in a way we haven’t seen before.  It’s our lightest bench by far, folds flat and fits easily in any size luggage.

Nomad Meditation bench folds flat and fits in small suitcase

Lightweight: Under 2 lbs. makes it so easy to take anywhere.
Folds Flat: The small size when folded makes traveling with your meditation bench a breeze.
Adjustable Height: This is unique. The height is completely adjustable with the velcro closure on the seat. This feature allows the bench to be shared or used at meditation centers or retreat. Users can easily adjust it to their own height. The measure on the bottom of the bench helps you remember exactly where to set it back to.
Super comfortable: The hammock style cotton seat molds to your body. There is no need for a bench cushion, like with most benches.
Locally Made: Our custom woodworker at Salmon Bay Woodworking , here on Vashon Island, makes all of our wooden benches, including the wood parts of the Nomad.
Beautifully Simple Design: We fell in love with this design immediately and hope you do too!

Samue Clothing

samue potterySamue is the traditional clothing worn during daily work by Japanese Buddhist monks. Samu refers to daily work that is done with mindfulness. This can include any work, such as gardening, cleaning or daily chores.
Samue Clothing
The pieces are typically made from cotton or linen in dark colors, such as brown or navy. The style is unisex with a kimono style jacket and loose fitting pants often with elastic or ties at the waist and ankles. Often there are large pockets in the jackets which can be used for small tools or other useful items.
Over the years, samue have
remained much the same, but many have adopted this style of clothing for use well beyond the Buddhist temple.Samue Pants Chickens
Samue clothing have long been worn as home-wear in Japan and elsewhere. Still as useful for daily work, today samue are also frequently worn as meditation clothing,  during meditation retreats or whenever comfort is a priority. Lately we’ve been hearing from more customers who are looking for samue jackets and pants. meditation samueNothing beats the comfort of loose fitting clothing, especially if you will be sitting for some time.
Still Sitting Samue Clothing
Our traditional samue jackets are made from a thick lush cotton, and will last for many years. We recently started also making lighter weight cotton samue jackets and pants. These are perfect for summer or warmer climates or anytime a lighter weight is preferable. You can take a look at our samue options here.
We love hearing from customers about how they are using samue clothing in their meditation practice or daily work. Let us know about your experience with samue clothing.
 

The Gift of Lovingkindness Meditation

Still Sitting Meditation SupplyLovingkindness meditation is a way of offering friendly kindness to yourself, to others or to the world.
Lovingkindness is based on Buddhist teachings that emphasize compassion, love and kindness. This is also be referred to as Metta meditation. In Lovingkindness meditation, there are phrases to repeat to yourself throughout the meditation.  The phrases below are taken from Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation by meditation teacher, Sharon Salzberg. It is a book that we often recommend for those looking to start or restart a meditation practice. For our review of this book, please take a look at this post.

How to Practice Lovingkindness Meditation

In this practice, phrases are repeated to oneself. Depending on which resource you follow, these may vary somewhat, but the general feeling is the same. The phrases are intended to ground you in offering feelings of love, compassion and kindness.

May I be safe, may I be happy, may I be healthy, may I live with ease.

Or if you are focusing on someone else:

May you be safe, may you be happy, may you be healthy, may you live with ease.

You can start by setting a timer for 10 – 20 minutes, sitting comfortably, with a straight spine, and silently repeating the phrases to yourself at a relaxed pace. If you are short on time, start with just 5 minutes. In lovingkindness meditation the repetition of the phrases is the anchor, rather than the breath.

Resources for Lovingkindness Meditation

Many meditation teachers and authors have guided meditations available online to either guide you or provide further information. Below is an audio from Sharon Salzberg to get you started. Of course, there are so many others out there, it might take a few tries to find one that resonates with you.

Here is an example of a way to use lovingkindness in your daily activities from a video project Salzberg developed called Street Lovingkindness:

The above video is an example of how once we are fluent in the phrases and feelings to evoke, even sitting still is not required. Whether sitting on your cushion at home or standing in line at the grocery store, offering lovingkindness to yourself and those around you can be a powerful practice.

Meditation Cushions: Choosing the Right Zabuton

red slim cropped larger
The zabuton is a Japanese sitting cushion. It’s long been used as a meditation cushion in the Zen tradition, and you’ll see it in many places where mindfulness is practiced.
The zabuton is humble yet essential, protecting your knees and ankles from the hard floor. Typically, you place it under your zafu, as such:

zafu and zabuton meditation cushions

round zafu in forest green and zabuton in louts flower


Traditionally, you’ll form a tripod with your seat on the zafu as one point and your knees as the other two points. For more about how to sit comfortably in the tripod position, check out our Sitting Tips. Or check out our guide to choosing the right zafu.
At Still Sitting, our zabutons are made locally using high quality cotton duck fabrics and cotton batting. Each one is finished in our Vashon Island workshop, where we put care into creating cushions that will serve you for years.

How to Choose the Right One?

You’ll notice that our zabutons come in three sizes (small, medium, and large), and two thicknesses (thick and slim). Choose the right size for your body, noting that the small is recommended for people under 5’6″ or if your practice is mostly kneeling; the large is for folks over 6’2″; and the medium is for everyone in between. We find that the medium works for most folks.

Slim or Thick?

Our slim zabuton has about 2″ loft. It provides plenty of support while being easy to carry back and forth to your meditation group or to retreats. It’s also a good option if the surface you sit on is already somewhat soft, for example, if you have carpeting.

slim bali

slim zabuton in bali blue


The thick zabuton has mitered corners to hold even more cotton batting – we pack ours to about 4″ loft. It’s thick, sturdy, and built to last with plenty of cushion for your knees. This zabuton is a good choice for anyone looking for a comfortable seat, as well as those with knee problems and those who sit in a kneeling position. All zabutons will flatten down over time, but this one will continue to offer a lot of cushion, even after frequent use over time.
14

thick zabuton in bali blue

Standard or Deluxe?

There’s one last choice in selecting your Still Sitting zabuton – standard or deluxe.
Our deluxe cushions feature removable, machine-washable cushion covers. These are great for cushions that travel, those that get used heavily, or those exposed to pet hair or the stuff of everyday life.
The deluxe option is also a great way to bring a new color to old cushions – our covers fit over all current and vintage Still Sitting zabutons.
The standard option gives you a basic yet high quality meditation cushion. Without the removable cover, you’ll want to simply spot clean these as needed.
We hope you found this guide helpful. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email, give us a call, or visit us as stillsitting.com.  Our team is here to help you find the perfect meditation cushions for you!
 
Phone: (206) 463-1997 | (800) 433-0977
Email: office@stillsitting.com
Web: www.stillsitting.com