Still Sitting eNews

May 2012

The Latest from Still Sitting

All Cushion Sets on Sale All Rakusus 20% off Rin Bells on Sale

Dear Still Sitters,

We do listen to you, honest.  Many of you asked for more cushion sets, and we’ve added them:  A Meditation Bench Cushion Set and a Tibetan Seat Cushion Set.  Our mix and match cushion set has become our most popular item – now you can mix and match with an oak bench or Tibetan Seat too.

The other big news this spring is that for the first time in 10 years we’ve put our finely-made Soto and Rinzai Rakusus on sale.  If yours is in tatters, or you have a jukai on the horizon, you may want to give ours a look. 

We’ve also added a 108-bead version of our most-sold mala, the Lotus Seed Mala, and we’ve added Black to our Oryoki Bowl Set cloth colors. 

As always, we have any number of things on sale – check them out on the left side of this newsletter!

That’s it for now,

The Still Sitting Crew

Sitting Tips – Sleepy Sit

Monks and nuns of all types get up before dawn to meditate and pray.  And for millennia they have come up with ways to work with drowsiness. 

The truth is, when you’re doing a lot of meditation, you don’t seem to need as much sleep.  Those of you who have done a multi-day retreat know that the early wake up is easy after a few days.  That’s in large part because you’re meditating all day. 

When we lived in a Zen Center we started the day with a pucker-inducing dose of hot lemon tea, followed by almost an hour of chanting.  Both tea and chanting helped keep everyone awake. 

Caffeine has been used for millennia to help meditators.

Sitting Tip


The 5th Century monk Bodhidharma, while meditating in a cave for nine years, was said to have become so fed up with sleepiness that he cut off his eyelids and tossed them outside the cave.  Green tea sprung up for the first time at the spot where he threw them.  To this day Bodhidharma is the patron saint of tea in Japan. 

We think caffeine can be helpful in moderation.  It can also help your thinking mind go off to the races, so we use it with care.  Another thing to watch for is temperature – there’s a reason Zen halls are kept cool.  It may help to open a window and let in some fresh air.  Or take a short walk (“kinhin”) and come back to the cushion.  We are also of the opinion that sometimes you have to work against sleep, and sometimes you have to give a little ground.  Dozing a little can make it a lot easier to come back strong.  Sometimes a sleepy sit makes way for a wakeful one. 

We feel there are a lot of ways to work with drowsiness – we hope you find your way to a clear and awake state of mind.

Testimonial From a Recent Customer

We would like to say we are very pleased with our 2 mediation cushion sets.  The quality and the weaving is just perfect. It is a quality you don't find in regular shops I find these days.

Our cedar mala has gotten a little monkey attached to it (see picture)

The samue jacket is being loved as much as the rest of our stuff.

So thank you for doing what you do!!

Jan V.
Herselt, Belgium

View More Testimonials »




Words used up

The feeling of mountain clouds

And the moon at sea

The Book of the Zen Grove