How a Meditation Cushion Changed My Practice
For a quite long time I rejected the idea of using a meditation cushion. You know I have already shared with you some of my perfectionist dilemmas and my unconscious biases. Well, this was another one of them. When I started to meditate, I came up with this idea that I am not supposed to have any help for my spine.
My dream was to perfect the crossed legged position by myself, with no help and no props, in order to reach the goal of having a straight backbone when sat in meditation. You know, like the Buddhist monks pictured all over the Internet.
It might sound brave or… childish. In fact, this was nothing else but unproductive and frustrating. My backbone was never straight, a result of childhood bad habits, no work-out routine and lots of long office hours. My spine still has some problems although I’ve been practicing yoga for more than two years now. Under these circumstances, such a challenge proved to be unreasonably challenging and completely unnecessary.
Unfortunately, without a meditation cushion by my side, the sessions used to be harmful for both my body and my mind. I just couldn’t find peace. Among other distractions, every inch of my body was in pain. Lots and lots of thoughts were traveling through my mind at the speed of light, letting me know that I was concentrating on everything else but my own breath. So, sitting still for more than 30 seconds never happened. Even during the tiny windows of time when I was able to stop my monkey mind, I kept moving, adjusting my position in order to hold my spine straight.
How I Made Peace With The Meditation Cushion
The first time I used a meditation cushion was during a yoga retreat. I did it only because the trainer insisted that everybody had to, including the people much more advanced with the practice than myself. He probably knew, that one of the biggest challenges one can face is aiming for too much, too soon.
During the class, he wasn’t even sat, he kneeled on a meditation cushion. He explained to us that the key to succeeding in meditating, besides constant practice, is starting every session in a position as comfortable as possible. Which, of course, could be a different one for each of us, depending on our body’s vulnerabilities.
The only thing that counts is to have a straight backbone no matter how many props are needed in order to accomplish that.
My Practice Changed
I finally agreed that if a meditation cushion was not shameful for the master, it would not be for me either. Instead it proved to be a relief. I realised that most of the thoughts that used to bother me during meditation were related to various pains caused by my uncomfortable position. Even my usual desire to ending the session sooner was substantially triggered by this body-hurting-so-badly problem. Sat on a special cushion during that class I was even able to count my breaths up to 10 without anything else interfering. This was a big success.
For the first time I felt that meditation could be for real elevating. It gave me hope and self-trust to keep going with the practice for at least 10 minutes every day.
Since then the meditation cushion is always welcomed into my practice. I even have my own SparkYourBloom Deluxe one at home. When I received it as a birthday gift from Mihaela, I considered it as a sign. Starting with it, I organised a tiny meditation spot in my living room. The cushion is not only really comfortable and useful during my sessions, but it is also a visual reminder to practice as often as I can.
SparkYourBloom Today and Everyday!