Kindseat: The Meditation Bench or Stool that is Kind to You
Meditation stools (UK usage) and Meditation Benches (USA usage) are a practical answer to the problem of being able to sit comfortably in meditation for longer periods of time. They are normally used in the kneeling or seiza position and are an alternative to sitting on a chair or sitting astride several cushions or zafus. They can give a sense of being more ‘grounded’ than chairs and, compared to cushions, are more consistent in height and much easier to carry around.
Key points when choosing a meditation stool.
Look out for two things, height and angle.
The height of the seat is important as this influences the curvature of your back when sitting: If the seat is too high the back will overarch leading to tension and pain. If the seat is too low the back will slump forwards leading to loss of energy. Generally, the taller you are the higher the seat needs to be. Your seat needs to fit you as much as a pair of shoes does. One size does not fit all.
The forward pitch of the seat is also important as this governs the angle of your pelvis. Generally, if you can get the angle of your pelvis ‘right’ the rest of your posture follows. Ideally, the pelvis is upright, not tilting forwards or backwards; with the sitting bones pointing downwards.
When on retreat or doing a lot of sitting in meditation our bodies change; so what may have been comfortable at the beginning of the retreat may not be at the end.
The Kindseat is unique in that both the height and the pitch of the seat can easily be adjusted so that it always fits you: it fits you always. You don’t have to subconsciously adjust to a bench that is not right to you. Kind -‘caring’ for you and ‘not different’ from you.
The Kindseat can also be used in cross legged positions and as a simple stool for listening to a talk.