Buckwheat meditation cushions: How often should I have to replace the hulls?

Hi all! I don’t think there are any sutta references for this question, so just looking for others’ experiences.

I bought my first meditation cushion a year ago, a circular zafu with buckwheat hulls as the filling. Even when I first got it I realized after a few months that it wasn’t “full enough” to give me the height I needed, and that I had to buy 1LB of extra hulls and started using the zippers on the cushion to open it up and add more hulls 'till my back was comfortable on long sits (i.e. to give it enough vertical height under me).

At first the cushion was about 2LB total and I added 1/3 of a pound worth of hulls to get it just right.

Over time, I noticed it got “deflated” again and again, and slowly poured more hulls in to keep it even (when my back hurt, I’d add more). I kept hoping that eventually it would be full enough and I could stop.

Eventually though, the 1LB bag ran out and it kept getting more and more “deflated”. Because I kept pouring in hulls though, it now weighs a LOT (3LB I guess), and if I keep adding more, I’m worried it will get insanely heavy (I bring it with me when I travel)

I have now ordered a new 2LB bag and have to choose between replacing the hulls completely, or just adding more and more. I’m not sure how heavy it will eventually get but also don’t want to have a “buckwheat habit” that requires pounds of new ones every year, as they are shockingly expensive for a “food byproduct”.

So what are you experiences with buckwheat hull pillows over time?

Do you find you need to just keep adding them until it’s permanently full? Will it ever be permanently full?

Should I remove the “crushed” hulls with a strainer and add fresh replacements?

I meditate for about an hour a day, is it normal that I have so much deflation in my pillow?

Thanks for any help!


All phenomena are subject to change.

Considering the nature of butts, I would say it is normal. Only concave butts would produce a different effect. Even so, there would still be some deflation. For this, you would have to refer to the Great Concave Butt Sutra of Master Yu.

Seriously though, meditation cushions aren’t mentioned in the suttas; they are, however, in Dogen, but maintaining them is not described. More serious advice: Go to a Zen or Tibetan center that makes regular use of zafus (or even a Theravada one, but they may not be as familiar with the world of zafus) and ask them about zafu maintenance, and ask if they might sell you a new one at a discount.

May all cushions be firm. May all cushions be full.


Strange. I used the same cushion for ten years without needing to upfill it. After that time period it had got truly daggy I was able to let go without attachment.

It’s replacement arrived 110% full so I now have a plastic bag full of supplementary husks awaiting deployment one day.

May all cushions be firm. May all cushions be full - but not too full.


I bought a buckwheat cushion five years ago. It’s a bit flatter now, and held together with a large safety pin, but I turn it sideways and prop it up on a folded old sweater. I’m sure other kinds of rags and throwaways will do the job too.


I prefer a comfy chair. :yum:

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Is cushion absolutely necessary to meditate? How about a chair? :+1:

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Meditation cushions are expensive. I have seen some nice one but at the end of they, you are just putting you behind on it. I need a new one and I am going to attempt to make my own.

Is it wrong to sell a meditation cushions? Another question, is it wrong to sell images of the Buddha?

Why would it be wrong? Better than selling alcohol or meat IMHO.

My buckwheat hull pilow is for sleeping and while I may at times be accused of having a big head, have not had the compaction issues you mention. Can you place the hulls in a smaller bag to act as a core and add a less expensive kind of stuffing or batting around it to fill it up? Or get a second cushion for the needed added height?

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We should be neighbors. I had to take half the buckwheat out of my cushion.

May all cushions be firm. May all cushions be comfortable.


May every buttocks happy be! :peach::slight_smile:


Isn’t the issues about internal buttocks :brain:, rather than the external ones?! :joy:


My internal buttocks are never satisfied.
I should let go of both of them.

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A few years ago I gave my cushion away to my cat. Sitting on the floor ever since.


Both sides or both types?! :grimacing:

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I need the externals to place on my cushion. :bodhileaf::bodhileaf:
I was referring to the internals. :scissors:


Dismissing only one external is inadvisable. Let 'em all go!

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Dismissing only one external is inadvisable. Let 'em all go!

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Wow I didn’t realize this forum liked butt jokes so much :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for the reply (and to the others with some experience with these cushions).

I think using it to sleep is probably really different, since it’s just your head instead of your entire body, so it makes sense that yours doesn’t go down nearly as fast (or at all). Since I use mine for both tasks, I’m sure that doesn’t help.

I’ve considered putting other stuff in there, but I think it would mess with the consistency and my ability to like “align” it each time I sit down (to get that nice sloping shape that keeps healthy circulation going). It’s a nice smooth “bean bag” right now and I like that, if it was “lumpy” that would probably be worse than if it was heavy.

Thanks again to anyone with direct experience who wants to share it. For now I’m just adding more husks and seeing how heavy it gets :woman_shrugging:t2:


Of the posterior…!? :tooth:

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