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This type of bench I have been using for meditation some years now. Experiences with normal meditation postures appeared to be too painfull and the the use of a seiza bench gave me lower back problems. Unlike the seiza posture this bench is meant for cross-legged sitting; the lower legs can be placed under your buttocks.

This solution has some advantages over the use of a seiza bench or a chair:

  • muscles in the knee and hip area are strained very much less compared to traditional postures, so sitting for long periods of time without pain is possible
  • cross-legged sitting provides greater stability
  • the body is supported by upper leggs and buttocks, so the body weight is distributed evenly, without pinching nerves or blood vessels
  • sitting with a straight back is easy because of the higher position

The only disavantage is this bench is less compact then a seiza bench. On the other hand, there is no need for a thick cushion (zabuton).

This bench is very easy to make yourself. Because it is less compact I have made it foldable and portable, so you can easily take it with you. I am rather tall (6.3 ft / 1.94 m.), so the ideal measures might be different for you. However, it is best to wait with modifications until after you have done some time on your bench; shortening the width and lowering the height can be done later.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Materials:

  • For the top and the sides you need 6 pine wood boards. Thickness: 0.7 in / 1,9 cm - Width: 7.7 in / 19.6 cm
  • For the cross bar you need 1 board of pine or multiplex: Thickness: 0.5 in / 1 cm or thicker - Width: 4.4 in / 11 cm
  • Hinges: 6
  • Door bolts: 4
  • Shrews and/or bolts

Tools:

  • Saw
  • Shrew driver
  • Drill.
Thanks for this design. I want something at an intermediate height between ottoman and zafu and this will fit the bill nicely. I especially like that my feet will be able to settle where they want, (which is under me, as they used to sit on a foot ring on my old work stool).
That's really well thought out. Thank you for sharing this practical project.
<p>I love this idea !</p>
<p>Very Cool!!!! Thank you for sharing! It always takes me a minute or several to get up after meditating because of my legs and feet falling asleep or having to adjust in the middle of meditating.</p>
<p>Really cool. Makes me want to start meditating once more!</p>
<p>Seiza takes some practice to get used to, I'd rather use something this because my feet always fall asleep! Good idea :)</p>

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