The ability to be totally relaxed and comfortable during meditation is extremely important. Without a comfortable place to sit, beginners often give up too soon. If you plan to practice meditation regularly, you will need to create a separate space that is specifically set aside for quiet meditation. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘tatami mat’
If you’re looking to start the year off right by dedicating more time to meditation and quiet reflection, now is the time to invest in a comfortable meditation tatami mat. These traditional meditation mats have become a popular staple for those who practice Zen meditation.
When one sits down to meditate, creating an environment of peace and harmony is extremely important. Meditation is most effective when you can remain still and focused for long periods of time. Meditation sessions can be quite lengthy, and you won’t want to become distracted by soreness or discomfort. While many people use a simple yoga mat, others find these are too thin and rubbery to provide the cushioning needed for longer sessions.
Bare floors and uneven cushions are not designed for long periods of peaceful reflection either. That’s why so many Zen enthusiasts recommend a Tatami Meditation Mat. Sturdier than a yoga mat, yet without all the thick padding of a Zabuton, a round tatami mat offers just the right amount of support for meditation.
The best Japanese tatami mats are made from natural fibers and materials, like rush grass, cotton batting, kapok and buckwheat hulls. Natural fibers maintain their shape better over time, and provide a more supportive surface than synthetics or bare floors.
The Tatami Meditation Mat shown here is made from woven Japanese rush grass, and is filled with dried rice straw. Its round shape and brocade border make it a striking addition to your meditation area, without taking up too much space. This mat measures 24” in diameter and is 2 ¼” deep. It is available in with either a red/gold brocade or solid black border. Order a tatami mat for yourself or someone special in your life, and plan on sticking to your resolution to meditate more this year.
Japanese Tatami mats are more than just a design element in Zen décor; they are steeped in ceremony and connected with prosperity and good fortune.
Originally used by Japanese nobility, these rectangular floor coverings are traditionally made with a rice straw core and a wetland rush grass covering, or “omote”. The Tatami omote is formed by tightly weaving the stems of soft rush into a soft mat covering. In early Japanese society, Tatami mats were associated with exalted members of society, whose privilege permitted them to sit on a Tatami mat, while others sat on a wooden floor.
The rules concerning Tatami mats are important to remember, especially if you are aiming for a traditional, and “auspicious”, Japanese arrangement.
According to Japanese tradition, an “auspicious” layout means that Tatami mats must never be laid out in a grid pattern, meaning at no point should the corners of three or more mats touch. An auspicious layout is achieved when the junctions of the mats form a “T” shape. An “inauspicious” layout, which forms a “+” shape, is believed to bring bad fortune to a home.
While Tatami is associated with longstanding Japanese traditions, such as tea ceremonies, most modern Japanese homes still have a Tatami room. Today, Tatami is still commonly used for Japanese religious rites and ceremonies, but many people also use them for protective purposes during martial arts training, such as Judo.
Traditional Tatami mats are exactly twice as long as they are wide, and usually have “heri” cloth edging on the long sides. According to Japanese culture, Tatami floor mats must be kept as clean as a dining table or bedding surface at all times.
With their rich, high quality, natural bamboo slat surface, Tatami mats can be used to enhance any room décor. They are durable, alluring and easy to maintain.