|Tacky Orange Test Pillow|
For a couple of months I've been testing new methods to help improve my posture and support my back when sitting zazen (meditation.)I have my incredibly tacky orange pillow that is my primary test device. I cut strips from sheets and test various ways to place the pillow for support and hold it in place with the sheet strips.
There are a number of criteria I'm trying to accomplish in the design. Obviously, posture and back support are required. However, I alternate using a bench and a meditation cushion every other day to shift the stresses on the body. I want the design to accommodate both the seiza bench and the zafu cushion. Each requires very different attachment methods. I think I finally have a design that meets these criteria.
There are a lot of secondary considerations I've been working on too. One is the choice of fabric. Since my practice is Zen I chose a beautiful "Zen Black". Another consideration is friction. Ideally it has a high enough coefficient of friction so that you don't slide out of position during sitting but low enough to still allow for comfort and ease of attachment. To meet the friction criteria I chose a suede material.
Additionally, I decided that microfiber would be good to use because it is easy to clean externally and it has good durability.
For stuffing I'm testing a special batting that is a bamboo/polyester blend. I have no idea how well this will work. I was looking for something that could pack tightly and not flatten that also had a long life and was light weight. It appeared to meet these criteria; we'll see.
The design I came up with is symmetric so I have added a couple of design elements to distinguish orientation. The primary purpose is to allow the use and storage to alternate to prevent premature "wear-in" from continually using in the same orientation.
Finally, I've designed the attachments to be adjustable but the design elements for this consideration allow you to visually re-attach to the same position quickly once you know the correct attachment location.
I had hoped to complete the original prototype and be testing this week. Unfortunately, I was unable to finish prior to joining my family for Spring Break. I am very close! I will be able to finish the prototype the first week of April.
Now most of you are probably going - wayyyyy too much detail! A Bow to you.
As I mentioned in my last post our sangha is starting a fund raising drive to build a Dharma Hall. One of the things I'm considering is offering to build these devices for sale and donate the proceeds to the fund drive. I think the materials cost about $25 not counting the assembly time. If people are interested, I'm thinking of trying to sell them for about $75 so that the building fund can net $50. Would this be interesting to anyone? Comments would be greatly appreciated.
Friendly Bows _/|\_