How to Make a Meditation Bench

Jonas Rabbe, October 22, 2008Meditation bench is a key element of meditation or mindfulness pratice (as an alternative to the cushion), because having a support under your ass is the prerequisite for a painless meditation session. Unless you are a person born in a Country where nobody uses chairs.

If you didn’t practice yoga when you were a child, sitting directly on the ground makes you immediately feel unconfortable and after few minutes your back would start to send clear signals of pain, compromising your concentration and the meditation session for all the remaining time.

So, if your will is meditating on a regular basis, you need a support. What about making a bench with your own hands?

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Although meditation is a very simple activity, it has some essential technical aspects to be taken into consideration. The most important of them is posture: it allows your spine to stay still, aligned and relaxed for 20, 30 or 60 minutes.

If you think the right support for you is the bench, here are the instructions to make a wooden meditation bench, based on my personal experience. It is a transportable model, designed for an average height person (175 cm). When it is closed, it goes in a common book bag.

You can use this bench to meditate in several sitting postures, such as half-lotus, full-lotus, Burmese position, easy crossed legs, or siddhasana (“perfect pose”). An other possibility is seiza, the “Japanese” position, which requires exactly a bench like this. For a descritption of these positions, please see this page.

Instructions

1) The first step is to cut a small wooden board in three pieces, as shown in the following drawing. If you can’t do it on your own, a good idea could be to ask a carpenter, who probably will use a scrap.

meditation bench

2) After cutting the board, you will obtain two bases and a shelf: sand them and then apply a wood filler, in order to avoid the bench to dirty.

3) Join the bases to the shelf with robust hinges. If you have no familiarity with hinges, don’t be discouraged: assemblig them is easy. You just need screws of the right lenght (let the storekeeper give you a suggestion) and a screwdriver. Each screw is able to make is own hole in the wood, but it is better to help it to find the right position, making before a little hole with a tip.

Il panchetto da meditazione con le cerniere

4) A good idea is to apply felt protectors under the bases, to protect the underlying surface (such as wood flooring) against scratching. Other improvements that you can do are systems for keeping the bench closed during transportation. Possible solutions are: Velcro or magnets over the contact points; two big rubber bands; a cloth bag.

Il panchetto da meditazione richiuso

5) Don’t repress you creativity. See for example this model, built by my friend Marius Moisuc – a professional bench builder – which has a handle to make transportation more confortable.

[The first picture is by Jonas Rabbe, Denmark]

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