When you meditate, your quieted mind is focusing on no attachment, no thoughts, and total freedom of the mind, soul and body. Many people want to reach nirvana; the total and complete moment of harmony and zen; transcendence. When meditating, you free yourself from attachment to people, your surroundings, to your feelings, and to things and objects. A meditation pillow in a sense is kind of a contradiction; you train your mind to seek calm and feel peace with what is but to help achieve that peace, we use objects to deepen our meditation, such as this pillow. I used to think that. But when I used my meditation pillow for the first time, my world was flipped upside down and for the better.

I've wanted one for months. At around the 15 minutes mark of meditating, my legs start to go numb from sitting cross-legged for so long, especially if I'm meditating on wooden floor. Eventually, my calm focus is broken by the urge to move around and help the blood flow in my legs. I fight through the pins and needles, but my mantra quickly changes into "I gotta get up!".  I've been trying for years to make meditation a consistent habit, but the fact that my legs wouldn't catch up to my mind always stopped me cold.

In comes the meditation pillow. I love etsy. Oh so very much. I bought a lot of things for my wedding on there, and love perusing how talented people are and what genius ideas they have. I searched "meditation pillows" on a fateful day months ago and stumbled upon the etsy shop "Mindfulcushions". The shop has beautiful designs, are filled with hypo-allergenic buckwheat hulls (which are surprisingly sturdy and comfortable), and the best part (at least for me) is they are Canadian. A lot of shops on etsy are American and either only ship to the states, or are in American dollars (in other words... ouch for Canadians wallets lately).

So I finally bit the bullet and bought a set. The one I bought was on clearance (pictured above); Antique floral. Being on clearance, if I bought another pillow on clearance I got the 2 for $50 instead of 1 for $30. Sweet deal.

It took 5 business days to get from her shop in Ontario to little old me in Lethbridge, Alberta. I was in Calgary teaching at the time when my husband sent me a message with a picture of the box. I couldn't wait to drive down for the weekend and check out my new meditation pillows.

When I got home on Friday. I opened up the box (which was incredibly well sealed with tape) and smiled. Heavier than I expected, I lifted them out of the box by their handles and smiled.

A lazy Saturday afternoon rolled around, and after making my own sushi and watching Anastasia with my husband, I picked up the antique floral meditation cushion, and brought it with me to the back porch. Snapped a few pictures and selfies (I was excited!), and set up my meditation using an app called one giant mind. 10 minute timer, sitting criss cross on the edge of the pillow, I closed my eyes, stated my intention, started my breathing routine, and introduced the mantra. I should add here, the only things different about this meditation were the pillow and being outside. Otherwise, my intention, breathing routine, mantra, posture, was all the same as my usual weekday routine.

I experienced the most intense meditation of my life. Imagery of flames rising hit me and stunned me as I got deeper into my meditation. I felt my body lighten to the point of forgetting where I was. The flames grew higher in my mind, and my conscience was clearer than ever. I felt like I was just air for lack of a better description. The bell tolled and I opened my eyes slowly. As I did, the world was white like a photography flash and then everything came back into focus. As I write this, these words aren't even close to doing this meditation justice. All I can say is I hope you can get this excited about your meditation practice and understand my experience through your own. After I came back to reality, a wave of emotion hit me. The idea for this blog and name for this blog came to me, my body felt light, and as I rushed inside to tell my husband all of this, my eyes started to well up. I was overcome with happiness. He was incredibly worried; whenever I rush in like that, it's usually something negative. But this time, everything changed. I marched upstairs with a new zest for life, and without even noticing, I was holding onto my meditation pillow as if it were my new blankey: a source of safety, comfort and strength.  It really has changed my meditation practice and I'm excited to see where we go next. I've realised, not all attachment is bad.My meditation pillow in the day I've had it, has taken me to new heights and has made me very happy.

If you'd to check out her pillows and items, visit her shop here: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/MindfulCushions The owner, Patti, is a wonderful woman who knows a thing or two about mindfulness and meditation. Don't hesitate to send her a note if you have any questions!

Published by Margaret Geary-Merkl