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Perfect Makes Practice: The Walden Cushion Set

Regardless of your opinion, it’s hard to avoid the popularity of mindful exercises like meditation, yoga, and zen practices over the last few years. It’s not hard to imagine why, either, in a world increasingly fraught with stress-inducing news and the delivery of that news to everyone, everywhere, instantly. And while part of the beauty of these practices is their freedom and flexibility, investing in the right accessories can actually help develop a practice!

Walden, named after the famed Massachusetts pond, but based in New York, offers just the right accouterments for meditators. They are hyper-focused on providing the perfect cushions and mats for a seated practice and they have pulled out all the stops along the way. The Walden Cushion Set pairs a zafu (the round cushion for your behind) with a heavily padded mat and helps create a much more comfortable meditating experience.

I’ve tried piling up couch cushions, blankets, sitting in chairs, breaking out the yoga mat, and several other techniques to accommodate long sitting sessions, but using the Walden was the first time that I really felt physically comfortable.

The thick disk zafu is filled with natural buckwheat that creates a dense but pliable filling. It’s topped with a gel-infused layer of memory foam to contour to your derriere. Those materials are then wrapped in a water-resistant, anti-microbial shell that is smooth, thick, and pleasing to the touch. The shell feels like something you might find on a fancy insulated weatherproof coat, and it’s removable when it needs to be cleaned.

That same outer shell covers the padded mat, which is about twice as long as the cushion and provides welcome comfort for your ankles and feet when seated. The mat is a good inch thick, and not designed to be rolled up or folded, so the smaller footprint is intended to minimize bulk—it probably won’t extend enough to cover both knees in a half lotus or Burmese position, for instance.

The material choices certainly contribute to the high-end look of the Walden Cushion Set. The set comes in three mature color schemes—cobalt, sand, and carbon—and Walden seems eager to complete custom projects with any color or pattern design you might think of.

Stitched around the diameter of each zafu cushion is an elastic band that adds an accent to each color scheme, and also provides a portable handle for carting your cushion around. It’s a nice feature, especially for a cushion as large and sturdy as this one.

And while it’s easily portable, my Walden Cushion Set usually stays put. In fact, it has helped create the space I’ve always wanted for my meditation. By having such a nice-looking and well-functioning cushion set, it’s given me a reason to set aside space to accommodate them, and in turn, accommodate my practice. It serves as a healthy physical reminder each day and provides a welcoming space where I know I’ll be comfortable.

This high-end cushion set will make you want to use it, and that’s important. You wouldn’t buy a Ferrari and keep it in the garage, and you also wouldn’t buy a Walden Cushion Set and let it languor in the closet. Even beyond the added comfort to each meditation session, that may be my favorite aspect of owning the Walden. So, upgrade from your yoga mat and throw pillows to a cushion designed to support you and your body with the Walden Cushion Set.

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Story by Thomas Bender


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