Why Kapok in Zafu Meditation Pillows

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Last New Year, I posted a tutorial on how to make your own Zafu Meditation Pillow, as meditating is a wonderful New Year resolution.

To sit comfortably while you meditate you really must have a zafu.

If you haven’t made one of these pillows yet, now is the perfect time to start and I’ll help you. As a follow-up to this original pillow tutorial, I’m responding to a reader question about kapok filling,  Let me share just how wonderful kapok is, and the best place to get it.

Why Kapok Pillow Fill?

vs. cotton, foam beans or foam stuffing .. To make you fully aware of how great kapok is for both you and for the environment, the zafu experts explain:

In sum: “Kapok is great!”

Kapok_Ceiba-pentandraIn detail:


“Kapok is soft, smooth, hygienic, non-toxic, hypoallergenic and environmentally friendly. It is breathable, allows air circulation and has healthful benefits. It can be reused for generations, without developing mold or decaying. It’s so light, it even floats!” explain the experts.


“Kapok is one of the few sustainable rainforest crops. The actual material that we put into zafu pillows comes from the seed pod of the majestic kapok tree.

Kapok is really an ancient treasure. For centuries it has represented a prized possession, historically used by gurus, saints and spiritual masters, who marveled at its unique characteristics such as its ability to shape to the body with rebounding instantly to its original fluffy shape.

Kapok (Ceiba pentandra) is a tropical tree of the order Malvales and the family Malvaceae (previously separated in the family Bombacaceae), native to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, northern South America, and (as the variety C. pentandra var. guineensis) to tropical west Africa. The word is also used for the fibre obtained from its seed podsKapok-tree. The tree is also known as the Java cotton, Java kapok, or ceiba. It is a sacred symbol in Maya mythology.

The tree grows to 60-70 m (200-230 ft) tall and has a very substantial trunk up to 3 m (10 ft) in diameter with buttresses. The trunk and many of the larger branches are densely crowded with very large, robust simple thorns. The leaves are compound of 5 to 9 leaflets, each up to 20 cm (8 in) and palm like. Adult trees produce several hundred 15 cm (6 in) seed pods. The pods contain seeds surrounded by a fluffy, yellowish fiber that is a mix of lignin and cellulose.

((In contrast:

  • Of all insecticides used globally each year, the estimated amount used on traditional cotton is a hefty 25%!
  • Five of the top nine pesticides used on cotton in the U.S. (cyanide, dicofol, naled, propargite, and trifluralin) are KNOWN cancer-causing chemicals.
  • All nine are classified by the U.S. EPA as Category I and II— the most dangerous chemicals.)) “
  • Well, I sure did not know this about cotton!!

Zafu Meditation Pillow – Filling Materials Needed

So, kapok filling it is. Now, the reader question was “For a meditation pillow such as the one in the zafu pattern at FineCraftGuild, how much kapok will you need?

The answer is ….arrow_right

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