Recommending a Round Cushion to All People

by Bob Schwartz

The official story
Says to sit upright
On the round cushion
Legs crossed
Hands positioned
Breathing in and out.

But you are not a citizen
Of the land of cushions
No reason to follow
The party line.

Lay your head on it and nap
Roll it across the room
Throw it in the air
Or out the window
(don’t hit anyone)
Admire its color
Its fabric
Its filling
And its roundness.
Play with it.
Sit on it or don’t.
Remember however
To breathe in and out
With or without
The round cushion.
That’s not following
Anything or anyone
That’s just good sense.

Note: One of the most famous Zen texts is Dogen’s Recommending Zazen to All People. Dogen was in a masterful position to make such a recommendation. I am not. But round cushions, which come in many colors, fabrics, and fillings, are easy to recommend, because even if you don’t use it for sitting, there is a lot you can do with a round cushion.

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