Aug 28, 2013
The Mayu Bench: A review
Some months ago I was sent a Mayu Bench to try out and review, but somehow the review slipped off of my schedule.
Of the two benches pictured, mine is the tall one on the left. It’s a solid and stable meditation seat, and may be particularly suitable for people who find sitting on cushions or kneeling benches difficult. It allows you to sit much as you would on a chair, but with the advantage that the seat slopes forward, allowing you to have the spine upright without any effort. (Western chair design leaves much to be desired; the typical flat seat causes the pelvis to tilt backward, making it hard, if not impossible, to sit upright without making effort.)
The height is adjustable, and so is the tilt, within certain limitations. Both the height and the tilt are dictated by the placement of pegs, which fit into holes drilled into the uprights. Unless you drill your own holes you’re limited to the positions determined by the presets, but most people should be able to find a height and tilt that works for them.
The Mayu Bench is rather large. You almost certainly wouldn’t take the version I have on retreat with you, or even to your local meditation group unless you were driving and didn’t mind doing some carrying and some assembly and disassembly. But portability isn’t important for everyone, and if you want a meditation seat that remains firmly at home, then this is a good option. It’s fairly heavy as meditation benches go, but surprisingly easy to move around due to handles cut into the uprights.
You’ll probably need a cushion of some sort for the Mayu Bench. Sitting on bare wood can rapidly become uncomfortable (actually the material seems to be some kind of particle board, but the effect on the bottom is the same.) Additionally, the product name is carved into the seat, which doesn’t help with comfort — although the seat can be placed either side up, so if you get tired of having the words “Mayu Bench” embossed on your behind, then you can simply flip the seat over. I found that the cushion from my Kindseat, which is slightly tacky underneath and so doesn’t slip, was perfect.
You can choose various options for the Mayu Bench, with taller or shorter legs (you can see both options above) and a choice of two widths of seat.
I prefer my Kindseat for daily sitting, and would be unlikely to use the Mayu Bench regularly, but that’s just me. I’m planning to donate my review copy to my local Buddhist centre, where I suspect it will get a lot of use, since there’s a large contingent of visitors who are past or close to retirement age, and finding it harder to sit on the floor. The Mayu Bench will be perfect for many of them.
The Mayu Bench is available online from the Mayu Sanctuary Store, which operates out of Denver, Colorado.