Published on May 9th, 2013 | by Healthy Gay Lifestyles0
The One Minute SAW Method: A Meditation As Simple As Clicking Your Heels Three Times
by Patrick Davis, MA
Not Your Grandmother’s Church Group
Walking into the classroom I was met by a sea of unhappy faces. Who could blame them? Many of them were court ordered to be there for drinking and driving. The therapist leading this program asked me to lead a discussion on the topic of meditation. This was not your grand mother’s church group. Street-smart high school students and middle-aged burdened professionals were among the diverse perspectives assembled. On a hot summer evening when we would have all preferred to be outdoors, we greeted one another with arms folded like the cold metal chairs upon which we sat. One young man in the front row dropped out of college due to his destructive habits becoming bigger than his life. This is not a story of addiction and recovery. This series of articles is about how this heroic young man in the front row taught us all the value of keeping meditation as simple as using the one-minute process called The SAW Method. This article will equip you with the same tool so that you may begin your own practice. The full value of this young man’s experience will be described in-depth in future articles. For now keep it simple and experience your own heroic journey with the One-Minute SAW Method reviewed at the end of this article.
Meditation Includes A Vast Sea of Techniques To Choose From
Meditation includes a host of techniques that can be as overwhelming as the menu items at a fast food joint. Some approaches focus more on the scientific perspective and others focus more on a personal devotion. Whatever your approach, there are some common sense ways to look at the practice of meditation.
Every Day Experiences
For some meditation includes the general feel-good zone of every day experiences such as being in awe of nature, riding a wave on a surfboard or feeling the groove of a special song. Whether these are pleasant memories or a feeling we recreate on a regular basis with a hobby, we each have the capacity to tap into that child-like bliss inside. Our own intuition may bubble up as a gentle whisper or as a full belly laugh to remind us of things such as:
- “Don’t worry, be happy”
- “This too shall pass”
- “All is well”
- “Just get something to eat and take a nap”
With the SAW Method, we are exploring a universal way to tap into this well-spring of wisdom and apply it to our every day experience.
The Common Denominator: A Rainbow from East to West
As we honor the depth and scope of meditations as a topic, it is fruitful to turn to established meditation traditions from both the east and west to foster these naturally occurring experiences. This search may be motivated from a habit of a personal devotion time from a spiritual tradition that speaks to you or born out of the pain of facing our lives falling apart and asking tough questions such as, “What’s it all about?” To support this exploration there is a rich heritage of practices from east to west to choose from. Many people have been engaged in a life-long experiment to find methods that fit with their unique personality and style. We conduct this search while respecting the diversity of options that work for others. We may celebrate how there is a diverse rainbow of cultures and teachers informing the practice of meditation. The SAW Method is an expression of three simple skills that are a front-porch to more advanced practices. It’s a good place to begin or to come back to if you want to simplify your own approach.
Spiritual Scientists and Spiritual Athletes
One standard in the growing body of research on meditation describes results after subjects dedicate 20 minutes twice a day to a personal practice. Oh, boy! What about all of us undisciplined types who are not ready for this Olympics of meditation? The One-Minute Saw Method was designed for the rest of us. It builds upon naturally occurring experiences by employing our innate wisdom to a topic we too often delegate to outside experts. If we are waiting to read one more book then we may be thinking too hard about a process that we may start in this moment.
At the same time, we honor the body of wisdom of experts from around the world by building upon their experiences with our own. Their teaching helps us to trust the process and guides us to find our own way to remember our center in this fast-paced world. It’s valuable to not just go it alone by participating in a retreat, a meditation group or a weekly fellowship experience. Whether we are novices or we have practiced for years, we may each experience our own version of the themes highlighted by the scientific research on meditation: improved brain function, enhanced sense of well being and improved stress/emotional management.
Meditation is not just done for these results. It’s also a path to leave the world a little saner than we found it. Someone once observed that when facing our own mental and emotional pain, that we either transmit it or transform it. Whether your preference is for a spiritual language or a scientific approach, we may all agree with Einstein’s observation: “you can’t solve a problem in the same state of consciousness it was created.” I invite you to look at the your practice of the SAW Method as an experiment with your own consciousness around every day problems. Look at this as an experiment of self-management.
The SAW Method may be used to jump-start a meditation practice or to enhance your current practice if you are a “meditation athlete” of sorts. Whether you are a novice or a master at meditation, this approach reminds us to bring awareness to daily moments like opening the refrigerator, starting the car, booting up the computer or attending a court ordered group like our heroes at the start of this series. To begin, choose a specific time and place to practice. Pause right now and practice the three steps listed here.
The S.A.W. Method Takes One-Minute:
S HIFT onto breathing for 10 seconds
A PPRECIATE any aspect of life for 20 seconds
W AIT for intuition, common sense or good humor to emerge for 30 seconds
Repeat this process as needed. The results you will hear about in following articles from the heroic support group described at the beginning occurred after they practiced this process four times. If you add the practice of briefly journaling about your experience, then you are dedicating 5 minutes a day to this approach.
Have FUN with your practice until we explore these steps more in-depth during the following months.
Questions to journal about: Feel free to e-mail to me your responses if you want to explore the services of a spirituality coach. Your first e-mail coaching is a FREE inquiry by sharing answers to any of the following questions:
- MY PAST: What spiritual traditions, if any, from the east or west have you been exposed to? Which ones are working? Which ones are not working? How do you take the best and leave the rest? What have I already explored?
- MY FUTURE: What have I always wanted to explore?
- What are the ways I already intuitively relax and connect with life?
- Is it OK with me if meditation were as simple as a one minute or less?
Before Dorothy clicked her heels three times she underwent a heroic transformation that included finding friends and facing the flying monkeys in the dark forest. As we begin this practice, it’s important that you acknowledge your life as a heroic journey. It’s also key with any spiritual practice to form friendships and to observe the flying monkeys in our own mind that make something as sweet and as simple as “pausing often” more difficult than it needs to be. More about that next month or during a one-on-one phone session with guided meditation.
Patrick Davis, MA is creator of the SAW Method and offers sessions for individuals and work communities facing transformation. What if you woke up one day and realized that you already had every tool you need to be happy? You may request information on a personal or professional consultation by sending e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org