Beautiful Breath wrote:Can some one explain what Access Concentration is?
Some here may disagree with my take, depending on whose instruction they follow, but I find that speaking from one's personal experience is always the best policy and the quickest route to the truth (at least from one's own opinion and perspective, which in many cases others may also be able to verify from their own experience).
Without becoming too technical, and in the spirit of keeping things simple and hopefully understandable, access concentration is a later term (meaning it has a more modern origin) used to describe the amount of concentration necessary to begin attempting to practice dhyana
meditation in terms of the four levels of rupa dhyana
as described in the discourses.
Put in laypersons terminology, if one can stay with the meditation object (such as the breath) for two to five minutes (in my humble opinion) without a break or an unnoticed break in attention on the object, then one has achieved the required amount of "access" concentration needed to pursue dhyana
meditation levels. It is really that
simple, and no more complicated than that.
As far as achieving this goes, there's really no best method that works. Each person is difference, and thus will respond individually to different stimuli. I found that following the breath at the tip of the nose (the in-breath and the out-breath) while keeping my attention focused at the point where the air goes in and goes out (kind of like following the blade of a saw at its point of contact with the wood it is sawing) was sufficient for me to develop the necessary concentration.
You'll just have to experiment with different methods. I'm sure others will offer their favorite methods to your question also. So, just pick one and try it out. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak (meaning the effort to attempt to make it work for you)!
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV