1. Your breath can control to your nervous system.
We can immediately change our nervous system’s response by changing the way we breathe. In our Access Calm breathing technique, we use our breath to trigger the nervous system to elicit the parasympathetic response, which automatically reduces heart rate and induces relaxation. This technique is invaluable in moments of acute stress, as it literally reverses the stress response in seconds.
2. You don’t have to be able to stop your mind from thinking or block out thoughts to meditate correctly.
In our Access Stillness mental technique, our goal is not to stop our thoughts. We use very a simple, silent mental technique to de-excite the mind. In this de-excited state we experience thought, but we are not aware that we’re thinking. It’s like when you’re getting a great massage and you’re not asleep, but you’re so relaxed that you forget that you’re getting a massage. In this de-exited state, we’re not paying
attention to anything, including the time. So it feels like the time goes by shockingly fast, similar to when you get that great massage.
3. You don’t need to be able to focus or concentrate.
Some forms of meditation require focus or concentration. Our Access Stillness technique requires effortlessness, it’s a very passive process. Focus and concentration keep our mind active in a state of excitation. The effortlessness of the Access Stillness technique allows the mind to settle spontaneously into a state of de-excitation.
4. You don’t need to sit perfectly upright or sit still or cross your legs.
Some meditation practices require you to sit still like a statue, perfectly upright on a cushion with your legs crossed holding specific hand gestures. With the techniques we practice in the Access Meditation program, we always sit comfortably in a relaxed position with our backs supported. You can place your arms or legs however you find them most comfortable. And you don’t have to sit still. It’s totally OK to move or shift or scratch an itch.
5. You learn in hours, not weeks, months, or years (or even decades).
The training to learn the Access Meditation program takes a few hours. Our live courses consist of two 2-hour sessions held on consecutive days. Once you go through that initial training you have more than enough knowledge and experience to maintain a successful daily practice on your own.
6. You don’t need a quiet place to meditate.
With Access Meditation, noise is no barrier to successful practice. Our techniques work equally well in noisy environments. All that is required is a place to sit with your eyes closed. You can meditate on trains, planes, or automobiles (so long as you’re not the driver!). It’s totally portable. To the outside observer, it looks like your sitting quietly with your eyes closed.
7. It provides the same restfulness as hours of quality sleep.
One 20-minute meditation feels like you slept 1-2 hours. If you meditate twice a day, it’s the equivalent of getting 3 or 4 more hours of sleep! Our days are much more enjoyable and productive when we’re very well-rested.
8. It’s like brushing your teeth.
The Access Meditation program is designed to be a daily hygienic experience. We come out of our meditation feeling calm, relaxed, rested, energized, present, attentive, creative, and happy. Once you start meditating on a daily basis, you feel so much better that you wouldn’t think of not doing it. It would be like not brushing your teeth in the morning (gross!).
9. You don’t have to change your belief system or lifestyle.
The Access Meditation program consists of a breathing technique and a mental technique. It does not have any religious, cultural or philosophical ties and does not require or suggest any change in belief system.
10. It’s underwhelming.
“Underwhelming” is our favorite word to use the Access Meditation program. In any other context, the word “under- whelming” would be very unimpressive. But when describing Access Meditation it’s both accurate and remarkable. We like to use this word to describe the practice because the demand on mind and body is infinitesimally minimal. It settles the mind and body into a state of deep rest and relaxation automatically and spontaneously without any effort, focus or concentration. The experience is the exact opposite of feeling overwhelmed, which causes the body to have a stress response. It’s through revisiting this daily underwhelming experience that reconditions the mind and body from the impact of years of accumulated stress. This results in both improvements in our mental and physical health and wellbeing, but also allows us to be more adaptable to the demands we face in life.