Here are some mindfulness exercises that allow a kind of mystical experience while ensuring you stay safely in reality. Sorry I know this doesn't exactly answer CloudedMoon's original question but I thought it might be useful in the larger context of the title. For other people with mental issues that might be reading the thread.
Mindfulness is a practice that individuals and groups can do on a day to day basis, it can enable people to change the way they think and feel about their experiences, especially stressful experiences. As a mind-body approach, it can increase our ability to manage difficult situations and make wise choices.
1. Mindful Breathing: This can be done standing or sitting down, all you have to do is focus on your breath for just one minute. Start by breathing in and out slowly, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Let go of your thoughts for one minute. Let go of things you have to do later. Simply let yourself be still for one minute. Purposefully watch your breath, focusing your senses on its path as it enters your body and fills you with life, then watch and feel it work its way up and out of your mouth as its energy dissipates.
2. Mindful Observation: Choose a natural object from within your immediate environment and focus on watching it for a minute or two. Don’t do anything except notice the thing you are looking at. Simply relax for as long as your concentration allows. Look at it as if you are seeing it for the first time. Visually explore every aspect of its formation. Allow yourself to be consumed by its presence. Allow yourself to connect with its energy and its role and purpose in the natural world.
3. Mindful Awareness: This exercise is designed to cultivate an awareness and appreciation of simple daily tasks and the results they achieve. Think of something that happens everyday more then once, something you take for granted, like opening a door for example. At that very moment you touch the doorknob to open the door, stop for a moment and be mindful of where you are, how you feel in that moment and where the door will lead you. Similarly, the moment you open your computer and start work, take a moment to appreciate the hands that enable this process and the brain that facilitates your understanding of how to use the computer. These touch points cues don’t have to be physical ones. For example: each time you think a negative thought you might choose to take a moment to stop, label the thought as unhelpful and release the negativity. Or, perhaps each time you smell food, you take a moment to stop and appreciate how lucky you are to have good food to eat and share with family and friends. Choose a touch point that resonates with you today. Instead of going through your daily motions on autopilot, take occasional moments to stop and cultivate purposeful awareness of what you are doing and the blessings it brings your life.
4. Mindful Listening: This exercise is designed to open your ears to sound in a non-judgmental way. So much of what we see and hear on a daily basis is influenced by our past experiences, but when we listen mindfully, we achieve a neutral, present awareness that lets us hear sound without preconception. Select a piece of music you have never heard before. Close our eyes and put on headphones. Try not to get drawn into judging the music by its genre, title or artist name before it has begun playing. Instead, ignore any labels and neutrally allow yourself to get lost in the journey of sound for the duration of the song. Allow yourself to explore every aspect of the track. Even if the music isn’t to your liking at first, let go of your dislike and give awareness full permission to climb inside the track and listen to the sound waves.
5. Mindful Immersion: The intention of this exercise is to cultivate concentration in the moment and escape the persistent striving we find ourselves caught up in on a daily basis. Rather than anxiously wanting to finish an everyday routine task in order to get on with doing something else, take that regular routine and fully experience it like never before. For example: If you are cleaning your house, pay attention to every detail of the activity. Rather than treat this as a regular chore, create an entirely new experience by noticing every aspect of your actions: Feel and become the motion when sweeping the floor, sense the muscles you use when washing the dishes, develop a more efficient way of wiping windows clean. The idea is to get creative and discover new experiences within a familiar routine task. Instead of labouring through and constantly thinking about finishing the task, become aware of every step and fully immerse yourself in the progress. Take the activity beyond a routine by aligning yourself with it physically, mentally and spiritually. Who knows, you might even enjoy the cleaning for once!
6. Mindful Appreciation: In this last exercise, all you have to do is notice 5 things in your day that usually go unappreciated. These things can be objects or people, it’s up to you. Use a notepad to check off 5 by the end of the day. The point of this exercises is to simply give thanks and appreciate the seemingly insignificant things in life. The things that support our existence but rarely get a second thought amidst our desire for bigger and better things. For example: electricity powers our kettle, the postman delivers our mail, your clothes provide you warmth, your nose lets you smell flowers, you ears let you hear the birds but……….Do you know how these things/processes came to exist, or how they really work?…….Have you ever properly acknowledged how these things benefit your life and the lives of others?……Have you ever thought about what life might be like without them?…..Have you ever stopped to notice their finer, more intricate details?…….Have you ever sat down and thought the relationship between these things and how together they play an interconnected role in the functioning of the earth?…..Once you have identified your 5 things, make it your duty to find out everything you can about their creation and purpose to truly appreciate the way in which they support your life.
7. In Summary: The cultivation of moment by moment awareness of our surrounding environment is a practice that helps us better cope with difficult thoughts and feelings that cause us stress and anxiety in everyday life. With regular practice of mindfulness exercise, rather then being led on autopilot by emotions influenced by negative past experiences and fears of future occurrences, we harness the ability to root the mind in the present moment and deal with life’s challenges in a clear, calm, assertive way. In turn, we develop a fully conscious mind-set that frees us from the imprisonment of unhelpful, self-limiting thought patterns and enables us to be fully present to focus on positive emotions that increase compassion and understanding in ourselves and others.