This is a clearcut guide from sorting out a stressed ruminating mind to opening yourself up to real change and new possibilities including enlightenment both self realized and finding happyness within. An important disclaimer is that any meditation isn't a mental cure-all or a replacement for psychiatric meds.
The idea is to regain your executive function, zest for life and work through guilt and trauma, and bring about a more enriched life with a higher state of awareness and a new appreciation of things. You can also boost creativity, see things from a fresh perspective and understand how everything relates to you and finding meaning and purpose for yourself as an individual.
1st year is simply mindfulness, building attention and cognitive strengths and eliminating useless rumination.
Change your diet to include a source of poly and mono fats, magnesium, selenium and zinc. Salmon, avocado or olive oil, spinach and brazil nuts should become staple foods. Cut out as much sugar as you can in your diet. Do your best to limit sources of negativity from your life such as news and politics or people who have a lot of negativity that drag you down or trigger you.
The first 3 months: Breath focus while trying to remain still. By 3 months you should be able to do this for 30 minutes. With your eyes closed just focus on the sound of the breath and keep returning to that whenever your mind wanders off. This is the pillar to build the skills for all other practices. Its also the hardest step, persist with it. If you need some motivation Google neuroplasticity with meditation. If you get stuck at this step then you need to find out why, it could be ADHD or something else such as anemia.
To correct some common misconceptions, your mind never stops wandering and you never experience the false concept of ego loss. And you aren't seperating yourself from your thoughts.
Months 3-9 Put on some classical music and with eyes open and a soft gaze, practice picking out individual instruments and also listening to the sounds as a whole. Another exercise is to get on a train or bus and while looking out the window say things out loud under your breath, be fairly descriptive and try do it as fast as possible and without a break, with the same principle of returning your attention to the task whenever your mind wanders, once you reach the 40minute mark of spotting hundreds of things move on to another exercise.
M9-12 Walk for 30-60 minutes a day focusing on the soles of the feet against the ground, do this while listening to music with positive lyrics. Also learn Diaphragmatic breathing, Breathing with your stomach moving out on the in breath and in on the out breath, your breath focus will now be focusing on the stomach rather than the breath for now.
You should now be free of anxiety based rumination and more goal orientated, use this hindsight to plan out some values and focus on your strengths, you are switching your focus from past to future. Find out what works for you and what doesn't. Rather than getting a bunch of books on meditation, get some self help workbooks on changing and making the most of your life. If you are not sure where to look Here is a good start. Plan out and then implement these changes by setting a new routine with different habits over the following 12 months.
Intermediate, becoming intellectually realized and experiencing Synchronicity. From here on your meditations should be in a seated basic pose which you can find online, palms facing up or at least seated with your bare feet on the ground, try your best to do your visualizations on the ground, breath focus in bed is okay.
Year2-3 In case you planned to continue it stop the belly focus breathing meditation. Do the stress pack on headspace for 40minutes on most days, this is the light visualization above your head. Begin some form of moderate exercise either weights or jogging if its weights it should include leg press or squats. These two years are the most beneficial and the goal is to return to a balanced lifestyle with Synchronicity, keep both positive music and classical in your life but NOT binaural beats or anything artificially produced. Eventually you will begin to notice Synchronicity in your day to day life, start journalling these as well as any you may have missed in the past, over time work out their meaning either by numerology(get a book don't use the internet) or a common theme, this will set you on your path to enlightenment and allow you to change. Get off auto pilot and allow the Synchronicity to inspire you.
Also incorperate I AM internal mantras to bring about the change you want in yourself "I AM creative/abundant/prosperous/happy/successful/motivated" you can make up your own, use whichever you feel best with that is inline with your goals. You can do this for 5minutes a day alongside the headspace visualization and continue it indefinitely.
Continue to keep away from negativity.
If you want a book at this point, one on enlightenment is best. There's many points of view that can explain our existence, pick whichever you are drawn to.
From here on you most likely won't understand the rest of this guide until you are actually upto this part, consider this the advanced section and put it aside for now.
With advanced meditation practice you need to realize that body and mind are not seperate, this is the reason exercise was included before and is the core belief for Tai Chi and Yoga. It's a good idea to have epsom salt baths or at least soaking your feet in epsom salts each week.
See this explanation on the Chakras and stages of enlightenment, you should be intellectually realized at this point in your practice. https://youtu.be/4L_05ck9arM
Do chanting meditation for a few months, this is fundamental to chakra work and well being. Your goal should be to unblock all the Chakras.
The proper technique is shown here:
Even if you don't feel them, visualize the appropriate chakra or chakras during your chanting. Work from the bottom up over time and once you feel you are done with this type of meditation try keep your Sacral chakra dominant.
After going through all the above your meditation should now also include just sitting and focusing just below the belly button (The Sacral Chakra) and you can now consider pursuing things such as Tai Chi, Yoga or even crystal bracelets and looking in to more types of meditation from an instructor such as utilizing the full lotus pose with more advanced breathing techniques and visualizations. I strongly recommend getting a book on such topics or finding an instructor rather than looking these topics up online.
See this Taoist master's explanations for a new perspective https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Mantak+Chia
Check out the podcast Mindful Living, Spiritual Awakening. There are some good esoteric exercises there.
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