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'Before concepts'?
Answer
12/29/13 2:33 PM
Lately I have tried to focus on my bodily sensations, and sights and sounds. This has lead to me spending increasing amounts of time where I feel entirely present, there is little or no discursive thought, everything seems deeply beautiful, there is a strong feeling of connectedness, and negative emotions like anger can arise but they cause little or no discomfort.

Is there a name for this state? Can it be stabilized into an effortless baseline?

RE: 'Before concepts'?
Answer
12/30/13 12:25 AM as a reply to green tea.
green tea:

Is there a name for this state?

Not that I'm aware of at the moment.

On further reflection, perhaps the term passaddhi may apply. But I would need to know more about the development and detail of your practice with regard to its association with your experience. There's too little detail present in your description to make any kind of definitive determination.

Passaddhi is a Pali word that is generally translated as "calm" and which in my experience and practice I've described as "a profound inner peace." This state has generally (within my experience) been associated with the development of meditative skill at being able to achieve absorption and therefore describes the afterglow (outside of the meditative state) of the effect of that achievement.

green tea:

Can it be stabilized into an effortless baseline?

Only through wisdom (panna). And that takes insight into the processes of mind!

RE: 'Before concepts'?
Answer
12/30/13 8:28 PM as a reply to Ian And.
I started meditating a while ago and have used all sorts of methods, though particularly noting, metta, and choiceless awareness practices. I had insights into non-duality and emptiness. Recently I have been paying a lot of attention to when I start trying to 'conceptualize': judging, thinking about the past or future, having preferences, trying to understand my experience. I purposely let those things go. Once all or most or much of those concepts are gone, I enter this state where everything seems perfect, vibratory, and pretty selfless. Sometimes it's almost like I don't recognize objects, though I seem to get along fine, even when doing highly technical things or interacting with other people.

I don't consider it an 'afterglow' because it happens for days and weeks at a time even outside of formal meditation.

RE: 'Before concepts'?
Answer
12/30/13 11:04 PM as a reply to green tea.
Okay, green tea, that's much better in terms of the detail I need. Now I have something to work with.

It does seem, from this description, as though what you are experiencing is equanimity within a state of passaddhi.

green tea:
I started meditating a while ago and have used all sorts of methods, though particularly noting, metta, and choiceless awareness practices. I had insights into non-duality and emptiness.

Recently I have been paying a lot of attention to when I start trying to 'conceptualize': judging, thinking about the past or future, having preferences, trying to understand my experience. I purposely let those things go. Once all or most or much of those concepts are gone, I enter this state where everything seems perfect, vibratory, and pretty selfless.

Your work in this area is the same as that of the person striving to achieve "bare attention" as that term is used and described in Nyanaponika Thera's classic book The Heart Of Buddhist Meditation. Bare attention, in the same way that the practice of equanimity does, attempts to get the practitioner to filter out prejudices and biases in viewing phenomena in order to just see it just as it is, in plain unadorned terms, neither liking or disliking, with an evenness of mind and view in order to see it as it is: as impermanent, unsatisfactory, and without self nature.

This is not really a state per se, but rather a new (different and more accurate) way of perceiving phenomena. Accurate in the sense that it does not bring with it preconceived notions about the phenomenon. Therefore, one doesn't develop what can sometimes be irrational ideas and reactions to the phenomenon, causing one to experience dukkha.

green tea:

Sometimes it's almost like I don't recognize objects, though I seem to get along fine, even when doing highly technical things or interacting with other people.

Yes. This is just a phase you are experiencing. It, too, will pass given time. I used to have the same experience. You just have to become used to it, and the "feeling" of not recognizing things will also eventually pass. This is just your reaction to this new way of perceiving things. As it becomes a more familiar way of being, it loses that sense of being a special experience and becomes integrated into your normal view of things.

green tea:

I don't consider it an 'afterglow' because it happens for days and weeks at a time even outside of formal meditation.

"Afterglow," in the way I was using it, doesn't have a time limitation on it (unless the interpreter – oneself – wishes to place one on it). An afterglow, then, can last several minutes to several hours to several days to several weeks.