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Perfect Stillness and a Baseline Shift

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I don’t really know what has happened to me lately, but I’d like to document it here because I know my past self from the last few months would have been interested in the details.  I don’t know if it fits into anything talked about on here or not, but I’ve realized it doesn’t really matter that much.  I’ll avoid giving it any names since it’s the experience and its results that, I think, will be the most interesting to people.
 
So for the past few months I’ve been meditating pretty intensely.  I had a kind of bliss explosion around new years that set it all off (I wrote about it in my first post on here), and since then I’ve played around with a few methods.  I mainly settled into a “letting go” meditation where I would simply sit and accept whatever I happened to feel/experience at the time – as this is what set off the new years event.  I have a lot of free time, so I’ve been sitting for a number of hours each day.  Each morning I was going up the jhanas as well using body scanning for a minute or two to “get in the zone” and then just letting body awareness deepen into the bliss and onward.
 
Now, a few weeks ago I started experiencing an interesting throbbing in my head.  It’s a bit hard to explain what it actually feels like, but it has a kind of rocking or blinking quality, like a little paddle-wheel was flipping around in there back where the spine attaches – like right under that little ledge on the back of the skull.  It was directly connected to the “letting go” meditation, and I noticed that, as I found more things that I was trying to control or change and let go of them, the more intense that “whuping” would get.
 
Then about a week ago, I was laying in bed trying to keep a completely open panoramic awareness (something I was trying to do all day for a while), and these little fireworks started going off all over my scalp.  It felt like little currents of electricity running through or something.  There was an enormous amount of pressure as well, like a migraine headache without any pain.  I remember thinking that my brain must be rewiring itself or something, haha.  That’s what it felt like.  Between the third eye pressure and the pressure at the base of the skull it kind of felt like there was an arrow through my head.  None of it was particularly unpleasant, though.
 
This went on for quite a while, so I gave up trying to do anything and just rode on those funny throbbing waves since they are kind of pleasant.  I’m not really sure what I was thinking about or doing, I may have been in a drowsy sort of state, but out of nowhere this sudden “stillness” happened.  Now this phenomena is incredibly odd.  I was really disoriented after it happened.  The best way to describe it is that it was nothing, but I was aware of it.  It was like someone dropped a bottle of ink on my brain and it made a kind of non-sound like a “WHUMP”.  I think the sight/sound combination might have actually been the experience of losing sight and sound, if that makes sense?  All I can really say is that it was completely still, like my whole mind turned to ice.  It could be called blissful, but that doesn’t seem like the right word to use…
 
The after-effects were bizarre too.  I became completely insomniatic for a few days because every time I would relax in the slightest I could feel “the stillness” coming on, like a numbing sensation starting at the base of my skull.  It kept starting and stopping for hours because I’d feel it coming on, create expectations, and that would break it.  This “coming on” sensation reminded me of what I’d been calling the 8th jhana – a sinking into blackness with that funny ping-pong brain flopping.  It finally repeated fully again after I was able to stop becoming excited about it, but then the halfway there things started again.
 
During the first day I noticed I no longer had access to any kind of feelings.  I was locked into a kind of hyper-aware depersonalized state.  There were many times where I’d feel like an emotion was starting, but there was no physical sensation accompanying it and it would just disappear.  I mostly felt disoriented and non-pulsed that first day.  After a few days this effect lessened a bit – probably because I was sleeping again - but I’ve noticed a very reduced emotional response.  I used to get very embedded in my anxiety, and now that just doesn’t seem to happen.  It’s flared up once or twice, but it disappears within a minute and I kind of just wonder what happened to it.  My mind seems to let go of things very quickly now.  I’m also a lot more embedded in the senses.  It’s been very easy to practice open awareness during the day without feeling like I need to concentrate so hard on it.
 
That first day I was popping in and out of jhana all day as well.  I kept noticing I was in the 5th or 6th, and my vision felt very panoramic and spherical – like I’d be walking and the visual field would warp around in a very rounded way.  Some of this might have been related to sleep deprivation, though, it’s hard to say.
 
I haven’t had any kind of baseline shift before, so I don’t know if this qualifies, but it’s become clear that something has changed in the way I process emotional states and awareness.  I debated posting this since I don’t know what use it’ll be, but maybe someone else has experienced this as well?  At least it makes for an interesting read, haha…

RE: Perfect Stillness and a Baseline Shift
Answer
5/24/14 9:23 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Thanks for posting your experience.  I'd really be interested to see if it is a baseline shift, and how the not being embedded in anxiety holds up over time.

RE: Perfect Stillness and a Baseline Shift
Answer
6/6/14 12:08 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Letting go of everything can interrupt the feeling brain, the amygda or 'reptilian brain'.  It's located around the brain stem, the place under the bump in the skull you were talking about.
 It's a very old part of the brain that gives rise to emotion and instincts and such,  our sence of self, so by removing anything that gives rise to the self; by letting it go in order to be happy, you could potentially be rewiring it. 
 I've heard a few reports of activity in this region before a 'self' death. 
 The mind without a self (instincts) percieves sensory input without it being interpreted by 'me' (or the self in other words) so sensory input comes directly to perception rather than being interpreted by 'me'; (the feeling of what 'I' am, of 'being').
 Did you find a fascination with everyday things? Just the fact that anything existed?
 This is my experience, but I've found normally I process in past future present, but what makes the stillness is the absence of time, at least in the normal sense.
I found that looking for a 'now' didnt work, but in dropping the whole concept of time I perceive a moment that is happening but not moving, a vast stillness; the clocks tick but the moment isn't changing, and im left with an awareness of existance occurring just as it is in the sences, without a time stamp, boundary, or centre. 
And it's awesome.