Ryan Burton

90 day cycle since breakthrough is over. Duality has not re-emerged. Reactive mind is there like getting annoyed, but doesn’t come from anywhere. Recently have taken some major hits and losses in personal life. There was a correction in the stock market 40 days ago or so. I lost half a years worth of work in a couple hours 🤣 and even had some major conflicts happened professionally.
Probably would’ve hurt a lot more a year ago, but I was surprisingly ok. Seems I don’t experience affliction as something that happens to a “me” anymore. It just happens. I noticed that suffering is actually, for the most part, more acute than it used to be, in the sense that there’s no resistance to it now. It doesn’t last after it arises. No internal commentary after the fact.
Seems nothing comes from anywhere. AtR map is quite correct in that 100 days ago with the collapse of the subject-object split that appearances seem more vivid and even more real than before.
It’s like life in HD lol, which I’d say is still the case but now there’s a clear sense of illusoriness that is becoming prominent. Presence is certainly empty and per AtR instructions Presence is experienced as absence.
So radically different from the witness stage and even the initial breakthrough 100 days ago. There’s the growing understanding and perception that nothing is substantial. Thought is empty and can’t be found. Feeling is empty, can’t be found. Sensation is empty, can’t be found. Visual and auditory perceptions are empty, can’t be found.
No internal or external— that’s been permanent. I’ve even attempted to experience duality. Tried to re-experience separation. Doesn’t work. Was sick with covid for a month no effect on the natural state even suffering and pain is empty presence.
About three weeks ago received advice to understand emptiness and non-arisen so have begun on that. I drove up from LA to San Francisco to meet Peter Brown the author of Yoga of Radiant Presence in person. I asked him a few questions and his answers were pretty good. I asked him to explain emptiness and non-arising. His answer is summarized by “If there are no objects, how can they arise?”
I also asked him about the difference between experiencing duality and non-duality. His response was that neither could be found so comparisons are useless lol. He’s very much the do nothing, there’s nothing to be done, nothing can be done because nothing ever is done— kind of guy.
Which imo for people at later stages can be useful, but I suspect most people who listen to him don’t understand what he’s saying when he’s talking about the “no here, no now” level of insight. A person at the lunch meet said “this is too non-dual for me” 😆.
Anyway so reality is more or less a superhuman experience at this point. Perceptions are so vivid, clear, crisp yet now this sense of empty and illusory is beginning to permeate experience. This sense that the sound I’m hearing is not there, the words I’m saying aren’t said. Nothing can be found or pinpointed.
No subject and no object initially was the craziest thing ever, but now it’s normal. I notice things get pretty miraculous, very Maha very quickly if my eyes are open and if I’m outside walking for example. The degree of moment to moment continuity or recognition or mindfulness still isn’t too impressive most of the day attention is absorbed in work or whatever.
Emptiness really is different and I’m beginning to understand why this is the insight necessary for liberation. Everything being open, free, spontaneous and empty. It certainly wasn’t possible in the I Am Everything phase when everything is perceived as Self and even past that when the background isn’t a Self but is still perceived as substantial.
Looking back it feels very strange finding AtR while in earlier phases and after collapse of the foreground background split, seeing how clearly Thusness phases matched up with how things unfolded. I spent 3 or 4 years oscillating between I Am and I Am Everything/One Mind. It’s much more natural now.
Still haven’t read the full ATR guide so forgive me if I mix up phases and use terminology incorrectly here. If anyone has further advice on emptiness and non-arisen please share. I’ve read some articles on the blog already on that but am continuing to review them.


Glad to hear of your good progress.

Should meet Kyle Dixon in San Francisco. He is very clear. All his writings are worth reading, like http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2021/05/kyle-dixon-on-dependent-origination-and.html , http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2014/10/advise-from-kyle_10.html , www.awakeningtoreality.com/2012/03/a-sun-that-never-sets.html etc

Then as John Tan told Yin Ling in http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2022/03/gelug-and-non-gelug-insights.html -- you might resonate with Mahamudra and Zen (particularly Soto Zen / Dogen) teachers. As for Mahamudra, maybe check out Thrangu Rinpoche ( http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2022/01/all-thrangu-rinpoche-58-books-at-35.html ) and the other late Mahamudra teachers like Dakpo Tashi Namgyal and Khamtrul Rinpoche (some articles can be found in AtR blog like http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2015/12/self-liberation-by-khamtrul-rinpoche-iii.html , http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2020/06/the-royal-seal-of-mahamudra-volume-one.html and http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2008/11/few-excerpts-from-clarifying-natural.html )

"Still haven’t read the full ATR guide so forgive me if I mix up phases and use terminology incorrectly here. If anyone has further advice on emptiness and non-arisen please share. I’ve read some articles on the blog already on that but am continuing to review them."

The general advise for post anatta is as John Tan said in http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2022/01/dont-bombard-and-dont-stereotype.html

John Tan: "1. Extend the insight of anatta, the de-reification process to all events and phenomena. MMK comes handy here. It will help one investigate most of the subtle assumptions we held to be "true" in a hypnotic way.

2. Open up our body and go deeply into body-awareness. This is critical imo. Less intellectual activities and more body-awareness. Post anatta and along the path, due to the de-construction process, the energy released from unconscious holding of our mental constructs can be quite overwhelming. It may also be due to other reasons, for example, attachment to non-dual experiences and as a result it will cause discomfort to both our mind and body.

3. So opening up our body is key at this phase. The imbalance can be released by massage, non-inflammatory diet, qi gong, tai chi movements, yoga or any other body awareness exercises. Just open up our body and bring awareness to our body to complement the anatta insight and less intellectual activities.

4. If after that, the practitioner can intuit directly the relationship between mind, prana and body and wish to pursue his knowledge further on how the energy system works, they can then look for experienced teachers in this space to guide them. U r not into this, hence, do not advise ppl on what u r unsure and have no experience.

5. Lastly, bring the insight of anatta into our daily activities, meet conditions and engage. "

As for which MMK translation to read, you can find some suggestions here http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2021/06/anatta-and-post-anatta-mmk-etc.html

Also Acarya Malcolm Smith recently recommended a new translation as the best he's seen yet:

"The Coughlin translation is my preference these days, 'cause Buddhapalita."

"It is not possible to understand MMK without reading Buddhapalita, or, Bocking’s translation of the Pingala commentary preserved in Chinese."

The link: https://www.amazon.com/Buddhapalitas-Commentary-Nagarjunas-Treasury-Buddhist/dp/1949163202

On Maha and Total Exertion / Soto Zen : http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2018/12/being-time-by-shinshu-roberts.html



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