Showing posts with label Ryan Burton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ryan Burton. Show all posts


    *This is for anyone going through dark night or difficulties in life or practice
    When I first discovered Buddhism I found the first noble truth to be pessimistic. Later of course I understood it in full. When I was 10 years old I was detained for shoplifting. I thought my Dad would disown me. He embraced me and said “Son I’ll always love you no matter what you do… but you’re also grounded until further notice” lol. I remember that moment so clearly. The smell of marlboro reds, his green eyes. His kindness.
    As a teenager I was so angry at him. So full of rage. He had drug problems and over the next several years I watched his slow decay. I was angry that he couldn’t be there for me. I was angry at myself for not being able to tell him that. When I was 18 I did my first 10-day Vipassana retreat and a year later did a 90-day retreat in Thailand. During our last phone call he told me how proud he was of me for finding something I loved and was committed to. How lucky was I that the last words I ever said to him were I love you.
    Just a few weeks later my father fell into a coma his lungs collapsed from a lifetime of smoking and a decade of meth. He was almost entirely brain dead from asphyxiation, but had minor activity remaining in the brain stem, enough to keep his body alive. The night we got the news my Grandmother was sitting on a couch and my mother, aunt and I were kneeling on the floor around her. Crying she patted our heads and she put her hands in prayer and all she could say was “we have to be strong…” In that moment I saw how powerless and helpless we were. In times like that all you can do is kneel.
    He took his last breath, the blood drained from his face and I understood the meaning of the word dukkha. My doubts about the Buddha’s first truth were cleared. All my hopes and dreams that my father would get better one day, along with the boy who held to them… died with him. In the years that followed my family suffered financial hardships, we nearly lost our home to foreclosure. I had no idea what to do with my life anymore.
    Only very recently have I gained some success and stability. For 7 years after he passed everything I touched failed. I flunked out of college, couldn’t hold down a job for longer than a year and a half. Got a new girlfriend every year or two. No one was there to teach me how to become a man so I sought that fatherly figure in spiritual teachers and bosses ultimately to be sorely disappointed.
    There were times when I had no one. No one believed in me anymore. Even my best friend had abandoned me. I quit my job with special needs children in my early 20’s to be a rideshare driver at night because I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. I ate a lot of fried sweet potatoes because I was broke from being too lazy to drive as much as I should have lol. I had nothing not even myself to rely on.
    On those hopeless nights I still crossed my legs, straightened my back and meditated. I still read and sat day after day and even though every area of my life had fallen apart… I still had this dharma. One day after so many long years of being lost, all those retreats, the thousands of hours I sat, the teachers I lived with and left, all my wandering and seeking… it was all worth it when Presence and non-duality dawned and I was forever changed.
    I realized then just as I know now that no sit is wasted. No hour spent reading is worthless. No moment of seeking is in vain. I’m still no enlightened man, but compared to what I used to be… this path killed so much unwholesomeness that was in me. I’m always amazed to see so many awakened people be so functional— doctors, lawyers, bankers, programmers. I could barely tie my shoes until just a couple years ago.
    Tomorrow is my father’s birthday on the side of the world most of you are reading this from. I thought I’d take it as a time to share what some people say is a good story 🙏. Here's my old man below. Happy Birthday Dad!



  • Yin Ling
    Your dad would be so proud of you ❤️

    Ryan Burton
    aw thank you yin 🙏❤️

  • Erik Thulin
    Heartfelt sharing Ryan Burton 🙏🏻

  • James Liaw
    Do the path whether u feel good or otherwise.. As it leads to end of suffering.. As what ajahn achalo says..

  • Judy Sehling
    Amazing where you are today, healed from your past, and now inspiring and making positive impacts on many lives. 🙏🏻💖

  • Damian Hardy
    Thank you 🙏❤

  • Emma Smith
    So much love here ❤. I just went on a journey with you. Thank you so much for sharing ❤🙏

  • Rakesh Sandhu
    Thank you for sharing that Ryan Burton your dad would be proud.

  • Kornelia Heidegger
    "Be your own light", thanx for sharing! ❤

  • Joseph Kippen
    Beautiful ❤️

  • Mohammed Danny
    Thanks for sharing, beautiful read

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Shared with john tan, he said
    “Wow... thks for sharing this soh. 👍🙏

  • CJ Ro
    I feel your amazing energy 🙏

  • Dhruba Chapain
    Beautiful 🥰❤️

  • Reply
  • 57m


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 , , etc

Then as John Tan told Yin Ling in -- you might resonate with Mahamudra and Zen (particularly Soto Zen / Dogen) teachers. As for Mahamudra, maybe check out Thrangu Rinpoche ( ) and the other late Mahamudra teachers like Dakpo Tashi Namgyal and Khamtrul Rinpoche (some articles can be found in AtR blog like , and )

"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

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

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:

On Maha and Total Exertion / Soto Zen :