Awakening is clearly something that happens to a living being, altering their perspective or revealing fundamental truths, however you wish to express it, and, while those fundamental truths might be expressed in ways that involve words like "empty of a self", still, it is the sensations that previously made up both self and other that are revealed in some very vivid, clear, immediate, transformative way.
Thus, when they awaken, from their vantage pointless vantage point, the whole field of their unique experience is awakened, but, as basically everyone who has awakened and asked other people if their awakening suddenly awakened everyone else, the answer is "no".
So, while it can't really quite be called an "individual thing", still, it clearly happens to an individual, or a unique sense field, or however you wish to put it. When the Buddha awakened, for example, he still clearly noticed that his awakening didn't awaken everyone, as everyone else also noticed.
I suggested something along these lines above -
Queequeg wrote:On Zhiyi, he also posits a threefold truth - the two truths plus the middle way which he equates with Buddha nature. In the threefold formulation the bias in favor of emptiness over the conditioned you find in some interpretations is rejected and then related to Buddha-nature, but with the three being one and three and both and neither.
I think this relates to your question in the sense that this approach affirms, denies, affirms and denies, and neither affirms nor denies individuality. The way I take it is, our sense of individuality has some basis, but not in a solid and immutable way. The terms I think about it is
I am a particular nexus point in time and space that is dependently originated with the dharmadhatu. This nexus point is unique in the dharmadhatu. It is a unique vantage point. This is the truth of the conditioned.
The dependently originated nature of that nexus reveals it's lack of inherent essence - the truth of emptiness.
And yet, that nexus is indestructible, irreducible, and a particular arrangement of the dharmadhatu. If that nexus is marked by delusion, the dharmadhatu is organized as samsara. If delusion is eradicated, it is 'organized' as Buddhahood.
This is probably a different approach than described in your quote above, but I think provides a straight forward framework that takes the mystery out of anatta and sunyata.
In Madhyamika, dharmas are empty precisely because they are dependently arisen. There really is nothing more to it at this level of the explanation. The confusion, it seems to me, arises with the attempt to directly "experience" emptiness, or alternatively anatta - these are more or less similar insights.
By defining the Individual as a nexus, or alternately, a "vantage point" to describe it in subjective way, I think you can neutralize a lot of the conceptual baggage that gets in the way of defining the "individual", and at the same time, clear the way for continuity of insight to the self (no-self) at subtler levels of realization.
But the question arises, what exactly is the medium of the nexus/vantage point?
Madhyamika as explained in the Karika is silent on this point, I think. I've heard Madhyamika described as setting forth the logic of the full middle - no matter how thoroughly the Madhyamika logic is applied, there is an indescribable remainder. My understanding is that this is where Yogacara picks up.
Zhiyi, strictly speaking, I think was outside the Yogacara lineage - his lineage traced to Nagarjuna through Kumarajiva. It appears he resolved the question of the full middle by positing the Inclusive Middle/Buddha Nature of what he described as the Round/Complete/Perfect Teaching. With the Two Truths of Madhyamika, this made Three Truths.
For a discussion of Zhiyi's Three Truths see Swanson's Tientai Philosophy, Ng's Tientai and Early Madhyamika, and Ziporyn's Emptiness and Omnipresence and/or Evil and/or/as the Good, Hurvitz' biography of Chih-i.
OK, that's the theoretical level -
All of this explaining Zhiyi did was instruction on meditation - the problematic "experience" at the heart of Buddhism. For Zhiyi, I think the "individuality" or nexus, or vantage point is not found in the realization of emptiness or the conditioned, but rather in the Middle Way/Buddhanature. Emptiness describes this Middle Way/Buddhanature, in a way, but not completely (hence Zhiyi's criticism of teachers who emphasized realization of Emptiness as "biased"), but so does the conditioned, in a way, but not completely. Rather, the Middle Way/Buddhanature seems to be the best description of the Budddha's seat of enlightenment, in a way, but not completely. Zhiyi seems to explain in his opus, Mohozhikuan, this seat of enlightenment in terms of the Three Thousand Realms in a Single Moment of Thought.
As best I can tell, this Three Thousand in One describes the Direct Experience that has been mentioned above. Direct Experience seems to me is a description of reality experiencing itself through the particular vantage that is the individual, tempered by the negation of the bias of universal atman, of course.
All this is kind of summed up in a a statement I saw on a sign affixed to the wall around Higashi Honganji, the head temple of Jodo Shinshu -
Now, life is living you.
I'm sure that I am less than articulate here.