Comparing with Numata edition of MA 2, I saw this footnote which explains the scribal error:
THE MADHYAMA ĀGAMA
Le zhu shi, Pāli sukha-vihāra. In the Chinese textual tradition the final character shi,
“room, abode,” is sometimes mistaken as kong, “emptiness.” Another variant is ding,
That kong/空 is a scribal error is supported by the lack of a corresponding
term in the Pāli version of the formula.
In the third jhana formula, Charles has:
“Furthermore, the noble disciple parts with joy and desire, and he is equanimous without further pursuit. With right mindfulness and right knowledge, he personally experiences the happiness that’s described by the nobles as the noble’s equanimity, mindfulness, happy abode, and emptiness. He attains the accomplishment of the third meditation. The noble disciple then is called ‘growing buds like bird beaks’ like the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven’s Pārijāta Tree growing buds like bird beaks.
It should just read “happy abode”, without “and emptiness”.
Also another question for Charles, can you explain how you arrived at the translation
he personally experiences the happiness that’s described by the nobles
(from pali “sukham ca kayena patisavedi” / pleasure (with the) body (身) (he) experiences)?
How do you understand the word “personal” in this context, or more importantly, how do you expect the audience to understand that to mean, in this 3rd jhana context?