Saturday, November 22, 2008


Deathlessness is lost to him whose mindfulness goes outwards, but when he stays mindful of his body, he holds deathlessness in his hand. Where is the noble plan of a man lacking mindfulness? And if he does not have a noble plan, then he has lost the true path.

Saundarananda 14.42, trans. Linda Covill

"Noble plan" in Linda Covill's translation is AARYO NYAAYAH.
AARYO means Aryan, noble.
NYAAYA is as in the phrase discussed previously NYAAYENA YUKTAA SMIRTIH, mindfulness yoked to a leading thought, or a plan, or a means-whereby principle.

So here is another clue as to what Ashvaghosha meant by NYAAYA -- Ashvaghosha evidently had in mind not something that is base and coarse, not something swilling around in the world of what FM Alexander called "lowly evolved swine" (ordinary, subconsciously-controlled human beings who are going around the whole time simply reacting to stimuli perceived through the senses, on the basis of faulty sensory appreciation which is rooted in immature vesibular reflexes and smeared with the poison of fixed and wrong conceptions).

I think that Ashvaghosha, with the word AARYO, is pointing our human heads not back and down into our bodies, as if we were fearful turtles, but courageously forward and up towards what FM Alexander called "conscious control, as primarily a plane to be reached."

What was I taught by Marjory Barlow, the niece of FM Alexander, if not mindfulness of my own body, yoked to the noble principle of inhibition?

What is the fundamental teaching of Zen Master Dogen, if not the forgetting of my own body, through conscious effort to remember it, through the backward step of turning light and glowing?

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