Thich Nhat Hanh: The Four Layers of Consciousness
The Inner Workings of Our Minds
Abhidharma, Buddhism’s map of the mind, is sometimes treated as a topic of merely intellectual interest. In fact, says Thich Nhat Hanh, identifying the different elements of consciousness, and understanding how they interact, is essential to our practice of meditation.
The Vietnamese Zen Master, Thuong Chieu, said:
When we understand how our mind works, our practice becomes easy.
To understand our minds, we need to understand our consciousness.
The Buddha taught that consciousness is always continuing, like a stream of water. Consciousness has four layers. The four layers of consciousness are mind consciousness, sense consciousness, store consciousness, and manas.