Consciousness wave model – Zen and Advaita Vedanta


In the diagram shown, there are two models of consciousness/being. On the left hand side is a Zen Buddhist model of consciousness. The right hand side of the diagram is the model proposed by Vedanta, in which the concept of “bodies” (sharīra) is used.  Advaita Vedanta considers these bodies to be nothing but modifications of awareness itself, the “primary stuff” of existence. 

In the buddhist model, the first 6 levels of consciousness map very neatly into the vedantic (and actually samkhya) model of the five tanmatras (associated with the sense functions) and part of the mental apparatus that identifies with the body (ego). The mind, intellect aspect of the antahkarana seem to correlate with the level 7 (termed manas in the buddhist model) while the chitta aspect (storehouse of impressions) seems to correlate with the 8th level or “relative Alaya consciousness”. This also seems to correlate with the causal body (kārana sharira) which is said to contain the karmic seeds (samsakaras) from which spring forth actions and consequences in a cyclical manner. At level 9, is absolute Alaya consciousness,  “Formless Self or True-Nature”.