In Western culture, “brain” is the same as “consciousness”. In Buddhism, your brain is only a tool that connects to consciousness, like your eyes or ears. Consciousness is the ability to be aware of everything (our own physical senses and the surroundings). This ability has six functions and exists without form.

The relationship between consciousness, body and space

Eye Consciousness uses the eyes to sense brightness or darkness
Ear Consciousness uses the ears to sense sound or silence
Nose Consciousness uses the nose to sense smell or lack of smell
Tongue Consciousness uses the tongue to sense taste or tasteless
Body Consciousness uses the body to sense contact or separation
Mind Consciousness uses the mind to sense awareness or lack of awareness


Levels of consciousness

In Buddhism philosophy, consciousness can be described precisely by level.

For example: You might be wondering whether there is logic behind the people you spend time with, or get on with, or the ones you don’t find you mix well with.

This can be broken down into:


-Awareness ability

-Logic ability

-Body awareness ability




Transcribed from a class on the 27th of October, 2013.

4 thoughts on “Consciousness

  1. MInd consciousness is unlike the other senses. Awareness expands and occupies different states of perception or awareness in a unbounded way. When different states are achieved, changes often occur to the senses but this is due to the state of consciousness achieved. Taste without MInd can be trained but not evolved or transmuted in the way consciousness can.

  2. In meditation according to what I have learned from my spiritual teacher Sifu and have experienced myself, all the other sense consciousness can be the same like mind consciousness has no boundary. But it is only something you can experience when you know how to do deep meditation. Thank you for your sharing.

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