I was thinking about the six consciousnesses (vijnanas
) and a question arose. (Yes, I know that there are traditions which have seven or eight consciousnesses, but I don’t think it’s relevant to my question.)
My understanding of the Buddhist teaching is:
- there’s eye consciousness, ear consciousness, nose consciousness, tongue consciousness, body consciousness, and mind consciousness
- that a sense object makes contact with the sense organ and this gives rise to the sense consciousness.
For example, eye consciousness arises when light (the sense object) makes contact with the eye (the sense organ) and this gives rise to seeing (eye consciousness). And ear consciousness arises when sound waves (the sense object) make contact with the ear (the sense organ) and this gives rise to hearing (ear consciousness).
And that this applies to mind consciousness; that mind consciousness arises when thoughts (the sense objects) make contact with the mind giving rise to thinking (mind consciousness).
If I’ve erred or omitted something, please correct.
My question is this: I understand that light reflected from objects and making contact with the eye gives rise to eye consciousness, but how do thoughts which are sensed by the mind giving rise to mind consciousness arise?
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism
“The most straightforward advice on awakening enlightened mind is this: practice not causing harm to anyone—yourself or others—and every day, do what you can to be helpful.” Pema Chodron, “What to Do When the Going Gets Rough”