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Alaya (Skt. ālaya; Tib. ཀུན་གཞི་, kun shyi; Wyl. kun gzhi) — the universal ground or basis. Longchenpa describes alaya in this way:

“It is unenlightenment and a neutral state, which belongs to the category of mind and mental events, and it has become the foundation of all karmas and ‘traces’ of samsara and nirvana.”[1]

༈ ངོ་བོ་ནི་སེམས་སེམས་བྱུང་གིས་ཉེ་བར་བསྡུས་པས་འཁོར་འདས་ཀྱི་ལས་དང་བག་ཆགས་ཐམས་ཅད་ཀྱི་རྟེན་དུ་གྱུར་པ་སྟེ། མ་རིག་པའི་ལུང་མ་བསྟན་ཏེ།

In the Lamdré teachings however, it refers to the indivisible union of awareness and emptiness. This is also how the term is used when it appears in the Seven Points of Mind Training.


  1. From the Treasury of Word and Meaning; translation from Tulku Thondup in The Practice of Dzogchen (Ithaca: Snow Lion, 1996 & 2002), page 211.

Further Reading

  • Tulku Thondup, The Practice of Dzogchen (Ithaca: Snow Lion, 1996), pages 210-212.

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