(Sanskrit अलय, a, "not"; laya, from the verb-root li, "to dissolve"; hence Alaya means "the indissoluble." Also alaya-vijnana. In Tibetan: kunshi namshe) In the Mahayana Yogachara school of Buddhism, alaya is considered to be a base function of Consciousness, the ground Consciousness or storehouse Consciousness, the base Consciousness of everything that exists, from which everything arises. It is said to contain the seeds or germs of experience. As a "storehouse" it is said to be karmically neutral but perpetuates habitual patterns.
"Immense is the ineffable joy of those Diamond Souls who became lost within the great Alaya of the universe. [...] Alaya is the Anima Mundi of Plato, the Super-Soul of Emerson, submitted to incessant periodical changes. Alaya is in itself eternal and immutable; however, it suffers tremendous changes during the Mahamanvantaric manifestation. The Yogacharyas from the Mahayana school state that Alaya is the personification of the Illuminating Void. It is unquestionable that Alaya is the living foundation of the seven cosmos... [...] Alaya, even being eternal and immutable in its essence, reflects itself within every object of the universe, just as the moon does in the clear and tranquil water. [...] The Cosmic Consciousness, the great Alaya of the Universe, must awaken within each human being. Nevertheless, we make emphasis of the necessity of not confusing the Consciousness with the Absolute." —Samael Aun Weor, Cosmic Teachings of a Lama
"As for this sparkling awareness, which is called "mind,"
Even though one says that it exists, it does not actually exist.
(On the other hand) as a source, it is the origin of the diversity of all the bliss of Nirvana and all of the sorrow of Samsara.
And as for it's being something desirable; it is cherished alike in the Eleven Vehicles [of dharma].
With respect to its having a name, the various names that are applied to it are inconceivable (in their numbers).
Some call it "the nature of the mind" or "mind itself."
Some Tirthikas call it by the name Atman or "the Self."
The Sravakas call it the doctrine of Anatman or "the absence of a self."
The Chittamatrins call it by the name Chitta or "the Mind."
Some call it the Prajnaparamita or "the Perfection of Wisdom."
Some call it the name Tathagata-garbha or "the embryo of Buddhahood."
Some call it by the name Mahamudra or "the Great Symbol."
Some call it by the name "the Unique Sphere."
Some call it by the name Dharmadhatu or "the dimension of Reality."
Some call it by the name Alaya or "the basis of everything."
And some simply call it by the name "ordinary awareness." —Padmasambhava, Self Liberation through Seeing with Naked Awareness
"The Alaya Consciousness is the good earth,
The inner teaching is the seed that is sowed,
Achievement in Meditation is the sprout,
And the three bodies of the Buddha are the ripened crop.
These are the four lasting mainstays of heavenly farming." —Milarepa