Ok, here’s the dilemna. You have two images open in Photoshop and you want to add one image as a layer mask into the other.
One solution is to copy the first image, then switch to the second. Click the layer mask and switch to the Channels palette. The layer mask appears as a channel. Select the channel’s visibility icon to make it visible, select the channel to make it active, and click Edit, Paste. Deselect its visiblity, reselect the RGB channel to make that one active, switch back to your Layers palette and the pasted selection is in your layer mask. This solution has the advantage that the copied/pasted piece doesn’t have to be the same size as the layer mask.
The alternate solution if the two images are the same size, is to use Apply Image. Select the target layer mask, choose Image, Apply Image and, as the Source, select the image to copy from, the layer to copy and click Ok. Now the selected layer (or the merged source) is pasted into the Layer Mask.
Two alternatives, the second is easier to use but it does require two same size images.