Aligning With Interdependence

Recently, we hosted a IG live conversation between contemplative guide Kirat Randhawa and Manoj Dias, founder of the mindfulness studio Open, around the notion of interdependence. As a follow-up to their conversation, Manoj offers a few tools for honoring this quality. 

One of the most important pillars of the meditative journey is the notion of interdependence: a quality that illustrates the subtle connectedness of all things within the fabric of reality.  Essentially, this principle teaches that no one thing can stand alone without the benefit or support of some other thing - be it a person, a system, or mother nature herself.  The events of the past year have shown the world just how interrelated we all truly are, and as Buddhist meditation teacher Manoj Dias stated, “my health depends on your health, and your health depends on my health.” 

Honoring interdependence can manifest in a variety of ways: from respecting the earth, acknowledging the origins of our food, celebrating the preciousness of human responsibility, and paying homage to the roots of our spiritual practice. With this perspective in mind it becomes clear to see how everything in life is embedded within a complex life cycle of reciprocity and by aligning with this process, we can easily cultivate gratitude for all the ways we are taken care of and take care of others. In a recent conversation Kirat Randhawa, Manoj Dias shares a few of his tools for resting in this reality while giving himself space to learn and grow alongside:

1. When working with spiritual and indigenous practices, find a trusted teacher that can share their wisdom, provide skillful guidance, and offer clarity when you’re losing touch with the root of the practice(s)

2. Developing loving connections with community members who can offer support in applying teachings and practices from wisdom traditions into modern life

3. Whether it’s working with a mentor, or finding solace in a community, take the time to remain connected to the core values of your life by engaging in study, deepening your practice, spending time in solitude, taking a break from social media, etc. These can help to restore clarity as to what is most important 

4. Develop patience and compassion! It’s easy to get swept away by the demands and desires of everyday life, and it happens to everyone, so be gentle with yourself as you learn to align with the rest of the world while balancing your own needs 

5. Start small. In order to awaken to your inherent relationality with nature, practice contemplation, connect with news in a healthy way, and spend time reflecting on the current state of the world

6. Learn the art of balancing east and west. While honoring the wisdom from Eastern traditions, celebrating the beauty that Western philosophy and medicine has to offer can create room to implement the two harmoniously 

Despite how complex this notion may seem, it’s helpful to remember that when we start to pay attention, it becomes quite simple. Interdependence arises in the coffee we drink in the morning when we reflect upon the farmers who nurture the coffee beans, the feel of fabric as we get dressed and think about those who designed the clothing to those who produced them in factories, and today, rejoicing in health and vitality as we bring to mind the essential workers that have worked tirelessly to keep the world alive and healthy. Whether it’s spending more time in the natural world, being more thoughtful about consumption choices, or cultivating more gratitude for the natural ecosystem of society, how can you strengthen your connection to interdependence?

To listen to the conversation between Manoj and Kirat, head to our Instagram account @StandardDose