Interbeing: Cosmos resides in you

Many times, we have heard from the young…

My Life.. My Rules…. And My Wish

or even

Its my body and soul, I have to live with it.. and I will do whatever I feel like…


When I look back to my life, I might have said this many times to my parents or even sometimes teachers. And now we even hear this from many grown adults. Unfortunately, I no longer believe in these statements. Recently, when I was reading and researching for my book, I came across the concept of ‘Interbeing’. And I thought, It will be appropriate and fitting to share it with everyone, which inspired me to write this blogpost.

While I was researching about my book ‘What School Doesn’t Teach You’, I came across the concept of ‘Interbeing’ professed by a Buddhist Vietnamese spiritual leader named Thich Nhat Hanh. What I loved about the concept was a unique philosophy of dependent origination. As doctrine, interbeing is the Buddha’s doctrine of Dependent Origination, particularly within a Mahayana Buddhist perspective.

The concept of interbeing suggest that, every atom or molecule present in the living world and space is connected to each other. Each and every living and non-living thing visible or invisible are connected with causality and effect. Initially, this concept found its place in ‘Spiritual World’, but now this concept is finding place in business ecosystems and management thought.  Let’s understand this, bit with more detail may  be with a simple example.

Imagine, for a moment, a beautiful flower growing in your flower pot at home or even in your surroundings or near a jogging path. Looking into a flower, we can see that it is full of life and colours, beauty and energy. Now if you take a look at the flower slightly more closely, we can see the flower contains essence of soil, rain, and sunshine. Now, soil which contains essential minerals and nutrition for the plant has been formed by millions of years of planet evolution and contains energies and synergies of materials from the cosmos. Similarly, rain has the essence of clouds, sun, oceans and many transformation properties. And the flower itself contains the virtues of propagating life forward and pass these essences to next seed, which will eventually become a brand new flower and plant. So, one could easily conclude that, the whole cosmos resides in one little inconsequential flower. And the flower itself is knitted in grand scheme of a wider canvas.

Conversely, If we took out just one of these “non-flower” elements, the flower would not be there. Without the soil’s nutrients, the flower could not grow. Without rain and sunshine, the flower would die. And if we removed all the non-flower elements, there would be nothing substantive left that we could call a “flower.” So our observation tells us that the flower is full of the whole cosmos, while at the same time it is empty of a separate self-existence. The flower cannot exist by itself alone. We too are full of so many things and yet empty of a separate self. Like the flower, we contain earth, water, air, sunlight, and warmth. We contain space and consciousness. We contain essence and meaning from our ancestors, our parents and grandparents, education, food, and culture. The whole cosmos has come together to create the wonderful manifestation that we are. If we remove any of these “non-us” elements, we will find there is no “us” left.

Similarly, any big corporation of thousands of associates or any small startup business (professional or home driven) is a conglomeration of personal synergies, culture, partnerships, resources and execution. All of these components are human energy and intent driven. Which in turn is derived by the nascent energy of cosmos and surroundings. And if you take out any of the component from the equation, the whole setup collapses and becomes non-existent. One can easily conclude that, concept of interbeing is not only applicable but also significant for business conversations.

Since, we all are interconnected with each other and reality of being a separate self is just an illusion, which we all think we can be. Once, we accept this dimension of our lives. A lot many problems and dilemmas we have become lot more clearer and we understand ourselves or even world around us slightly better than earlier. Personally, this thought of interbeing has affected me a in positive way and has led me to give a fresh and new perspective to my thoughts and new dimension to my own spirituality.

So, its not about:

My Life.. My Rules…. And My Wish

or even

Its my body and soul, I have to live with it.. and I will do whatever I feel like…

Its about:

Our lives and Our Rules….

The body has been given to me for some task and then will be passed on to someone else.


Nihit M

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Who is Nihit Mohan?

Nihit Mohan is a banker, author and a TEDx speaker. He was born & raised in the cradle of cultural diversity of India, & currently resides in Singapore. He did his education from seven schools spread across multiple cities & cultures. He is an engineer by education & has made a successful career in the financial services industry. He hails from a family of engineers, bureaucrats & academicians.

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What School Doesn't Teach You