Nicolae Tanase: John, what is the meaning of life?
John Two-Hawks: “What is the meaning of life?”, a question human beings have pondered for centuries. And yet, the answer is surprisingly simple. It’s only the explaining and understanding of that simple answer that can get complicated!
So… is it purpose? Yes, having a reason for your life does give it meaning. In our Lakota way, we seek out that purpose through a custom called Hanbleciyapi — the crying for a vision, or vision quest, in which we go up on the mountain alone for several days and nights to ask Spirit to give us a vision for our life. So purpose is definitely a part of the meaning of life. But so is laughter! Yes, I said laughter. Finding and enjoying things that make you smile and laugh are also necessary to give meaning to our life.
What about service? Of course! There is nothing that enriches our lives more than those times when we serve. Whether it be another human being, or just the greater good, when we serve, we find meaning. We also find meaning through learning and enlightenment. Spiritual, emotional and intellectual growth help us to see the world and our lives through eyes more open, more illuminated and with more meaning. And then there is the biggie… love. Ohhhh yes, experiencing the power of love gives great meaning to our lives in both broad and intimate ways. But even love is only a part of that simple answer to the question, ‘what is the meaning of life?’.
So, what is it? What is the answer?!! My friends, the profoundly simple answer is this: the meaning of life, is to live. Yes, it is that simple, and yet how many of us do it? How many of us really live, and live fully? Having a vision, being enlightened, serving and loving, and experiencing laughter and happiness are the tenets of a life fully lived. Listen to your inner voice, it will tell you of your purpose, the gifts you have to give. Take the time to breathe in the beauty of your world, to celebrate its wonder and its mystery. So live, my friends. Live fully. Fully present in all your moments. Fully alive all of your days. For when you are fully alive, there is no need to ask, ‘what is the meaning of life?’.
~John Two-Hawks is a Grammy® and Emmy® nominated, Platinum Award winning recording artist whose music has been featured in movies by Fox Searchlight, films by HBO, and programs by The History Channel. A veteran Native American flute virtuoso, Two-Hawks has toured throughout the world, performing for audiences as large as 12,000. John, whose Lakota name is Siyotanka (Big/Great Flute), belongs to the Oglala Lakota community, and it is from this cultural lineage that the soul of all his music is born. As well as his established reputation as a recording artist, John is also an award winning stage and screen actor, a published author, and a gifted inspirational keynote speaker who has shared the speaking stage with former U.S. Presidents, acting U.S. Senators and Hollywood celebrities.
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