Excellence Reporter: Peter, what is the meaning of life?
Peter Sterios: Well, it’s simple… whenever I am faced with a profound question like this, I seek the advice and wisdom of my most dependable guru, our family’s 2-year-old dog, and he never disappoints… For this question his answer was immediate – to love everybody (except maybe the cat next door).
Of course this question has a lot to do with whose life we’re referring to. Over 40 years of practicing yoga, I’ve been aware many times that my point of reference for living in this universe is unique, yet somehow intimately intertwined with every living being on earth – simultaneously a meaningful life is both personal and global. Also, we as a global community have become very human centric and often forget other living beings have perception, have intelligence, and live in ways we cannot normally perceive.
Beyond this planet, I have a deep sense every time I look up into a clear night sky and see stars beyond my imagination expanding infinitely beyond my gaze – that the form of being humans live is likely not the only form of intelligent being. Or similarly, when I turn my gaze inward, and realize the form of being my inner life has is part of an infinite galaxy of cells and subtle body relationships that I have domain over within my ego-based consciousness. We all are literally swimming in a vast sea of internal and external states of being that miraculously manifest into our individual bodies that have a multitude of experiences on earth to learn and grow from. And exactly why we are here to learn and grow is another mysterious question. Truth is, I’m unclear how to answer that as well. I do know that we all have control over how we relate or react to the entertaining journey our lives experience, full of curiosity, wonder, joy, gratitude, delight, birth, death, sadness, grief, anger, fear, laughter, ecstasy, and love.
In my human experience of being, meaning is greatest when I live a life motivated by love. When I look at other levels of being, (ie galactic or molecular), the definition of love appears to me as bonding, which is essentially the yoga found in nature.
~Peter Sterios, teacher, author, architect, founder of MANDUKA® and LEVITYoGA™, Peter taught yoga at the White House for First Lady Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity programs over 3 years, and in 2018, was invited to the Pentagon to share yoga’s therapeutic effects with the US Marine Corps. His first DVD “Gravity & Grace” made Yoga Journal’s “Top 15 Yoga Videos of All Time”, and his first book “Gravity & Grace”, published by Sounds True, is a 2019 Nautilus Book Award Gold Medal Winner. Peter lives with his wife and daughter in San Luis Obispo CA and leads Teacher Trainings, Workshops, and Retreats globally and online. For more info, visit:
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