Have you ever met someone who was so passionate about a complex topic, and had the ability to make it easy to understand – even if you were new to it?
That's how art educator Jennifer Morrissy felt when she met Sri Terry Coe at the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam Institute for Vedanta and Sanskrit in rural Pennsylvania.
The focus of Coe’s discussion, comes from the final portion of the Vedas, known as Vedanta or Upanishad, and addresses the fundamental goal of a human’s life: the desire for complete, unqualified self-acceptance. Achieving this goal allows a person to “settle accounts” emotionally with oneself and the world.
People often think first of the pleasure found through experiences, or relationships, or certain objects, and therefore pursue these as a way of achieving lasting happiness.
These pursuits are never completely successful, however, because they are never really fulfilling, and it tends to produce dependence on a repetition of the experience. But because this seems to be the only method we know and see around us, we continue the “pursuit of happiness,” which is an endless chase.
According to Coe, Vedanta says, "You're already acceptable, so you can put that aside and stop worrying about it. And once you stop worrying, you can relax and enjoy the process of discovery!"
Despite your inborn sense of limitation, inadequacy, and want, which drives you to seek happiness from external circumstances, Vedanta reveals that what you seek, you already have.
The reality of the individual is wholeness, also known as happiness, love, and peace. It is a fact about yourself that is to be understood. Vedanta is "a practical examination of reality, an objective analysis of who you take yourself to be. There is truly nothing mystic about it."
Morrissy was struck when Coe helped her realized that "this philosophy is so contrary to the teachings that so many of us become identified with, that we are sinners and separate from God."
She hopes that Coe's talk "will help attendees see that the reason we still our bodies and our minds through yoga is so that we can come to understand these beautiful truths that indeed can help set us free from limited consciousness".
World Yoga Center is located at 265 West 72nd Street (off West End Ave). The talk is free and open to the public with chair seating available on a first come basis. Donations for the Arsha Vidya Gurukulum will be accepted and appreciated.