Take a moment to consider the type of relationship you desire….the aspects of the person with whom you want to share your life, the experiences you would like to have with a partner. Perhaps you have already drawn into your world someone who mirrors your deepest heart longing. How did you meet them? If you are single at the moment, ponder your intentions.
And then, ask yourself if you are willing to take a whole new look at what goes into a quality relationship. After reading the book For Seven Lifetimes: An East-West Journey To A Spiritually Fulfilling And Sustainable Marriage by Vatsala and Ehud Sperling, you may be surprised at what you discover. This ‘spiritual power couple’ met via an ad Ehud had placed in a newspaper in India, inviting into his life, a woman who reflected the beauty and wisdom of her native land, who was independent, family oriented, intelligent, creative, spiritual, compassionate and loving. Fascinated, Vatsala responded since she possessed the qualities he was seeking in a wife.
Each was already living a fullfilling life, across the ocean, not knowing that the other existed. Vatsala was a successful Microbiologist working in a hospital in India and Ehud is the founder of Inner Traditions International, a publishing company based in Vermont. Both were devoted to their families; raised in different spiritual traditions. Ehud is Israeli born Jewish and Vatsala; Indian born Hindu. This multi-cultural, interfaith love story is woven through time and space by the increasingly tender and intimate letters they sent to each other over the span of a year, before they ever met face to face. In India, where arranged marriage is common, Vatsala was an anomaly, since her parents were already older and according to her, did not have the energy to make the connections for their well educated, seasoned daughter, so this courtship was the closest approximation. Her mother read the letters Ehud sent to her and those she penned to her long distance husband to be. When they did meet, that was the moment of truth…were they actually going to marry? The answer, after unwrapping the gift that each became for the other, was a resounding yes. They continue to honor and blend the rich spiritual practices that each was raised on and teach those values to their son.
One of the things that makes this book so special is that it has the look and feel of a coffee table volume even though it is paperback. The colors contained within and on the cover are rich and full-bodied. The photographs are lush and vibrant.
It beckons the reader to contemplate a values oriented relationship, rather than one based purely on attraction and romance. It offers encouragement to savor the ‘getting to know you’ process, with their marriage as example. Together now for a decade and a half, one could safely say that theirs is a marriage made in Heaven and lived fully here on Earth.
And as a bonus, please read the interview I had the joy of doing with them for Wisdom Magazine.