Five years, eleven months
FIVE YEARS, ELEVEN MONTHS AND A LIFETIME OF UNEXPECTED LOVE
by Visakha Dasi
Literate and introspective, Visakha ‘s memoir is a joy to read. Especially engaging is her running account of the tension within herself between her spiritual path and, on the other side, her persistent doubts, her skepticism, and a rational mind always on guard against being spiritually duped. And hers is an extraordinary story. As a young photojournalist, still in college, she journeys first to Nepal and then to India, where she meets a spiritual teacher who shows her much more than she expected to see in her viewfinder and changes the course of her life. Now, nearly fifty years later, she shares with us her adventures, her insights, her reflections, her wisdom. A splendid book!
I enjoyed watching Visakha, a successful young photographer with grand horizons, trained in the ways of skepticism and atheism, travel to India to be with her first love. There the boyfriend and girlfriend travel to exotic destinations. But instead of being taken in by the sights and sounds, which Visakha writes eloquently about, the two fall in love with an exceptional saint, surrender to him, and the Bhakti path. Young Visakha, however, does not enter as easily and seamlessly as her boyfriend. Indeed, I kept wondering when Visakha would leave him, India, and the saint. But this author’s honest, rigorous self-examination leads her in surprising ways. Her brave movement toward her calling is both frightening and wonderful. I am moved and grateful to have read this person’s inner exploration of the self.