This book takes us on an epic journey throughout Africa, Western and Central Asia, and Europe to explore the lives, culture, and landscape of the Judaic, Christian, and Muslim worlds. Motivated by a yearning to learn about and understand the "other," regardless of culture and faith, the author invites us on her adventures to ancient cities, architectural masterpieces, stunning landscapes, and even a camelback expedition in the desert.
Marie-Laure Valandro shares her insights, joys, and inner struggles—and her human-to-human and down-to-earth encounters with the people she meets along the way—as she endeavors to move beyond mere tolerance, to a place of true understanding and respect for the other. Her words of wisdom, as well as the insights of anthroposophists, theologians, poets, and historians, help to decipher the mysteries behind Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Not only are we, too, brought to a new place of understanding and wonderment, but we are also inspired to embark on our own journey of discovery.
was born in 1948 and spent her childhood in Bourgogne, Morocco, Algeria, and Bretagne. At fifteen, she moved with her family to Boston, where she received a B.A. in modern literature, romance languages, and education and taught in the Boston public school system. Later, she moved to Vermont, and obtained an M.A. in literature. At twenty-three, Marie-Laure returned to Paris to study at The Sorbonne, to teach and to travel around Europe to various Christian Holy sites. She later moved to Tehran to teach technical English and to tour throughout the Eastern world, studying Sufism, Zoroastrianism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism as seen through the eyes of its believers and through visits to holy sites. Marie-Laure returned to the United States to care for her son. She lived in the community of Wilton, New Hampshire, where she first encountered Anthroposophy. She ended her school teaching to care for her daughter, son, and husband, a medical doctor. Meanwhile, she continued to travel and trek in South America, both alone and with her children. Later, she moved to Wisconsin and began the Liane Collot d’Herbois training in painting. On her family farm in Wisconsin, Marie-Laure uses biodynamic methods and has developed master gardens, vegetable gardens, herb gardens, and an orchard. She has also established a painting studio, where she creates large veil paintings. Recently, she moved from Wisconsin to a post-and-beam house built by her son in the Canadian Rockies of British Columbia. Her goal is to continue walking across this beautiful Earth, meeting people with love and sharing her journeys in meditative books, sprinkled with insights from Rudolf Steiner’s works and the many talented students of his teachings. She continues to make large veil paintings to “heal people and spaces.”