Writings & Photography
Published Books
   From the back of the book: 
 
‘Maybe you shouldn’t go back to Darjeeling. It might not be safe for you…’ 
The lama was in the next room. It was 2 a.m. He was trying to calm his attendants. I think the boys wanted to kill me. 
This was my last day with Gurudev.    

IN THIS RIVETING TRUE STORY, when Thomas K. Shor, an adventuring American writer with an ear for unusual stories, wanders into a Himalayan mountain village and into the life of an enigmatic spiritual master known as Gurudev, he has no idea of what he is getting into. 
    As Gurudev, a Tibetan Buddhist lama, lavishes the author with presents and invites him into his inner circle—thereby offering him, and us, a unique glimpse into a master’s life and his teachings—it seems destiny is at work. But what happens when it turns out the master has close ties with the local dictator and his henchmen and Shor finds himself being hosted at some of their houses? How is he to reconcile the religion of love with the violence of politics? Gurudev’s ‘engaged Buddhism’ not only stretches common notions of morality, but also spins Shor’s moral compass. Ultimately, the author flees Darjeeling under physical threat and abandons the writing of this book—until now. 
    THE MASTER DIRECTOR, richly illustrated with over 75 photos, probes the limits of charisma and scepticism, devotion and doubt. And throughout, Shor’s captivating story treads the fine line of openness without credulity, and questioning without prejudice. While the warnings are many against mixing religion and politics, they combine in this entertaining tale set in the politically tumultuous foothills of India’s eastern Himalayas to reveal profound insights into the nature of both the human and the divine.

Order print edition from uread.com, a secure Internet outlet for HarperCollins India. They ship quickly and accurately worldwide. They charge about $20 (€18) including speed mailing to most countries.
    IN THE EARLY 1960s, a Tibetan lama, a charismatic and learned visionary mystic named Tulshuk Lingpa, declared a crack in the world. He came to the then independent Kingdom of Sikkim in the Eastern Himalayas—sandwiched between Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, and Indian Bengal—in order to ‘open the way’ to a hidden valley of immortality fabled in Tibetan tradition. 
    He risked what we all would undoubtedly risk if we were to proclaim a crack not only in the tightly drawn mesh in the map of the world of latitude and longitude but in the very fabric of the world and then attempt to pass through it: while revered by some, he was labeled mad by others and risked confinement, first by the king of Sikkim and then by the king of Nepal, both of whom had plans to throw him in jail. And not only did Tulshuk Lingpa propose to pass through the crack he proclaimed in the world; he proposed to lead over three hundred followers through it as well, each of whom had left everything behind for a one-way journey to the Hidden Land, wholly believing that once they left this world, they could never return. Willing to bid goodbye forever not only to their families, but to the entire world to which we all cling, risking all by following this lama into the high snow mountains rising to Mount Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain on the planet, they expected a crack to form in the fabric of what we call reality and a ‘way’ to open to a land we would all wish to inhabit if it were only there—a land of peace and concord. 
    This book tells the story of Lama Tulshuk Lingpa’s life and his unlikely expedition to a land beyond cares while reflecting on what this means for the rest of us. It draws on both research and extensive interviews with his surviving disciples and family members. The book is richly illustrated with portraits of those who went with Tulshuk Lingpa and the places he traveled to. The book also delves into the tradition within Tibetan Buddhism of Shambhala and the hidden valleys, which mirror traditions around the world of utopias and lands of milk and honey, thus showing the quest for the hidden land is a universal urge of humanity.

Order print edition from uread.com, a secure Internet outlet for Penguin India. They ship quickly and accurately worldwide. They charge about $20 (€18) including speed mailing to most countries.
   WINDBLOWN CLOUDS, my first book, was published in the USA (2003) and in India (2006). It recounts a journey I took in my early twenties, first to Greece and then to India. The two stories in the book center on two men I met, an elderly Greek Orthodox monk with whom I lived for a time alone in a stone mountaintop monastery in Greece, and Ed Spencer, a brilliant 70-year-old ex-Harvard professor who had given up his life in the West to become an ascetic philosopher vagabond in India. It was with Ed I first went to India. 
    The USA print edition tells both stories; the Indian edition only the second--about Ed and India. 
    Now each is available as a separate eBook, updated with stories of my subsequent meetings with both the monk and Ed, and describes what happened to them.