Writings & Photography
Published Books
We are pleased to announce the publication of the new 2017 paperback edition of A Step Away from Paradise published by City Lion Press for worldwide distribution (except South Asia). The eBook continues to be available on Amazon. The Penguin paperback will continue to be available only in South Asia. To buy, see links below.
    what would have happened... If Lewis Carroll had proclaimed the reality of Alice’s Wonderland? What if he had gathered a following & launched an expedition?

  IT WAS THE EARLY 1960s. The place, a far-off corner of the Himalayas long fabled in Tibetan tradition to be hiding a valley of immortality among its peaks and glaciers—a real-life Shangri-La. They waited generations for the prophesied lama to come, the one with the secret knowledge of how to ‘open’ the Hidden Land. Then, one day, he came. His name was Tulshuk Lingpa.
 THIS BOOK TELLS THE TRUE STORY of this charismatic visionary lama and his remarkable expedition. Against the wishes of the kings of both Sikkim and Nepal, he and over three hundred followers ventured up the snowy slopes of the third highest mountain of the planet. Their aim: to open a crack in the very fabric of reality and go to a land we would all wish to inhabit if it were only there—a land of peace and concord.
 FORTY YEARS LATER, the author spends over five years tracking down the surviving members of this extraordinary expedition. He deftly weaves their stories together with humor, wisdom, and scholarly research into Tibetan traditions of Hidden Lands, all the while reflecting on what this means for the rest of us.

 “LIKE NO OTHER BOOK I have ever read…a riveting tale of adventure…honest to the real spirit of Tibet…both unique and intriguing…an engrossing read. Highly recommended.” 
JETSUNMA TENZIN PALMO, from the Foreword

 From Tulshuk Lingpa’s Guidebook to the Hidden Land: 
“Don’t listen to anybody. Decide by yourself and practise madness. Develop courage for the benefit of all sentient beings. Then you will automatically be free from the knot of attachment. Then you will continually have the confidence of fearlessness and you can then try to open the Great Door of the Hidden Place.”

Learn more about the book, read excerpts, and view some of the numerous photos from the book:
Purchase City Lion paperback from Amazon, or ask your local bookstore to order it.
Buy the eBook version from Amazon.com
And for those of you in India, buy the PENGUIN paperback edition:
   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.

   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.