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Summary

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 practice 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.”

What would have happened...

If Lewis Carroll had proclaimed the reality of Alice’s Wonderland? What if he had gathered a following and launched an expedition?

©2012 Thomas K. Shor (P)2019 Thomas K. Shor

What listeners say about A Step Away from Paradise

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A riveting story on the true nature of reality

A remarkable story of a truly remarkable man and what we humans are capable of when we truly believe! It has touched me deeply. I am full of gratitude that this story found me🙏

4 people found this helpful

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Magical, insight in another World

Loved every moment. Great Narration. Lots of memories taken from such vivid Stories. Hope Bayul is still there as Humanity may need it Soon.

2 people found this helpful

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Fascinating read

Wonderfully told fact based story inspiring and thought provoking, a wonderful insite into mystery of Tibetan Dharma.

2 people found this helpful

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Enthralling Profound and Moving

Thomas K Shor takes us on a deeply moving and beautifully written account of a series of events in the life of Terton Tulshuk Lingpa, culminating in his journey with 300 followers to the promised land.
The author and narrator transport us easily to the land of the Tibetan people with their rich customs and the deep teachings, allowing us to experience not only Tulshuk Lingpa's journey, but the deep faith of his many followers.
The reverent voice Phillip Battley distinctly added to the hypnotic journey of this audio book.
I highly recommend this audio book

2 people found this helpful

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Great book

I loved listening to this account. The performance was really engaging and the writer strikes a good balance in the detail he provides. It certainly makes you wonder.

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Fabulous in every way

A must read for everyone who is curious about the esoteric practices of Tibetan Buddhism. There is mystery, there is magic and there are profound words of wisdom within the pages of this book.

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Beautiful and fascinating

What a fantastic book. Such a beautiful and fascinating story, and read so well.

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Magical tale of another world

As the book itself says, this tale will change your sense of reality. I really love this book.

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A spiritual pilgrimmage thru the power of Story

I first was attracted to this audiobook as the narrator has also narrated one of my novels, along with the fact I have had my own sacred journeys in the Himalayas. As The Man From Story Mountain I have seen numerous times various versions of Bayal - the name given to the 'paradise land' in this Tibetan story. Therefore, I am according to this story a perfect companion for such a journey, as my belief is absolute. I found this a charming, educational, and enticing adventure story, with some rare teachings to help make the listening more than worthwhile.

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A Step Closer To Paradise

‘A step away to paradise’ makes you realize that the ‘paradise’ is all in you. The further you go away from the delusional need of what is socially known as paradise - the further you go from external desires, the closer you go within and reach the actual paradise. Thomas is a genius in making you lead yourself to go deeper and deeper in consciousness 🤍

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  • Lynn M Shirley
  • 30-07-19

A must read

This a a fascinating and well written book. The people who were showcased told their stories with heart and honesty. The author created a well researched and thoughtful book. I was sorry to see it end. The narration was excellent, I couldn’t ask for better. I would recommend this book to everyone. I was moved and entertained all at once. A true must read.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Brenda
  • 01-07-19

Wonderful book, Great Narration, Magic!

I first read the paperback version and loved it. When I heard the audio book had come out, I just had to get it. Sometimes the movie of a book or the audio book can ruin the experience you had while reading. But not in this case! The way it was narrated brought out aspects of this true story I didn’t get in the first reading, layers of meaning beneath the surface. Now I want to read the book again! Such a magical, yet true story from the Tibetan world. A great book for anyone with a sense of wonder. No need to have an interest in Tibet, Buddhism, or any other belief for that matter. A real human story of what we all wish for, somewhere deep down inside: a place of peace, free of strife and troubles. I’d give it six stars if I could!!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-06-19

Amazing book, challenges our perception of reality

I loved this amazing book. The author invested so much of himself, his time and talents into researching this fantastic story. His writing style is impecable and the narration of the audio book was delightful. Will be looking for more of his books now.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Sandy McMahon
  • 26-10-19

A wonderful book and story

This book is not only an amazing story, but also a phenomenal piece of research into the Nyingma Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. As a 25 year student of Nyingma teachers and Lamas, this book is a beautiful reference to the Nyingma lineage and the most esoteric aspects of Tantric practice. I recommend it highly.

3 people found this helpful

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  • David Beers
  • 14-10-19

Deeply affecting

Inspiring, thrilling and powerful, I suspect I will be thinking about this account for a very long time.

This book works beautifully on multiple levels: as a mind-bending logic-defying story of modern day magic and adventure, as a brilliant revelation of the depth and power of human meaning-making in difficult situations, and—for Western people like myself with an interest in Vajrayana Buddhist practice—a precious example of how Buddhist doctrines of karma, pure view, emptiness and compassion can be *lived* experience.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Done
  • 22-01-20

Not as described

I could not get into this book. I did not care for the fake laughter. I seemed more like a fairy tail than a non fiction.

2 people found this helpful

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  • John T. Karis
  • 08-12-21

Great Read

A great story, often a bit complicated, but narrated superbly. The narrator makes the people come to life, giving them accents and emotions that lift the text into a more living reality.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-07-20

Like Dune in the Himalayas

Imagine Dune set against the snowy Himalayas instead of a desert planet and “spice” as a sacred hidden land prophesied thousands of years earlier. My favorite Audibel experience. As a dharma practitioner, a wilderness guide and a reader of fables to my toddler, I found all of it like a blanket made of cloud cover, constantly changing with each detail, but always gorgeous. Smart and understated as in old classics like Kidnapped and Treasure Island, but with fantastic twists from the hidden realms of the Himalaya. Worth a year’s worth of Audibel membership.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Faith Welsh
  • 14-05-20

A riveting read!

This is an astounding story told with the insight and compassion worthy of a true practitioner of the dharma. It is rich in detail, nuance and consumate word smithing....obviously thoroughly researched. On its way to becoming a true classic in the tradition of Alexandra David-Neal’ s “Magic and Mystery in Tibet”, a most riveting read!!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dorena Rode
  • 06-08-22

Wow!

An amazing read. The author has done a stunning job telling the story from many points of view on the life of an important terton. The research and completeness make this book a true treasure. And the story is riveting like a good novel.