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Publisher's 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 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.

5 people found this helpful

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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!!

5 people found this helpful

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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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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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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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.

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful

I will listen to this again starting today as it is that well told and written. Further, I am buying the book to have on hand.
This is a great book for Western Vajrayana Buddhist as it tells a story of The Tibetan World but is written by someone who wrote for our Western Minds. It is for each reader to decide if you believe this all or not. I have spent many years with Tibetan Buddhist and know that this is their World. Us westerners have difficulty with that which is not physically measurable or tangible. That’s our limitation
It is great up to the last word! Thanks

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Terrible narration

Story very hard to follow because of very bad narration. This guy thinks he’s a voice actor for a kids book.

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Annoying narrator when voicing Tibetan voices

An interesting story, well told. But I wish I had bought this as a regular book; not audio.
The narrator undermines the story by inserting himself too much into the narrative. He over-performs all the Tibetan characters with a kind of child-like, breathless, giggly voice that I find insulting and annoying.

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Incredible Story

Masterfully told and narrated. I was transported to lands I may never visit. Thank you!

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  • sverre Robert Ring
  • 05-24-20

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🙏

2 people found this helpful

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  • James Mullen
  • 05-30-20

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • benledi
  • 01-12-20

Fascinating read

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • E. Maxwell
  • 11-24-19

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lin Lee
  • 08-21-21

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 Star Reviews
  • 05-03-21

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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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-22-21

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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  • neop
  • 04-07-21

Superb

Deeply nourishing.. may not be for all.. but if you are interested in Buddhism, believe in magic, miracles..
A tale well told.. narration is excellent.

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  • Steven A Fraser
  • 03-27-21

Loved this.

It has everything I want in an historical narrative: mysticism, adventure and humour, written with a compassionate view on the characters and their circumstances. A lovely insight into this tradition of Buddhism too.

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  • Joanna
  • 02-11-21

An extraordinary book

The voice of the author was as clear and distinct as the voices of the many people in his story. The lyrical simplicity of the style was as a beautiful counterpoint to the challenging nature of the subject. The reading was smooth and mellifluous. Stepping into this hidden world with the author, I found myself carried along with the narrative, and am left with the echoes of the lamas playing in the recesses of my mind.