By Foreword by Tenzin Palmo, Thomas K Shor Thomas K. Shor
"A Step clear of Paradise tells the tale of Tibet’s Tulshuk Lingpa, a visionary lama who in 1962 introduced an excursion to what he and his fans believed to be the land of immortality defined in twelfth-century Tibetan culture. With over three hundred disciples, he ventured up a distant Himalayan mountain on the Nepal-Sikkim border that allows you to ‘open the way in which’ to a hidden land of lots came upon on no map. Fifty years later, Thomas ok. Shor tracks down the surviving individuals of this visionary day trip and entwines their impressive tales of religion and event together with his personal quest to find the truth of this land often called Beyul. What emerges is a panoramic tale alive with probability, bringing the reader as just about the Hidden Land as a publication potentially can. because the striking account unfolds, the reader is bound to copy the query regularly raised by way of the writer in his interviews: after which what occurred? the tale remembers and conjures up certainly one of humanity's oldest aspirations—that of discovering a stairway to paradise
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Extra resources for A Step Away from Paradise: A Tibetan Lama's Extraordinary Journey to a Land of Immortality
Tibetan lamas have been speaking of and attempting to enter Beyul Demoshong, the Hidden Land in Sikkim, since at least the eleventh century. They are quite specific. When they speak of the Hidden Land, they aren’t speaking metaphorically, symbolically or of an exalted state of consciousness. When I asked Géshipa, one of Tulshuk Lingpa’s closest disciples in Sikkim, if the Hidden Land might actually not be found ‘out there’ but reside in the human heart, he responded with an incredulous look that spoke volumes about the gap in world views.
Leading them in a single file up the rock face along a treacherous way of loose scree and sheer drops, he brought them to a crack in the cliff that opened to a cave. There he sat in a circle with them in the cave’s twilit interior and took out the implements of a lama’s ritual life: the dorje, or double-sided brass implement that represents the thunderbolt; the damaru, or handheld drum made from children’s skulls; and the dilbu, or ritual bell. Into a small brass bowl he poured a few handfuls of rice from an old leather pouch and placed it in the center of the tight circle in which they sat.
It is famous for its temple which houses a historically important statue of Chenresig, the Buddha of Compassion. The village was up the Chenab River Valley, a good day’s journey away by horse. Lamas make their living by performing pujas, or rituals, often at people’s houses. This was a big jinda, and the puja would last for days. Tulshuk Lingpa brought with him quite a few of his disciples, lamas in their own right who had gathered around him and now lived in his monastery in Pangi. In addition to the good food that would be served to the lamas at such home pujas, there would also be quite a bit of alcohol.