The Master Director
City Lion Press, 2019
304 Pages / 5.75" X 8.25" (14.6 X 20.9 cm)
77 Black & White Photographs & Maps
eBook: ASIN: B00HYE9UTM
"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, Thomas K. Shor, an adventuring American writer with an ear for unusual stories, has no idea what he is getting into when he wanders into a Sikkimese mountain village and into the life of an enigmatic spiritual master known as Gurudev.
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 of universal love—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 staying with the lama at 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 skepticism, doubt, and devotion. 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.
Map showing the places where the story takes place
Table of Contents
Preface: The Great Escape
Part I: The Impeccable Impossibility
Chapter 1 Into the Imperial Court
Chapter 2 Hotel Stay Put
Chapter 3 Pilgrimage in Search of the Present Moment
Chapter 4 Master of Disguises
Chapter 5 Literal Beliefs and Metaphysical Truths
Chapter 6 The Branch that Bends Low
Chapter 7 The Attempted Assassination
Chapter 8 Through the Impersonal Lens
Chapter 9 The Man Behind the Show
Chapter 10 Front-Row Seat
Chapter 11 Crazy Wisdom
Part II: The Return
Chapter 12 The Diamond Mind
Chapter 13 The Meaning in Random Events
Chapter 14 Road Crew
Chapter 15 The Childhood of God
Chapter 16 Cutting a Banana with a Spoon
Chapter 17 Night of Shiva
Chapter 18 Cancelled Luck
Chapter 19 Bladder and Other Miracles
Chapter 20 The Pressure Cooker
Chapter 21 The Birthday
Part III: A Question of Politics
Chapter 22 The Unresolved Omission
Chapter 23 Black Money
Chapter 24 Flowers and Chocolate
Chapter 25 Book, What Book?
Chapter 26 The Idol of India