How This Book Came Into the World

Several years ago I had a particularly bad year. My father died, my son was hospitalized, and I came face to face with my own health crisis. All in one year. My illness effectively took me out of the world and focused my attention inward. I returned to basics and found my interest in Buddhism waiting for me. Silent, I think, since at least my teenage years.

I began taking classes offered in faraway Dharamsala, India.  Thanks to the internet, I was able to study with a master who had fled Chinese-occupied Tibet to follow His Holiness, the Dalai Lama into exile in 1959. Listening to Geshe Sonam Rinchen’s patient lectures aided my understanding of Tibetan Buddhism. That along with my friendship with a young monk in India helped me to process and write, Into the Land of Snows.   The novel explores many of the themes I was exposed to as I learned Eastern concepts.

The process of the inward journey continues for me. Living in the material world is not easy. I know the majority of readers will read the book as an adventure in a foreign land, but I hope the book finds a few fellow spiritual travelers.


Filed under Book Review, Books, Story behind ITLS

43 responses to “How This Book Came Into the World

  1. I ordered this book for my iPad several months ago and have still not read it–same old story of so much to read, so little time. That said, I’m putting it next in the queue.

  2. sampath2087


    Thanking you for liking a post on my blog .How did you find buddha?.How was it helpful to you?..I am a student from india..i wanted to know something that is worth knowing..I was not a kind of spritual seeker..but i was more concerned about my growing inner diseases…then finally I found the pill..It was from a book about zen by didnt make me a mahatma.It certainly showered some light on myself.I appreiciate your work about helping others to find their peace..

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  4. Your book sounds really interesting! I’m going to download it from Amazon 🙂 All the best to you.

  5. I got back a month and a half agò after travelling in Sout east Asia for 8. I have been to Nepal for 3 months and spent 2 and a half between 2 Tibetan Monasteries, for courses and volunteering. I didn’t manage to go to Dharamsala, but I will next time! And I spent the last 2 weeks of my staying in Nepal doing the EBC…so is pretty exciting for me to have came across your blog! 😀 I will try to get your book for sure! Thank you for visiting my page so that I could get to know yours!

  6. Love the cover! Just bought the kindle edition – won’t get to read it for a while yet but it’s waiting for me 🙂

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  8. I am so glad that you liked my blog post so that I was led to here to read about your book. Your story is wonderful, and I would love to have a copy of your book in my school library. My high school patrons would enjoy it being added into our collection. I’ll be on the lookout for a copy, and best of luck to you!

  9. davexrobb

    So interesting, when I saw your book title, I thought “Buddhism,” and when I read about how you got there, I thought, “that’s my story, too.” This is what I love about the Internet — finding people on a similar path or with a similar story you’d never have encountered otherwise. Thanks for being here!

  10. Thank you so much for sharing your story here. As someone who practiced Buddhism for almost 20 years, I can say without a doubt that it changed my life over and again in so many ways, and helped me through the most difficult of times. Now I like to combine my Buddhist beliefs with ones of a more general “spiritual” nature. We all have our own paths to follow, and I wish you the best of luck to you on yours. Namaste.

  11. Your blog is beautiful. Your book sounds inspiring also. Thanks for sharing your process in this post. Being brought to our knees is sometimes the way we learn to stand. Looking forward to checkout out your book!

  12. dulcemareas

    Thank you for sharing this process of growth you have gone through!

  13. amberisonfire

    Ooo, sounds very interesting! My children have expressed an interest in Buddhism so I’ve looking for different resources to help them along their journey. I just added your book to my Kindle wishlist!.

  14. Hm sorry to hear about your crisis.
    Good that you found some kind of peace with Budhism though, I considered looking into it once but never actually knew where to start.

  15. It always feels a bit ironic to me that we usually find much of what we need to begin our inward journey (which is non-tangible) in something like a book that is tangible.

  16. I’ve had hard years as well. I’m very sorry to hear about those things. Do you find that writing is a way to “vent out” all of your feelings? I find it to be that way for me.

  17. Thank you for sharing your inspiration… It is moving…

  18. Is it not thought-provoking how crises or tragedy provoke inward journeys we would previously not have considered. We look for answers and find them in unusual places. Hagar, the young Egyptian slave girl’s destiny was changed forever during her crises (she gave Abraham his first son, Ishmael), which led to the promise of her son becoming a great nation. I long for such a promise to come true for my own son. Though he’s still alive, a situation occurred that provoked mourning as if he were dead. But there’s always the resurrection; there’s always hope, and the Seed lives on to call into being things that are not as though they were. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us Ellis.

  19. The path comes from the high mountains and returns to them like melting glacier rivers and rising clouds from the sea. Best of luck with this wonderful sounding book.

  20. I am so happy that you found your inner self and strength. While I grew up in a religious household, as I got older I became more spiritual than religious. May we all find our own path to travel and may it be peaceful.

  21. As a budding Buddhis, I can say it helps with that inward journey.

  22. I am currently staying in a cottage in North Wales – silence for two weeks, apart from this trip to a nearby library, of course. Asking if I could use their wifi, was the first thing I had said for days.
    This book and your journey sounds amazing.

  23. i certainly smiled when i read this passage, however i do agree that within this greedy materialistic world it would not be such an easy way to follow such an idealistic path.
    I suppose the only positive way for the people of this generation who do like to think is to have a little faith in themselves and others.
    This must have been a journey of great self discovery and i look forward to reading it! 🙂

  24. Hi,
    Congratulations on your book, and I wish you all the best.

  25. I feel that those of is who live in the world have chosen the way of the hearth to learn our lessons, and I think it’s possible find ways to live our life with more depths., IT seems to me that one of the wonderful things about the world at this stage, is that so many people are on their Path, whatever place they find themselves in.. And that’s why we’re able to have this discussion on Ellie’s blog… Twenty years or so ago not many people were prepared to come out and talk like this….it’s very inspiring….

    • There have been polls that show more and more Americans identify themselves as “spiritual and not religious.” I think I’ve seen this, BUT there is the push back by the rise in fundamentalism.

  26. victoriaaphotography

    I think it’s very hard to follow a spiritual path in this crazy materialistic world we live in. Time and time again I read how one can study & follow Buddhist philosophy in the west and have no need to visit/live with a spiritual teacher in the mountains in Nepal or Tibet.
    I disagree to a certain extent. I think it’s easier when you’re away from the western cities & way of life. It’s easier in an Asian country where the majority of people around you have Buddhist practise 24/7.

  27. Matt Knox

    Good luck 🙂

  28. I wish you the best with everything.

  29. Thanks so much for sharing some of the challenges and loss you have experienced on your journey. I am a “fellow spiritual traveler” too. I believe the journey never ends..and, for me, knowing that is such a comfort as I walk my path in and of the world. I must now read your book!

  30. Trina Rennie

    I’m recently picked up a book by the Dalai Lama, “the art of happiness in a troubled world.” I’m sorry to hear about your struggles. It’s refreshing to know there’s a lot of people out there in this world alike who’s taking a spiritual approach to inspire others. I like your write up. 🙂

  31. I think it’s amazing how you took that time of your life and made the choice to make something tangible out of it and share it with the world. I am looking forward to reading your book!

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