Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives




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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

This, my first book, has a special place in my heart — and in the hearts of my readers. It emerged from an intensive search lasting more than a decade. It blends autobiographical fact with flights of imagination to convey vivid reminders to my readers about life’s promise and potential.  Pablo Picasso once said that art is a lie that helps us to see the truth.  I invite curious readers to visit the Q&A section at peacefulwarrior.com.

Way of the Peaceful Warrior serves as an introduction to the way, detailed in the numerous books that have followed over the years. Each of these books — including titles like No Ordinary Moments, The Laws of Spirit, and The Four Purposes of Life — presents another facet of the peaceful warrior’s way — an approach to living that I teach worldwide.

After my first book was finished, I didn’t write another one for ten years — until the intervention and influence of other mentors and life experiences provoked new writings that  followed over the years.

From the Back Cover

Way of the Peaceful Warrior has become one of the most beloved spiritual sagas of our time. Shared among friends and families, it is translated into more than twenty languages and has inspired people of all ages.  It speaks to the peaceful warrior in each of us.  Countless readers have been moved to laughter and tears — and even to moments of illumination — as they rediscover life’s larger meaning and purpose.

From the Publisher

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10 reviews for Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives

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    Dr. Rv. Prof. Heather

    I can always tell when I have found a good book because either I finish the book in 24 hours of reading time OR my hand develops a mind of its own and begins systematically highlighting the important contents of the book.When I encounter a book that I do BOTH . . . then I know I have found a GREAT book worthy of typing up the important points that are in colorful highlighting. Since I see most people are giving positive reviews and I’m one to read the 5 and 1 star reviews to assist in making my choices, I have decided to paste the points that I highlighted in the book and those of you who find the information interesting and would like to read it in full context can buy the book.Terms and Reminders from “Way of the Peaceful Warrior”Body Wisdom – Everything you’ll ever need to know is within you; the secrets of the universe are imprinted on the cells of your body.Understanding – the one-dimensional comprehension of the intellect. It leads to knowledge.Realization – the three-dimensional, simultaneous comprehension of head, heart and instinct; comes from direct experience.Life requires more than knowledge; it requires intense feeling and constant energy. Life demand right action if knowledge is to come alive.You have to cleanse your body of tension, free your mind of stagnant beliefs and open your heart to loving-kindness.The best performers have the quietest minds during their moment of truth.Dis-illusion – is literally a `freeing from illusion’.In your habitual quest for achievement and entertainment, you avoid the fundamental source of your suffering.Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free change, free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is a law, and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.Life is not suffering; it’s just that you will suffer it, rather than enjoy it, until you let go of your mind’s attachments and just go for the ride freely, no matter what happens.Brain – directs the body, stores information and plays with that information. The brain’s abstract processes are `the intellect’.Brain and Mind are not the same. The brain is real, the mind is not.Mind – an illusory reflection of cerebral fidgeting. It is all the random, uncontrolled thoughts that bubble into awareness from the subconscious. An obstruction; an aggravation; a kind of an evolutionary mistake in the human being; a primal weakness in the human experiment. I have no use for the mind.Consciousness is not mind; awareness is not mind; attention is not mind.When you can’t stop thinking of that math problem or phone number, or when troubling thoughts and memories arise without your intent, it’s not your brain working, but your mind wandering.Your mind – not other people or your surroundings – is the source of your moods.Observing how you become angry when you notice that another is not the least bit upset.Stressful thoughts reflect a conflict with reality. Stress happens when the mind resists what is.The thoughts that assail you are actually created by you.Stop taking yourself so seriously.When you are in trouble, let go of your thoughts to see through your mind.Silence is the warrior’s art – and meditation is his sword.The highest purpose of the human body is to become a clear channel for this light – so that its brightness can dissolve all obstructions, all knots, all resistance.Attention – the intentional channeling of awareness.Real Meditation – to expand awareness; to direct attention; to ultimately surrender to the light of consciousness.Meditation consists of two simultaneous processes:1. Insight – paying attention to what is arising.2. Surrender – letting go of attachment to arising thoughts.This is how you cut free of the mind.Relax and stop acting so serious! (Do you see a pattern here?)You still believe that you are your thoughts and defend them as if they were treasures. Your stubborn illusions are a sinking ship. Let them go while there’s still time.Consciousness is not in the body; the body is in Consciousness. You are that Consciousness.Body – is Consciousness; never born; never dies; only changes.Mind – your ego, personal beliefs, history and identity – is all that ends at death.Sitting meditation is the beginner’s practice. Eventually, you will learn to meditate in every action. Sitting serves as a ceremony, a time to practice balance, ease, and divine detachment. Master the ritual before you expand the same insight and surrender fully into daily life.Emotions are not the problem. The key is to transform the energy of emotion into constructive action.Food:First, give your complete attention to what you are making.Second, love is one of the primary ingredients in everything you make.Purifying, regenerative practices are essential.You’ll need to refine every human function – moving, sleeping, breathing, thinking, feeling – and eating. Of all the human activities, eating is one of the most important to stabilize first.That means your good habits must become so strong that they dissolve those which are not useful.Eat only what is wholesome and eat only as much as you need.The pleasure from eating is more than the taste of the food and the feeling of a full belly. Learn to enjoy the entire process – the hunger beforehand, the careful preparation, setting an attractive table, chewing, breathing, smelling, tasting, swallowing, and the feeling of lightness and energy after the meal. When you pay attention to all elements of the process, you’ll begin to appreciate simple meals.Avoid foods that contain refined sugar, refined flour and meat as well as coffee, alcohol, tobacco, or any other drugs.Focus on fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.Breakfast: fresh fruit meal with occasional yogurt.Lunch: your main meal should be a raw salad, baked or steamed potato and wholegrain bread or cooked grains.Dinner: should be a raw salad and, on occasion, lightly steamed vegetables. Make good use of raw, unsalted seeds and nuts at every meal.Replace Amazon your thrills in fresh air, fresh food, fresh water, fresh awareness and sunshine.Let feelings flow; then let them go.Any unconscious, compulsive ritual is a problem. But specific activities are both bad and good; every action has its price, and its pleasures. Recognize both sides; then you can make the warrior’s free and conscious choice – to do or not to do. Responsibility means recognizing both pleasure and price, action and consequence, then making a choice.My actions are conscious, spontaneous, intentional and complete.There are no ordinary moments! Treat every moment as special, worthy of your full attention.Satori – a Zen concept; occurs when attention rest in the present moment, when the body is alert, sensitive, relaxed and the emotions are open and free.Your task is to expand this clarity into your daily life. Satori must become your everyday reality. Satori is your key to the gate.Meditating an action is different from doing it. To do, there is a doer, a self-conscious `someone’ performing. When you meditate an action, you’ve already released attachment to the outcomes. There’s no `you’ left to do it. You become what you do, so your action is free, spontaneous, without ambition, inhibition or fear.The master dedicates his training to life.House Rules reveal that you can control your efforts, not outcomes. Do your best; let God handle the rest.The birth of the mind is the death of the senses.Jesus of Nazareth once said you must become like a little child to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.The dry concepts of the mind obscure your direct perception.You have to `lose your mind’ before you can come to your senses.There are two ways to be rich:1) You earn, inherit, borrow, beg or steal enough money to meet all your desires; or2) You cultivate a simple lifestyle of few desires; that way you always have enough money.A peaceful warrior has the insight and discipline to choose the simple way – to know the difference between needs and wants.The secret of happiness is found in developing the capacity to enjoy less.There is the way of the peaceful warrior and the way to the peaceful warrior. As long as you tread the way, you are a warrior. The way is now; it always has been.A fool is `happy’ when his cravings are satisfied. A warrior is happy without reason. That’s what makes happiness the ultimate discipline. Happiness is not just something you feel – it is who you are. Sometimes sorrow, sometimes joy. But beneath it all, remember the innate perfection of your life unfolding. That is the secret of unreasonable happiness.

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    Ann H

    My therapist recommended this to me as I have been looking for meaning for far too long. This was a good lesson to look inward for what we need: self-love.

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    Rod C.

    My favorite book, I’ve read it several times (never watched the movie) It really does change your way of how you view the world.

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    G. Stafford

    A friend has been raving about this book for years and years. In some ways, I was disappointed, but in others, quite rewarded, when I finally picked it up and read it.First, about its merits: when reading WAY OF THE PEACEFUL WARRIOR, keep a highlighter handy and be prepared to use it a lot. It’s full of wonderful truths that will help you become a warrior whose “life is not about imagined perfection or victory; … [but]about love.” Many of the truths the book has to offer, I have had to learn through experience. I rather wish I’d read it twenty years ago. It might have saved me a lot of time! It’s great to have some of my personal beliefs affirmed, and of course to become a true “warrior”, there are things I still have left to accomplish.As for the literary aspect of the book, I found the writing rather clumsy. Most annoying to me was Millman’s habit of trying to set up little “zingers”. There is very little craft in this book, and perhaps it would have been more honest of the author to just say what was really on his mind, without the excuse of having a character meet Socrates in a service station.A very worthwhile book. Read it for the ideas–now that you know the truth about the writing style, as Millman puts it, “when you know the horse is wild, you can deal with it appropriately.”

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    Joseph J. Truncale

    I am always on the prowl for books with a self-help theme and a philosophical approach. Most of the time these are non-fiction books; however, sometimes they can also be a fiction story, which is exactly what this book (Way of the peaceful warrior: a book that changes lives by Dan Millman) is all about. Surprisingly, this esoteric book turned out to be a unique approach to living a full and meaningful life.The author (Dan Millman) relates a personal mystical experience and a meeting with a man who Dan calls Socrates or Soc for short. Dan is in college at the time and is also world champion gymnast athlete and one night when he could not sleep he wound up at a small all-night gas station. This is where he meets a man working the night shift who becomes his philosophical and spiritual mentor.The unique and original approaches to learning about what is really important in life are the lessons Dan is taught in sometimes subtle and unusual ways. The numerous conversations and feedback between Dan and Socrates makes this 217 page soft cover an interesting read. I had heard about this book some time ago but did not read it until recently. There also was a movie made based upon this book.This book is organized into three books. Book one covers “the winds of change.” Book two is about “the warrior’s training.” The final book (3) is about the final search and the gate opens. There is also information about the movie being made from the book.Even though I enjoyed reading this book I have some disagreements with some of the esoteric approaches in this book; nevertheless, I felt it was good enough to give 5 stars.Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Zen Poetry Moments: Haiku and Senryu for special occasions).

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    Tess Eggleston

    Holy guacamole..This..Book..About thirty pages in, I wasn’t sure. I pick my first read of the new year so carefully, so thoughtfully, and I kept thinking…should I set this one aside? What will that say about the next 364 days? .I’m so glad I pushed on; ironically, it’s a metaphor for its message: keep searching, don’t give up, you are all that you surround yourself with, be in the moment, the search for happiness is fruitless if you are never to realize that you already have the key to that door….As a graduate of a small, Catholic university, the existentialistic, winding manner of the writing was oddly comforting. The Jesuits do love their (mandatory) philosophy and theology classes, you know..Reminiscent of The Shack, Dan Millman threw in bits of vision quests and Mr. Myogi for good measure. “Wax on, wax off…”.Bottom line? I’m so glad this was book 1 of 2019. It was precisely what I needed at precisely the right moment..“Life is not a private affair. A story and its lessons are only made useful if shared.”.“Only the supremely wise and the ignorant do not alter.” -Confucius.“Life is not suffering; it’s just that you will suffer it, rather than enjoy it, until you let go of your mind’s attachments and just go for the ride freely, no matter what happens.”.“There are no accidents, Danny. Everything is a lesson. Trust your life. Everything has a purpose, a purpose, a purpose…Let the pain purify your mind and body. It will burn through many obstructions…A warrior doesn’t seek pain, but if pain comes, he uses it.”.“‘When you sit, sit; when you stand, stand; whatever you do, don’t wobble.’ Once you make your choice, do it with all your spirit.”.“…the House Rules reveal that you can control your efforts, not outcomes. Do your best; let God handle the rest.”.“Love is not something to be understood; it can only be lived.”.“Better never begin; once begun, better finish.”.“There are no ordinary moments.”.

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    Teresa Hanan

    This is one of my favorite books of all time and I have bought it for several people.I love the way the book focuses on what we spend a lot of our time thinking about and of those things what is really just not important. He calls that mental noise. So perfect.

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    Ashok A

    Let me start by admitting that I found the book very riveting except in some of the places where they start narrating ‘stories’. And even within the fantasy the events seemed to be lifted from old Zen stories (for example, where Socrates keeps filling the fuel tank even though it is full – just to drive home the point that you if you are full of ideas you cannot receive wisdom). All these (like carrying the woman over the water, illegitimate child, etc) were picked up from the wonderful book 

    Zen Flesh Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings

     published in the late 1950s. The book is also a lot irrational: the mind trips caused by Socrates touching Dan, erasing of the memory of Joy by a touch, etc., look implausible. But what I found interesting was the way Dan struggles through life to evolve physically and spiritually – that part was depicted admirably well. I wish the author had acknowledged where he got his ideas from and come clean. Once you don’t acknowledge the source of stories it makes you wonder where else he has copied the other ‘undetected’ parts… If you haven’t read much Zen, then this is a definite must read esp if you treat this as a fantasy and not as a real story.

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    Rachel Elaine

    Wow! What a great book! Really. Author and main character of “Way Of The Peaceful Warrior,” Dan Millman weaves a fast, catchy and easy-to-read story-line that is also slow and penetrating enough to seep into the pores of consciousness with words by enigmatic teacher and “warrior,” Socrates – a name given to the Japanese master upon the first meeting of the two.The journey shared within the pages is bound to create a magical enlightenment for some readers, a familiar knowing and relate-ability for others. It promises to be uplifting and inspiring for all, reminding us that we truly are spiritual beings who temporarily live in a physical body.Near the end of the story, as Dan made his escape from “the box,” finding the gateway to reality, he wishes to tell everyone: “There is no need to search; achievement leads to nowhere. It makes no difference at all, so just be happy now! Love is the only reality of the world, because it is all One, you see. And the only laws are paradox, humor, and change. There is no problem, never was, and never will be. Release your struggle, let go of your mind, throw away your concerns, and relax into the world. No need to resist life; just do your best. Open your eyes and see that you are far more than you imagine. You are the world, you are the universe; you are yourself and everyone else, too! It’s all the marvelous Play of God. Wake up, regain your humor. Don’t worry, you are already free!”This is a book I plan to re-read. It has also sparked my interest in reading the sequel, “Sacred Journey Of The Peaceful Warrior,” an integral part of Dan’s in-between years of the first book.~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~Haiku inspired by this book:~~~~~~~~~~We walk different pathsfeeling the strains of shoutingof those far away.~~~~~~~~~~The Warrior’s Lifewill always fascinate Deathjust as Dark fears Light.~~~~~~~~~~ 7-25-06 ~ Rachel Elaine

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    Over the years, I’ve come back to this book several times. The story of a young man finding his way through his athletic journey by “letting go” of what he thought he knew is a winner.

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