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Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives Paperback – April 13, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 775 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dan Millman, a former world champion athlete, martial arts instructor, and college professor,  is author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior (adapted to film in 2006) and numerous other books read by millions of people in 29 languages. Dan teaches worldwide and has influenced people from all walks of life, including leaders in the fields of health, psychology, education, business, politics, sports, entertainment and the arts.  For more info:  peacefulwarrior.com

Amazon.com Review

During his junior year at the University of California, Dan Millman first stumbled upon his mentor (nicknamed Socrates) at an all-night gas station. At the time, Millman hoped to become a world-champion gymnast. "To survive the lessons ahead, you're going to need far more energy than ever before," Socrates warned him that night. "You must cleanse your body of tension, free your mind of stagnant knowledge, and open your heart to the energy of true emotion." From there, the unpredictable Socrates proceeded to teach Millman the "way of the peaceful warrior." At first Socrates shattered every preconceived notion that Millman had about academics, athletics, and achievement. But eventually Millman stopped resisting the lessons, and began to try on a whole new ideology--one that valued being conscious over being smart, and strength in spirit over strength in body. Although the character of the cigarette-smoking Socrates seems like a fictional, modern-day Merlin, Millman asserts that he is based on an actual person. Certain male readers especially appreciate the coming-of-age theme, the haunting love story with the elusive woman Joy, and the challenging of Western beliefs about masculine power and success. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 217 pages
  • Publisher: HJ Kramer; Revised edition (April 13, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932073205
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932073201
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (775 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
So here's my experience with the book: I first purchased this book when I was 15. And to tell you the truth I don't recall why. And I read it in one sitting. I came away from the reading with a sense of "Wow, that's really amazing. That was a really cool book." However I did NOT feel that the book lived up to it's subtitle "The Book that Changes Lives" In fact I thought it was a practice in pretension to label it as Millman did. And I put the book away and forgot about it...(dramatic pause)... or so I thought (BUM BUM BUM). You see it wasn't until I was 17 or so that I began to realize that the book had made a grand impact on my life. I realized that I was seeing the world in a completely different way... that I was learning to "let things go" to have fewer expectations from life and enjoying more what life was giving me. And through practice (which probably will continue for the rest of my life, these changes have continued and refined themselves in the years following this revelation. Of course a portion of these changes are due to me simply maturing and evolving as a person from age 15 to present. The book however set me on the right path for who I am and who I am to become as time goes on. My path may be differnt than yours- and I think that's the point and the reason that the reviews on this site are either very high or very low. For some this book resonates on a deep level and for others they see only the words. This is not to put value judgements on "getting it" or "not getting it". This bok is only one of the paths that leads to wherever it is that we are all headed as humanity. Each of us, (if i may be allowed a new age moment), is a person "becoming" and at different rates.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Dan Millman's book, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, is an amazing journey of self-discovery and enlightenment. It was a very fluid read and an eye-opening experience. The author unveils that the way to Happiness is by being present along the journey. Every step of the journey is important. There are no ordinary moments. There is in actuality no hierarchy, just the illusion based on our preference. So our college graduation is not intrinsically better than the last day of vacation or garbage recycling day or even this very moment. It all matters, because "the Essence of Aliveness matters; the details do not."
Beneath all circumstances, thoughts & emotions lies "the innate perfection of one's life unfolding. That is the secret of unreasonable happiness."
Another book I love that delves into the magic available in each moment as it unfolds is Being Here: Modern Day Tales of Enlightenment. Authors Ariel and Shaya Kane explain that if you trade in your preferences for the willingness to be in each moment as it actually is, you will be rewarded with extraordinary well-being. Since reading these works I have had many examples of "unreasonable happiness" in my own life.
A recent 6+ hour wait in an airport in Costa Rica, which ended with a cancelled flight and an unexpected overnight stay, became a delightful adventure and an opportunity to set aside my preferences and have well-being. One had only to look at the faces of other passengers to see that this was not the common response to the situation. But as I have begun to engage in each moment, without prejudice, my life has opened up to unexpected sources of actual joy & well-being.
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Format: Paperback
This book is not new material. I wouldn't say it is groundbreaking or that it changed my life. Probably because I am already acquainted with the principles of Buddhism and Eastern thinking. So I didn't find anything new here that would give me a "wow" factor like all the other reviews claim. What I did find is that it presents the ideology in a down-to-earth, real-life format, thus making it easy for one to understand how to apply the principles to one's own life. The character of Socrates, the teacher, is lovable and so well done that you really feel he's there with you. The storyline is well put together. Parts of it were taken from the author's own life and some were created, but they are seamlessly intertwined. The story flows and the book is a quick read. Millman also incorporates Plato's allegory of the cave and some zen koans within the plot to help enlighten you on some of the points that are presented. I already knew about Plato's allegory and some of the zen koans from before, they are classics, so they were not new to me but I did enjoy seeing how they were applied to the main storyline.

And now for the criticism. There were two things I didn't like about this book.

1. How little time or explanation Millman incorporates about his failed marriage and daughter. It just seems like a hiccup in his life. And that is why I believe Zen can only take you so far. I believe there is more to life than just letting everything go. What about forming relationships? What about atoning for your actions? If you hurt someone, it is not enough for you to realize it and let it go, you have to take action. At least seek forgiveness, let the person know you made a mistake and that you are sorry. Zen just seems to put you in a bubble and the truth is, we all are not solitary monks.
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