The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman

Summary

  1. Part fictional, part autobiographical book based on Millman’s life as he finds his way through romance, magic, light, dark, mind, body, spirit, etc. while working with his “coach” Socrates

Key Takeaways

  1. The best warriors have the quietest minds in times of truth (performance)
  2. Regardless if you get what you want or not you suffer as everything changes. The mind wants to be free of sin, free of change but change is law. 
  3. Life is not suffering. We make it suffer until we learn to let go and love whatever happens (Amor fati)
  4. Brain and mind are not the same. Brain is real. The mind isn’t. The mind is an illusory outgrowth, an obstacle to be overcome 
  5. Learn from your life experiences instead of complaining or basking in them
  6. Your moods are a direct outcome of your thoughts – not the events themselves
  7. When the mind resists life, thoughts arrive. Thoughts are an unconscious reaction to life 
  8. Silence is the warrior’s art
  9. Aim to be perfectly content and happy regardless of what is going on around you 
  10. Anger is more powerful than fear or sorrow. It can generate action where fear and sorrow turn you away from action 
  11. True emotion is pure energy which should be directed outward and not withheld. The way to control your emotions is to let them flow and then let them go 
  12. Must enjoy the entire process of eating – preparation, chewing, breathing, and the feeling of lightness after the meal 
  13. What comes out of your mouth is as important as what goes into it – speak less and when you do speak, speak deliberately and purposefully 
  14. Never give in to unconscious impulses 
  15. When you sit, sit. When you stand, stand. No matter what you do, don’t wobble. Do it with all your might and focus. Better to make mistakes with the full force of your being than doing something mediocre while being unsure 
  16. Urges do not matter, actions do
  17. Death is simply a transformation. The warrior neither seeks it nor runs away from it
  18. There are no ordinary moments – every moment is worthy of your full attention
  19. Satori – thoughtless awareness (what to aim for and often can access it through sports, meditation, etc.) 
  20. The mind becomes bored with things because we only know them as a name. Babies simply experience life before they become “namers” and “knowers”
  21. Boredom is a result of fundamental unawareness
  22. Happiness = satisfaction over desires. If you have enough to cover your desires you are rich. Can either have a lot of money and desires or cultivate a simple lifestyle. Happiness comes from the capacity of enjoying less instead of seeking more 
  23. The only time is now and the only place is where you currently are 
  24. Do not let anybody or anything, especially your thoughts, draw you out of the present 
  25. It doesn’t matter what you do but you must do it well
  26. Your goal is not invulnerability but complete and transparent vulnerability 
  27. A warrior is not something you become. It is something you either are or are not in the present moment. The way itself creates the warrior 
  28. Act happy. Be happy without a reason in the world. Then you can truly love and live
  29. All searches, all goals are equally enjoyable and equally unnecessary
  30. No need to resist life. Just do your best and enjoy the present. You and the world and everyone in it is one

What I got out of it

  1. Awesome read that I’d definitely read again. Learned about happiness, goals, what you really want to get out of life, priorities, etc.