Do “peace” and “warrior” go together? Is there an easier way to learn, thrive and have peace even during circumstances we don’t like? Is there an easier way to affect politically active change?
Seeking nothing but a peaceful heart sounds “woo-woo” and others may use force to get their points across, but there is a way to have both inner calm and a warrior’s spirit.
What would be a peaceful warrior’s catalyst for change? What is the one thing you need to do every day and six words that can alter your life forever? It’s a practice of Everything; a talent for living.
In late May, Dan Millman gave this talk at TEDx about the peaceful warrior’s way. It is a great short summation of that way, which was laid out in his semi-autobiographical book Way of the Peaceful Warrior.
Peaceful Warrior is a movie based on the book and Dan’s journey. It is sometimes called Rocky for the soul. Nick Nolte deserves an Oscar for living down that one mugshot and portraying the humble zen warrior called Socrates. In this Hero’s Journey, Socrates is the mentor archetype – a mysterious actual person that showed up during Dan’s darkest moments.
At Berkeley, Dan thought he knew everything, lived recklessly, based his entire happiness on winning the Olympic gold, and fought the growing, nagging emptiness inside. An accident changes his life and with Socrates they begin to build from the inside-out. Millman amazed everyone when even though he wasn’t supposed to walk again, he did compete in the Olympics and pulled off a new gymnastics move.
The film is not just one of those “sports movies” but is actually really transformational. It only focuses on one aspect of the book that, in full, is pretty trippy. The book is mystical and goes deeper into higher consciousness and body, mind, and spirit – but is also simply a story and only semi-autobiographical. If you enjoy the movie, you might really like the book and we welcome your thoughts below.
Here is a sample of the dialogue you might expect from a movie like Peaceful Warrior:
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Dan: Hey Socrates, if you know so much why do you work in a gas station?
Soc: This is a service station, we offer service. There is no higher purpose.
Soc: Service to others
Where are you? …. Here
What time is it? … Now
What are you? … This Moment
Just some of the concepts laid throughout the storyline:
- There are no ordinary moments.
- A Warrior acts; only a fool reacts.
- What do you do if you can’t do what you were born to do? Everything has a purpose — it’s up to you to find it.
- The mind is just a reflex organ, always reacting…
- Make every move about the move — that one moment in time.
- Don’t fall into the trap — If only I had this, I’d be … If only … , I’d get to be happy.
- If you don’t get what you want, you suffer. If you get what you want, you still suffer.
- You control you. Master you.
- Don’t pin your success on outcomes.
- Take out the trash. Clear you mind of everything you don’t need (doubt, past failures, future victories, … etc.)
- Develop the wisdom to use the right leverage at the right time.
- You’ll never be better than anybody, the same way you’ll never be any less.
- Enjoy the here and now — that’s the secret.
- Other people’s perspectives don’t matter as much if you have your own perspective.
- Don’t give up the one thing you control — your response.
- Every action has its price and its pleasure.
- Most people don’t live at all.
- The warrior doesn’t give up what they love.
- The warrior finds the love in what they do.
- The warrior is not about invincibility.
- Warrior is not about perfection. Warrior is about absolute vulnerability.
(h/t to Sources of Insight blog)
Later, Socrates reveals to Dan, three rules of life – paradox, humor and change:
- Paradox – Life is a mystery – don’t waste time trying to figure it out…
- Humor – Keep a sense of humor, especially about yourself, it is a strength beyond all measure…
- Change – Know that nothing stays the same…
Humor is laced throughout the movie and plays a big role in a peaceful warrior’s life. Humor holds a lot of power as evidenced by the work of Dr. David Hawkins in Power vs Force:
Humorlessness, in contrast, is hostile to health and happiness. Totalitarian systems are notably devoid of humor at any level — laughter, which brings acceptance and freedom, is a threat to their rule. After all, it’s difficult to oppress people who have a good sense of humor. Beware the humorless — whether in the form of a person, institution, or belief system — for it’s always accompanied by an impulse to control and dominate, even if its proclaimed objective is to create prosperity or peace.
For any price, even $1, you can take the course Way of the Peaceful Warrior at DailyOM.com. Also for any price, there is a companion course called the 4-Minute Peaceful Warrior workout – yes, you really can do just four minutes of exercise daily.
What are your thoughts on the path of the peaceful warrior?
Read other articles by Amanda Warren