Questions & Answers
What I write is only as true and useful as what I live. My responses to these few sample questions may provide some insight into my life. I hope you will always find me an open book.
Click any question below to view Dan’s answer:
How did you go from being a college athlete and coach to write books about personal and spiritual growth?
I was inspired by Way of the Peaceful Warrior, and Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior -- but how do you apply these lessons to daily life?
Then, in response to many questions like this one, I found it necessary and helpful to write No Ordinary Moments: a peaceful warrior’s guide to daily life, and over the years, numerous other works.
My core teaching books also include:
- Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior
- The Four Purposes of Life
- Everyday Enlightenment (available as an online course, “Master the Path of the Peaceful Warrior”)
- The Laws of Spirit
- The Life You Were Born to Live
These books offer tools for insight and comprehensive, practical guidance for living with a peaceful heart and a warrior spirit. Each book is another piece of the puzzle, another facet of the way.
In the spring of 2017 I’ll offer a six-hour audio program that touches upon key aspects of all my core teachings.
Your first book reminds me of the writings of Carlos Castañeda, and his teacher, Don Juan. Did you draw upon his earlier work?
Castañeda’s early work and Way of the Peaceful Warrior are similar in the sense they involve a struggling student and mysterious mentor. But life, literature and film overflow with such pairings: Arthur had Merlin, Frodo had Gandalf; Mitch had Morrie; Luke Skywalker had Obi Wan Kenobi and Yoda. And I had my Socrates.
How much of Way of the Peaceful Warrior is true? Is Socrates real or fictional?
A more recent book, Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior, responds to nearly all the questions I’ve been asked over the years about Socrates and the teachings. I consider “Wisdom…” an essential companion to my first book, to truly understand the original teachings.
What about Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior - how much of that book is factual?
In The Journeys of Socrates, you reveal more about your relationship to Socrates. How much of this is true?
Your work avoids complex models in favor of an accessible, down-to-earth approach. Is it possible that spiritual sophisticates may not take your work seriously?
Close All Questions
Why did Socrates speak to you so harshly at times?
Since you charge money for your seminars, have you ever been criticized for selling spiritual teachings?
Writers own the fruits of their labors and manner of creative expression. Ideas are free, but it takes considerable labor to bring those ideas into the world in the form of well-chosen words. If all music and literature were free, then few musicians or writers or other artists could support themselves through their creative work.
I'm an aspiring writer, and would love to have you review my work and offer advice. Do you answer such letters and requests directed to you?
While my schedule does not allow me to review or endorse or comment on developing manuscripts or even finished books, I can refer you, on request, to free-lance editors who can help you develop your work. But first, read The Creative Compass!
What is your daily life like?
Then, after a shower and breakfast, unless I’m traveling and speaking, I begin my work day of writing and emails, plus whatever tasks or other duties arise. It used to be family duties, but now that our daughters are grown, Joy and I have settled into new daily and weekly routines and rhythms.
Are you personally enlightened?
My wife and (now-grown) children don’t view me as a teacher, but as a husband and father, respectively. I have my quirks and human foibles, which they point out with regularity (having become my ongoing teachers). We cannot truly know anyone else’s degree of spiritual maturity except by observing how they live, moment to moment.
Do you have a religious affiliation?
I became interested in your books because they remind me of Buddhist teachings. When you depict stoicism in the face of pain, this is what I consider “Zen.” Have you had any formal Zen training?
Are you affiliated with the “New Age”?
Years ago, when bookstores needed a category for books that did not neatly fit into religion, or psychology, or philosophy, they created the “New Age” section. I have never related to this miscellaneous drawer and catch-all category that includes books on positive thinking, shamanism, mysticism, ghosts, speculative healing methods, the occult, subliminal suggestions, affirmations, and so forth.
Most of my work presents realistic principles, perspectives, and practices from the conventional and the transcendental – how to live with a peaceful heart and a warrior spirit — with our head in the clouds and feet on the ground. (Now that I have five grandchildren, the bookstores may finally move my books from the New Age to the Middle Age section in the stores.)
I love your life purpose book, The Life You Were Born to Live, a guide to finding your life purpose. But it doesn't seem to cover anyone born after the year 2000. What can you say about these children?
In the current, 25th Anniversary Edition of The Life You Were Born to Live, I’ve done some significant revisions, increasing the number of life paths (for all those born between 1750 and the present day) from 37 to 45, to include those individuals born after the year 2000, some of whom have new and unusual (mostly single-digit) birth numbers, and I included updated insights into what makes these life paths different, also related to what numerologists refer to as “master numbers.” I believe the insights I share, while relatively brief, are original, and help us to understand the challenges and gifts on all our life paths.
Do you ever recommend other people or resources?
Don't people need a teacher, guru, or guide to complete the journey?