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About The Book

The Hidden School reveals a book within a book, a quest within a quest, and a bridge between worlds.

In the long-awaited conclusion to the international bestselling Peaceful Warrior saga, Dan Millman takes readers on an epic spiritual quest across the world as he searches for the link between everyday life and transcendent possibility.

Continuing his journey from Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Dan moves from Honolulu to the Mojave Desert, and from a bustling Asian city to a secluded forest, until he uncovers the mystery of The Hidden School. While traversing continents, he uncovers lessons of life hidden in plain sight—insights pointing the way to an inspired life in the eternal present.

Along the way, you’ll encounter remarkable characters and brushes with mortality as you explore the nature of reality, the self, death, and finally, a secret as ancient as the roots of this world. Awaken to the hidden powers of paradox, humor, and change. Discover a vision that may forever change your perspectives about life’s promise and potential.

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Hidden School includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


In this final leg of Dan Millman’s spiritual odyssey around the world, referred to in his iconic work Way of the Peaceful Warrior, a samurai statuette found off the coast of Molokai points Dan toward Japan. But when he discovers a letter from his old mentor, Socrates, his plans and life abruptly change. Redirected to the Mojave Desert, where Socrates has hidden—or lost—a valuable journal, and pursued by a shadowy figure, Dan continues a quest that will take him to a mysterious forest in Asia where his transformation continues, preparing him for the death, rebirth, and awakening that awaits in the shadows and in the light.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. Socrates’s letter to Dan Millman includes a parable that Nada shares about Death waiting in Samarra. How do Nada’s dying words bestow on Socrates “a blessing and a burden” (page 15)?

2. When, on a hunch, Dan asks Papa Joe if he ever met a woman named Nada, Papa Joe responds that he has “known many women by many names” (page 36). How does this enigmatic response represent Papa Joe’s love of riddles?

3. Indulging himself in Las Vegas’s casinos, Dan describes the dark magic of the city as capable of “undoing epochs of evolution” in himself (page 77). How do you interpret his contrasting of urban and natural environments here and throughout the book?

4. The author-as-protagonist interprets the scorpion he encounters in the desert as a sign or omen. In what way does the reappearance of the scorpion in the cave where Dan finds Socrates’s journal aid in his escape?

5. Once he has Socrates’s journal, Dan determines that it is “time to leave the country” (page 104). How do you think he comes to this conclusion in light of Socrates’s earlier advice to go to the East “only when [he] can bring value to the table of wisdom” (page 8)?

6. Hua Chi offers that the fact her brother has a hidden school, just what Dan seeks, is “an interesting coincidence [. . .] if you believe in such things” (page 125). How does the author present the role of coincidence and destiny throughout The Hidden School?

7. Consider Papa Joe’s reference to Alexander the Great and the Gordian knot. In what ways do Mei Bao’s congratulations to Dan for “[focusing] on the goal, not on the obstacle” (page 157) with the pin test mirror Dan’s approach to the obstacles and goals of his journey?

8. Review the author’s four paradoxical truths on pages 176 and 177. How does the resolution of these paradoxes relate to the dissolution of the “limited self” described on page 193? Do you agree or disagree with any of these apparently opposite, paradoxical truths the author proposes?

9. Master Ch’an’s school serves as a kind of haven beyond the reach of Maoist policies. Based on the author’s narration, how might the hidden school’s ideology contrast with the People’s Republic government from which it tries to isolate itself?

10. In light of the evidence Dan uncovers along his journey, were you surprised to find that Pájaro was the gardener’s son and Joe Stalking Wolf all along? Do you think that the realization that “at some point the elderly need to die and be recycled [. . .] Love of life is one thing. Fear of death is quite another” (page 225) undermines the gardener’s quest for eternal life?

11. The final days of Dan’s quest find him confronting multiple deaths and his own “dread of nonbeing” (page 259). Why do you think meditation on death and finding the samurai statuette’s home on page 276 give him a sense of completeness?

12. What do you consider to be major elements from the journal—the book within the book? How might paradox be a key to grasping both conventional and transcendent truths?

Enhance Your Book Club

1. In addition to the Peaceful Warrior saga, Dan Millman is a prolific writer of nonfiction about his core teachings. Choose one of Millman’s prescriptive titles, such as The Four Purposes of Life or No Ordinary Moments, for your next book club meeting and discuss.

2. Watch the film adaptation Peaceful Warrior with your book club. How do the messages of the Peaceful Warrior books compare to their translation on the big screen? Do you think there are elements that resonate more through either the books or the movie? Why?

3. The practice of t’ai chi features prominently in The Hidden School. Plan a trip with your book club to a martial arts studio near you that teaches t’ai chi forms and reflect on your experience.

4. Millman also provides online courses and workouts through his website, Sign up for one of these with your book club and discuss what you learn as it relates to the book.

About The Author

© Kristin Hoebermann Studio NY

Dan Millman, former world champion gymnast, coach, martial arts teacher, and college professor, is the author of seventeen books published in twenty-nine languages and shared across generations to millions of readers. His international bestselling book, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, was adapted to film. Dan speaks worldwide to people from all walks of life.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Gallery Books (June 6, 2017)
  • Length: 304 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781501169670

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Raves and Reviews

In Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Dan Millman established himself as a master of teaching through story. Now, in this exciting adventure, he reveals how deep learning can be found in unexpected places. The wisdom he shares will illuminate many lives.

– don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements

Dan's new book is must-read journey of transformation. Few other books so skillfully combine story and substance than this peaceful warrior adventure.

– Tony Robbins, New ?York Times #1 best-selling author, entrepreneur & philanthropist

Dan Millman’s conclusion to his peaceful warrior saga is a remarkable odyssey of life, death and meaning — the fully-realized completion of a unique spiritual adventure. What a privilege to travel this unforgettable journey with him. This epiphanous work will stay with you long after you’ve read it.

– Ed Spielman, creator of the landmark, now-classic, ABC “Kung Fu” TV series

The conclusion to Dan Millman’s life-changing Peaceful Warrior saga was well worth the wait. This riveting quest through many exotic locations reminds readers what it means to follow a spiritual path in the modern world. Millman’s journey includes memorable characters and daunting challenges on the way to wisdom and inner peace. It’s a book for anyone interested in life's bigger picture and deeper currents.

– William Bernhardt, best-selling author of Challengers of the Dust

A brilliant sequel to a timeless classic. Well done. I highly recommend this treasure.

– Caroline Myss, author Anatomy of the Spirit and Sacred Contracts

Dan's new book, The Hidden School, reminds me of the magic and mystery of the Way of the Peaceful Warrior. This suspenseful, often humorous adventure, shows the way to our own light, our own music, and our own way home. When I experienced Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome in Tahiti back in 1986, the Way of the Peaceful Warrior literally saved my life. Keep on keepin' on Dan. I'll always be there with and for you. Thank-Q brother.


– - Quincy Jones, Grammy award winning musician, producer, actor and humanitarian

The Hidden School is filled with beautiful lessons that challenges your ideas of reality and pushes you to live a more inspired life.


– -Amy Smart, actress and activist

In this compelling story, Dan Millman takes us on a quest for the secret of eternal life. He moves easily between worlds, using external action-adventure as a metaphor for an internal spiritual quest, providing both entertainment and self-reflection. The Hidden School brings to mind the adventures of Carlos Casteñada and mysterious quest in The Da Vinci Code.  This is a page turner, both entertaining and provocative.  If you can only take one book to read on your next vacation, this is that book.


– –Ronald Boyer, award-winning author, poet, and screenwriter

With a masterful touch, Dan Millman's The Hidden School will transform the way we navigate our journey in the seemingly everyday events of life, inspiring us to discover their hidden magic, all the while igniting the mystical essence within ourselves.  

– Michael Bernard Beckwith, author of Spiritual Liberation

Dan Millman has done it again. THE HIDDEN SCHOOL completes the book cycle he began with THE PEACEFUL WARRIOR, bringing the story full circle.  This book is the most intriguing of them all, as Millman takes his readers into invisible worlds, cross-oceanic voyages, and encounters with incredible sages.  The lessons in this book are both profound and simple -- and many people who read it will never see reality in the same way again.  So be forewarned. Read THE HIDDEN SCHOOL at your own risk!

– Stanley Krippner, Ph.D. co-author PERSONAL MYTHOLOGY

Indispensable and accessible this book is a wonderful resource filled with profound teachings presented with clarity and wisdom. Dan’s complex and thoughtful story will remind you of who you are, while awakening your life in the process.

– Sherri Baptiste, Author and Founder of Baptiste Power of Yoga

"Ever since Dan Millman published "Way of the Peaceful Warrior” I have been a fan and have looked forward to his next book. Many of my colleagues, friends and clients have been the grateful recipients of his books.

In “The Hidden School” Dan takes the reader on a physical , psychological and philosophical journey that is fun and suspenseful . His writing is clear, humorous and compassionate. I especially appreciate the way he tackles paradox and contradictions. 

Readers will also benefit from his thoughts on reconciling divergent thoughts and feelings.Dan accomplishes this (and many other issues) in a gentle, sometimes self-effacing manner that gets the points across without dogma and over intellectualization. I’ll be giving out many more copies.


– Barry Elkin, Ph.D, Clinical Psychologist

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