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I read a book in 1989 ish. I thought it was the bookZen of Motorcycle Maintanance, but when I looked at Amazon, it didn't seem to be the book. It is about a young man who is going to school and walks to a gas station. There he meets a man he calls Socrates. The man is able to jump up on the roof. The young man gets the old man to teach him how. He has him dig a hole and from in the hole, jump out. Every day, he would dig deeper and jump out, increasing his jump.

I recently watched Peaceful Warrior. It was uncannily familiar, but I know I didn't read that book. I found the author, Dan Millman, and he said that was not the technique he wrote of in the book. So, what book did I read then? Thanks

asked 24 Sep '12, 19:25

Fairy%20Princess's gravatar image

Fairy Princess

edited 25 Sep '12, 08:59

@Fairy Princess- Seems to be a QiGong technique

This type of training helps to explain his reputation for Qing Gong - lightness and jumping skill. As a young man, he emulated the martial arts students he observed by digging holes for jumping practice. He would jump from a standing position from the bottoms of the holes to ground level. Gradually increasing the depth of the holes, he extended his jumping capability

(25 Sep '12, 08:34) Satori

@Satori - Interesting guy! I tried QiGong for a while, but I wasn't doing anything like that. ;)

(25 Sep '12, 08:51) Grace

@Satori Yes, that't the movie I saw. That story is verry interresting. Thanks for sharing.

(25 Sep '12, 09:00) Fairy Princess

@Grace- Good for you. Qigong is great. You may be right though. It doesn't really say anything about it being part of Qigong. :) @Fairy Princess- Your welcome:)

(25 Sep '12, 11:33) Satori
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Despite what you say, the book seems to be Way Of The Peaceful Warrior to me.

Dan Millman says that what Socrates could do (jumping onto rooftops) was fictional but the character was based on a real man in a gas station.

Spiritual Endeavors: I realize that it's not as important as some people think, but for the record, is the character Socrates real or fictional?

Dan Millman: The character of Socrates is based on a real old man I met in an old gas station on the corner of Oxford and Hearst Streets in Berkeley, California, about 3 A.M. one starry night.

Spiritual Endeavors: And could he really jump up on rooftops etc..

Dan Millman: No. Nor did he grab me by the head and "send" me on inner journeys, or make me forget about Joy for all those years, or "crush" my skull in a cave in the mountains. Socrates became the spokesperson for what I had learned from a number of teachers and influences in my life, both external and internal.

Source :

Also see:


answered 25 Sep '12, 12:34

Stingray's gravatar image


edited 25 Sep '12, 12:35

I asked Dan Millman himself. He said, "Ninjas and cornstalks." I looked that up and it is where they grow a cornstalk and jump over it daily, increasing their jump as it grows.

(25 Sep '12, 12:37) Fairy Princess

alt text

Is this it @Fairy Princess? I need 100 characters so just thought I'd say hi. :) Nope not enough, hope you had a nice Monday, mine was nice.


answered 24 Sep '12, 21:47

Grace's gravatar image


The audiobook is available to download in the UK and ROI from Tuesday 31 January, until midnight on Monday 6 February. D

(25 Sep '12, 03:12) ursixx

Sigh. And I thought I was being soo helpful. ;) Thanks @ursixx!

(25 Sep '12, 08:46) Grace

That is the book I thought it was. Thanks. But when I search it for Socrates, it is not the book.

(25 Sep '12, 08:47) Fairy Princess
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