The Four Agreements

written by don miguel ruiz ~ reviewed by jaime kozlowski

Don Miguel Ruiz is known as a nagual, or shaman, of the Toltec tradition. His people are an ancient group of scientists and artists that formed with a collective goal to explore and preserve the practices and spiritual knowledge of ancient wisdom. Don Miguel Ruiz belongs to a long lineage of Toltec Teachers and has made great strides in spreading their wisdom across the world. Their belief system is not a religion, but a way of life that embraces spirit and honors all the spiritual masters who have taught on the earth. Toltec wisdom arises from the same essential unity of truth as many other sacred esoteric spiritual teachings found throughout cultures all over the world.

The Four Agreements are very simple, but very profound. By embracing and practicing each agreement you will find the path to personal freedom becomes easier and begin to live life like never before. Put most simply, the four agreements are:

Simple by nature yet, powerful when put to action. Each sentence has a superficial denotation that becomes intricate and dynamic as Ruiz elaborates through explanation and example. Ruiz’s teachings are powerful yet easy to understand and place into motion.

When one is impeccable with their word, they do not spread mental poison via gossip and negative words. Only words with true meaning and integrity should be spoken, finding that over time immunity from spreading and absorbing misinformation.  With a mind free of gossip, there is more energy to focus attention on creative and pleasurable experiences, thus using the power of word in the direction of truth and love.

By not taking things personally, needless suffering and melodramas disappear. Humans must realize that nothing others do is because of them. Each person has a projection of his or her own reality and this is not directly related to any other person. Your mind will achieve more clarity allowing time to think about desired goals and ability to experience the gift of life. Humans are not alive to merely create dramatic experiences the cause anguish, pain and suffering.

Don’t make assumptions basically means don’t jump to conclusions. Most every American is familiar with the cliché that plays with the word assume and goes something like “when you assume, you make an ass of you and me.”  It ends up that there is much truth behind this statement and it should be taken more seriously! When assumptions are made, misunderstandings arise. As humans, it is important to find the courage to ask questions and express exactly what you mean. Making an effort to communicate clearly and explicitly will diminish the occurrence of misunderstandings, drama and hurt feelings.

When a commitment is made to always do your best, one agrees to avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret. Doing our best means following the four agreements as best we can. It also means not being too hard on ourselves when we do indulge in gossiping, speaking badly of others, taking things personally, and making assumptions. When we agree to stop judging ourselves, it becomes much easier to stop judging others.

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