Don Miguel Ruiz and The Four Agreements
Given my recent art cruise to the Mexican Riviera, Don Miguel Ruiz came to mind.
Born in 1952 and raised in rural Mexico, Don Miguel was brought up following Toltec ways by his mother who was a Toltec faith healer. However, Don Miguel pursued a more conventional education which led him to becoming a surgeon - practicing for several years.
After a car crash, Don Miguel reverted back to his Toltec roots in the late 70's. He first studied and learned in depth, the Toltec ways and then teaching, healing, and writing throughout the 80's and 90's. In 1997 he wrote The Four Agreements. My friend Dianne gifted me with this book several years ago.
The simple ideas of this book provide an inspirational code for life - sort of a template for personal development, behaviour, communications and relationships. Here is how he summarizes The Four Agreements:
Agreement 1: Be impeccable with your word - Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
Agreement 2: Don’t take anything personally - Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
Agreement 3: Don’t make assumptions - Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
Agreement 4: Always do your best - Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
Don Miguel has also written The Mastery of Love (1999), The Four Agreements Companion Book (2000), and Prayers (2001).