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Showing 1-10 of 200 reviews(3 star). Show all reviews
on December 20, 2005
Some years ago, I read this little book and shared it with a friend out in California, calling it a 'gem' so, when I found it again, it was like coming home to a 'friend' who had been waiting until I needed to be reminded of his soul-searching and (could be) life-changing practical knowledge. This time around, this is what spoke to me specificially:

#1
Through your word, you express your creative powers. The word is the most powerful tool you have as a human. It is the power you have to express and communicate, to think, and tereby to create the events in your life. The word is so powerful that one word can change a life. The truth is the most important part of being impeccable with your word. Only the truth will set us free. One little piece of misinformation can break down communication between people. Gossip is poison. Impeccability of the word can lead to personal freedom.

#2
Your point of view is personal to you. It is your version of the truth. You have to trust yourself and choose to believe or not what someone says to you. When we really see other people as they are without taking it personally, we can never be hurt by what they say or do. Healing is on the way, and it's just a matter of time before things will be better for you. You are never responsible for the actions of others; you are only responsible for you. You can experience inner peace and happiness.

#3
The problem with making assumptions is that you believe they are the truth. It is always better to ask questions than to make an assumption. When the truth comes out, we find that it was not what we thought it was at all. Have the courage to ask qustions. Perhaps you need to gather more facts about a particular situation. Real love is accepting other people the way they are without trying to change them. If you don't understand, ask for an explanation. Find your voice to ask for what you want.

#4
When you wake up refreshed and energized in the morning, your best will be better than when you are tired at night. Your best will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick, or sober as opposed to drunk. Regardless of the quality, keep doing your best. If we like what we do, if we always do our best, then we are really enjoying life. We are having fun; we don't get bored; we don't have frustrations. Be aware and learn from your mistakes. Letting go of the past means you can enjoy the dream that is happening right now. You are a master of speaking your language because you practiced.

You must have a strong will to keep these Four Agreements. You don't have to be religious or go to church every day. Live one day at a time, and don't be concerned about the future. Like the brave butterfly, let your spirits fly high and wide. These are the teachings of the Toltec knowledge. In southern Mexico, they were the scientists and artist, men and women of knowledge. They group together in the ancient city of pyramids outside Mexico City.

Don Miguel Ruiz's mother Sarita was a 'healer,' his grandfather, Leonard Macier, a 'shaman.' His father, Jose Luis, taught him discipline. His other books include THE MASTERY OF LOVE, BEYOND FEAR, THE VOICE OF KNOWLEDGE (2004) and his newest, THE SPIRIT RECOVERY.
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on February 13, 2002
This book was less than I expected. There is good practical advice - like cultivating distance from your own thoughts and other people's words and replacing old ideas with new beliefs. However, there's really nothing new here, it's more of a common-sense book, and I see little, if anything, that hasn't been taught many times over by other popular authors and most major religions. I prefer the book of wisdom by Taro Gold called "Open Your Mind, Open Your Life."
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on June 13, 2015
By Don Miguel Ruiz

In 2005 I attended a seminar on this book The Four Agreements at a Unity Church in Boulder Colorado. Unity is a non-denominational church with a positive message. I remember Jack Groverland the minister clearly. He is an awesome motivational speaker with a crooked past and a spiritual message of a Christian bent. http://unityofboulder.com/ Unity also brought me A Course in Miracles of which inspired me to create a book of poems on Spirituality. It is yet to be published. Truth is I actually never read that book cover to cover as the class seemed to do that for me. Ten years later I learn in a coincidental way that a friend of mine read this book. For the most part I have only spiritual contact with this friend. It is an awesome relationship. So what the heck I pulled the book off the shelf to read it front to back.
Ruiz takes a Toltec Indian slant in the delivery of his message. I believe the slant in combination with his Spanish sounding name is an attention getter as there is very little of the Toltec life brought in to the Four Agreements. And this is not meant as a knock, but to make the point that the book gives you a heavy dose of the pitfalls in the drama of modern man in America. One’s ability to have a spiritual awareness is relentlessly attacked by the pressures of a material world and a society that lives through the fear of scarcity. If no other fear there is time. When will it run out on me? The strategy seems to be that this drama played out in society during our time alive, of which Ruiz calls hell, is escapable by prescribing to the Four Agreements.
1. Be Impeccable to your word
2. Don’t take anything personally
3. Don’t make Assumptions
4. Always do your best
I call this book the Agreement Sandwich. In Agreements two and three, Ruiz provides many examples of how other peoples drama can wear at your psyche and cause you to behave negatively as a result. The message is quite simply to not allow yourself to fall victim to the bombardment of negativity. My reaction; well maybe if don’t need this self help lecture. I look for and find the negative in the worst of people … most of the time. OK as I recognize this, likely ten years after the seminar, I can account for if you impeccably look for the good in people you’ll find it. So the reason I say most…well I am not perfect, but I try my best and know where I need work.
OK the bun… is not sesame seed. Yeas, being impeccable is an either or thing says Ruiz. This chapter has you in control and therefore is fraught with a very simple either or message. When you take out the garbage this discipline is easy. Always do you best, is equally put on you. However, Ruiz recognizes that your best is different each day. This allows you to stay on point with an intention but not to victimize yourself when you come up short.
By this point the reader is only somewhat motivated to indulge in the prescription. The last two chapters bring it all together and that is where you are moved. Breaking old Agreements speaks to forgiveness as the key. Heaven on earth speaks to love; the kind of love the is whole or what I have come to know as W’holy. When you unconditionally love someone, you can only see their ‘sins’ as mistakes that can be corrected. What moved me most is in the last chapter Ruiz claims that these are not his words but are really wrapped up in the message of Jesus Christ. To Ruiz When Christ speaks about transition and resurrection, he is speaking about the death of the old you and the birth of the new you. I interpret this very simply as ‘letting go and letting God’, ‘who art in heaven and his/her will be done’.
I will challenge anyone to read the New Testament, all four Gospels and see if you can hear this in Christ’s message. And then if you do: read the rest and let the W’holy Spirit; otherwise known as the collective conscience of ONE man. When I say One man I mean the collective conscience of all man through all of time.

Looking for my review on A Course in Miracles? Enter keyword cigarroomofbooks A Course in Miracles
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on February 25, 2001
The Four Agreements is brief treatise on how people create their own realities, and what they can do to improve that reality. Ruiz offers a blueprint for treating yourself justly and lovingly without trying to change other people. There is much here that is very good practical advice - especially the suggestions to cultivate some distance from your thoughts and other people's words and to replace old "agreements" with new beliefs about yourself. In fact, there's really nothing mystical or too "out there" in this common-sense book, and I see little, if anything, that would offend most Christians I know.
The book is sometimes too obvious and too simplistic to be ultimately satisfying, however. When I read it, I kept thinking that this book embodies some of the worst characteristics of New Age writing. The writing is often stilted and the chapters repetitive. The book would be better had it been edited more tightly.
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on June 24, 2015
I like the message. The book could have been like half the size though, no need to go on and on about the same thing. Liked it, don't get me wrong, but it was like beating a dead horse with the message. A little New Agey.
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on June 25, 2001
This book was added to my collection after being invited to a local monthly book club. My husband read it too and we plan to attend the discussion together this week.
The Four Agreements, provides typical self-help and personal growth advice. "Toltec" wisdom reiterates positive thinking and confidence in yourself. The dream/reality issue is something each individual would have to read about and determine how they interpret Ruiz and his ancient beliefs.
It was a "quick read" and an opportunity to reinstate my focus on the good and positive words I say to others, as well as myself.
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on August 9, 2001
This book was less than I expected. There is good practical advice - like cultivating distance from your own thoughts and other people's words and replacing old ideas with new beliefs. However, there's really nothing new here, it's more of a common-sense book, and I see little, if anything, that hasn't been taught many times over by other popular authors and most major religions.
If you want a little book filled with truly thought-provoking advice on living a happy life, I highly recommend 'Open Your Mind, Open Your Life' by Taro Gold.
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on June 29, 2015
I bought this book because it popped up on Amazon as associated with the Carlos Castaneda series and it had thousands of reviews which I assumed meant it was worth reading. It is nothing like the books Castaneda wrote. It's very light in substance and the topics addressed, such as personal importance, overlap with Don Juan's teachings but...something is lacking. The points it tries to make are supported by the most unconvincing and nonsensical parables.
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on September 8, 2015
I feel strongly that there is a reason that I keep seeing the same message in so many forms. Here it is again. I a m OK. I am enough. I can't let self-recrimination eat me alive. I get it from Don Miguel, from Bill Wilson, from. Eckhart Tolle, from Melody Beattie, from Dwayne Dyer. The message can't be coincidence. Gee... maybe it's time to change things a little. Or a lot.
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on July 10, 2015
The author offers great advice! Very useful! The problem I had with this book was the author's repetitive style. The real wisdom of the book is contained in the inside book jacket.

Still... If we all practiced what this author is preaching, we would be much happier and live in a much more peaceful and productive world.
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