Don Miguel Ruiz is the international bestselling author of the Toltec Wisdom series, including The Four Agreements (over 7 years on The New York Times bestseller list), The Mastery of Love, and The Voice of Knowledge. He continues to share the wisdom of the ancient Toltec through lectures, workshops, and journeys to sacred sites around the world.
DonJose Ruiz was chosen by his father to carry on the centuries-old family legacy of healing and teaching. For the past 7 years, he has lectured widely across the United States and at sacred sites around the world.
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"The Fifth Agreement" is the sequel to "The Four Agreements," which outlines a simple foundation for a happy life that anyone can implement regardless of one's religion or lack of one. They convey the core of the Toltec shamanic tradition in a nutshell: Be impeccable with your word; don't take things personally; don't make assumptions; and do your best.
Don Miguel Ruiz wrote that bestseller 12 years ago, and now has written "The Fifth Agreement" with his son, don Jose. The fifth agreement is deceptively simple, yet incredibly profound. It states, "Be skeptical but learn to listen." While the first four agreements deal with our relationship to ourselves and how to create a happy life, the fifth agreement deals with our relationship to others, and how to create a better world.
"The Fifth Agreement" asks us to be skeptical and use discernment when listening others, and to understand that everyone has his or her own perspective and agenda reflected in their words. It is up to us to discern the truth behind the words, but always to be respectful of another's right to his or her views, even if we don't share them. Each of us is the artist of our own life, the director of our own play, and we can make it an adventure or a drama - heaven or hell, it's up to us.
The first part of the book reviews the first four agreements, discussing how the meanings we attribute to symbols define us culturally. The second part of the book delves into the more advanced concepts of the Toltec mystery school, including the Fifth Agreement, Victims, Warriors, Masters and Seers. All the concepts are explained in ways that anyone can understand and, hopefully, implement in one's life.Read more ›
I just this minute finished reading don Miguel's new book, The Fifth Agreement, for the first time. It opens with a recap of the first four agreements, which is a little draggy if you've read The Four Agreements three times, but which is still worth reading because it is a reminder of the ramifications of the four agreements, and a chance to refocus on them in a new light. The fifth agreement, be skeptical, but learn to listen, is a stealth stunner.It seems simple and basic, but it's one of those that if carried to it's obvious conclusion, leads to complete freedom. In sum, it is a great book, a book to read, and reread, and read again. It is a book to practice and to live. Don Miguel has a great knack for taking "keep it simple, stupid" to it's optimum. Get it. Read it. Live it.
This is a wonderful book. Although there is some repeat of information from Ruiz's book "The Four Agreements," there is also a lot of new and very insightful content. In particular, I got the sense that Don Miguel Ruiz's son Don Jose, and the other co-author, Janet Mills, brought another dimension to the work that clearly added value to the book. As such, I highly recommend The Fifth Agreement as a spiritual growth resource. Here's one of my favorite passages:
"Let's say you're living with guilt and shame for a mistake you made ten years ago. The excuse for your suffering is, "I made a terrible mistake," and you're still suffering for something that happened ten years ago, but the truth is you're suffering from something that happened ten seconds ago. You judged yourself again for the same mistake, and of course the big judge says, "You need to be punished." It's simple action-reaction. The action is self-judgment; the reaction is self punishment in the form of guilt and shame. All your life you repeat the same action, hoping to have a different reaction, and it never happens. The only way to change your life is to change the action, and then the reaction will change."
Many years ago I read Ruiz's "The Four Agreements, A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom". I was so impressed by the simple, but deep wisdom of the Four Agreements that I sent copies to each of my twenty-some children. I think they received them much as anything of this sort is received from a parent.
A friend recently gave me a copy of The Fifth Agreement. I wondered why they put out another one as the first seemed enough for a lifetime, but it did not take me long to understand.
The first part of the book is a revisiting of the Four Agreements. Like a lot of things in life it never hurts to back over the basics. The Four Agreements are essentially the foundation for the Fifth Agreement.
Again the book is simple yet profound. None of the Five Agreements is something we do not know about. The trick is remembering them and living them.
For me, at least, the book is best read in multiple sessions. I read each chapter as meditation. Like a meditation each chapter can be read again.
The book is spiritual, but not religious. It embraces and rejects religion all at the same time. At least that is my dream of how it read.
As I read the book, I could not help but see the confluence of Buddhism ant Toltec wisdom. Is it surprising, or is not surprising that similar concepts / wisdom developed at different times in different cultures.
The next question is why do I say this? Both approaches emphasize being in the moment. Impeccable speech strikes me as Right Conduct, Right Livelihood, and Right Thought in the Buddhist tradition. They phrase it differently, but they both address quieting the clattering monkey mind.Read more ›