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The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book)

4,331 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1878424310
ISBN-10: 1878424319
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Editorial Reviews Review

Sit at the foot of a native elder and listen as great wisdom of days long past is passed down. In The Four Agreements shamanic teacher and healer Don Miguel Ruiz exposes self-limiting beliefs and presents a simple yet effective code of personal conduct learned from his Toltec ancestors. Full of grace and simple truth, this handsomely designed book makes a lovely gift for anyone making an elementary change in life, and it reads in a voice that you would expect from an indigenous shaman. The four agreements are these: Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Always do your best. It's the how and why one should do these things that make The Four Agreements worth reading and remembering. --P. Randall Cohan

From Publishers Weekly

Ruiz's explanations of Toltec-based cosmography got a major boost recently when publishing pooh-bah Oprah Winfrey mentioned his work on her TV show. Ruiz, whose workshop teachings are distilled here, was born into a Mexican family of traditional healers, became a surgeon in adulthood, then underwent a near-death experience that made him reexamine his life, his beliefs. Like the popular works of the late Carlos Castaneda, Ruiz's teachings focus on dreams and visions. "Dreaming," Ruiz argues, "is the main function of the mind." A series of four "agreements" are detailed, which make up a larger picture of unconditional human faith. Despite the New Age- sounding language, Ruiz is refreshingly clear in the presentation of his ideas. Reading aloud, actor Coyote sounds every bit the enthusiastic old hippie, genuinely excited by the concepts he is spinning. Based on the 1997 Amber-Allen edition.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Toltec Wisdom (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Amber-Allen Publishing (November 7, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1878424319
  • ISBN-13: 978-1878424310
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4,331 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,787 of 1,870 people found the following review helpful By Janet Boyer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 28, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Don Miguel Ruiz is known as a nagual, or shaman, of the Toltec tradition. The Toltecs were an ancient group of scientists and artists that was formed to explore and preserve the practices and spiritual knowledge of the ancient ones. It 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 other sacred esoteric traditions that are found all over the world.
The Four Agreements are very simple, but very profound. To embrace and live each of the Four Agreements is to find yourself experiencing personal freedom--possibly as never before. The Four Agreements are:
Be Impeccable With Your Words
Don't Take Anything Personally
Don't Make Assumptions
Always Do Your Best
From the cover of the book:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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455 of 485 people found the following review helpful By Insightful on October 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
The author says the we have chosen to believe what we have been programmed to believe. Recognizing how difficult it is to change core beliefs, he merely makes practical suggestions about how one can view things differently. All of the rhetoric, pro and con, about this book may stimulate the intellect; however, the ultimate question to ask about new ideas is `How well do they work". These Four Agreements work. This is precisely why an open mind is so important for spiritual growth. With an open mind one can experiment with new ideas instead of sitting around debating the merits of the ideas.

If you doubt the validity of what this author says, I would invite you to call up any one of your friends and see if they can carry on a conversation for 10 minutes without engaging in character assignation. The author says they can't, and I discovered he was right.

If you are open to new ideas, this book will be beneficial to you.

If you have the courage to further question what you have been programmed to believe, I would strongly recommend the book An Encounter with a Prophet by Clyde A. Lewis. An Encounter with a Prophet enabled me to give up my programmed beliefs about God -beliefs that were causing me a good deal of disturbance. The book also provided practical suggestions that I could experiment with. Those suggestions also worked.
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443 of 487 people found the following review helpful By Betty Burks on December 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
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:

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.

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.

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.
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165 of 185 people found the following review helpful By Alex M on September 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not sure what all the hype is about. The book makes four points: (1) Be impeccable with your words; (2) Don't take anything personally; (3) Don't make assumptions; and (4) Always do your best. I would say each of these four points is self-explanatory. Within each chapter of the book is maybe a sentence or two making a worthwhile point, followed by pages and pages of stream of consciousness rambling. Much of the rambling, if viewed critically, makes little sense and is in fact quite distracting. The examples given are not terribly well thought out. Among the rambling are statements about spirituality and God which assume some level of religiosity in the reader. I purchased this book based on all the positive reviews, but I have to say, I don't understand where they're coming from. Anyone who has engaged in even a little introspection will not be enlightened by this book.
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