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1,655 of 1,730 people found the following review helpful
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. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
This book may be small in size, but it packs a hefty punch in terms of shattering personal illusions and opening up a path to personal freedom. I consider this book a must-have for anyone wanting to become more conscious and wanting freedom from personal stories and agreements that cause suffering.
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411 of 439 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2004
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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378 of 418 people found the following review helpful
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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84 of 92 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2013
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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468 of 535 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 1998
I have read so many books promising joy in my life, yet I have read none so simple and practical as that of the Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz. The book is a beautiful instruction guide to achieve a life of freedom and happiness. He teaches four lifestyle commitments, which can transform life into the realization of your own personal dream. Written from his heart, the Four Agreements has made profound changes in my life. What seemed insurmountable challenges became powerful lessons which I was able to embrace with faith and love. What is the dream that you hold for yourself? Allow the magic of don Miguel's wisdom to shift your life into a masterful awareness of all you want for yourself.Become the power that you want in yourlife, realize the opportunites before you and then you can live in a heaven created from the beauty of your own heart. I have given the book to many people, who, only reading it once, have initiated life changes. My personal experience with don Miguel is that no matter how little you are exposed to him, your heart will always be touched. He and his words are the touch of an angel. Treat yourself to a world without limits!
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117 of 131 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2000
Naomi Salvarezza, English 100 4/11/00 The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is a very special book. Don Miguel puts forth many teachings which are very enlightening. These agreements in the book are a guide to personal freedom and happiness. Don Miguel writes "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 victum of needless suffering." Don Miguel smoothly blends his native teachings with the hectic pace of the modern world. Teaching us how to live without all the useless stress and worries and how we can be clean in clear in our energy, living a positive life. Another beautiful quote from Don Miguel is "Find the courage to ask questions and express what you really want. Communicate with others clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, drama. With just one agreement, you can completly change your life." I highly reccomend this book to anyone. It has helped me to become stronger in my spirituality and path. I know you all will find this book to be equally powerful and lovely. My thanks to the author for putting out such a good and beautiful message.
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102 of 114 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2001
Reading this book is like talking with a wise and individual who seems to know your inner thoughts. It, much like the book An Encounter with A Prophet just plainly feels right. If you would like to get rid of some of your negative thinking, I would suggest reading both books..
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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
"The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz is some of the best money I have ever spent. For such a small book this one could certainly change many more lives that people I'll ever meet in mine. It breaks everything all down and lets your soul be your guide. The four basic agreements are:
1. Be Impeccable With Your Words.
2. Don't Take Anything Personally.
3. Don't Make Assumptions.
4. Always Do Your Best.
You can't break it down much more than that. These basic goals and hopes are wonderfully helpful and a path to making ones life a bit easier.
While, I'm not one for a lot of self-awareness books, self-help, etc....but, I certainly found this one helpful, honest and forceful. It made me take a good look at myself and make some changes in how I plan to proceed from this day. If nothing else, give yourself a chance and read this book. It might be helpful.
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95 of 106 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2001
This book is indeed excellent. If you combine the wisdom in this book with the book insight contained in the book An Encounter With A Prophet you will most certailly attain a new and wonderful outlook on life.
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62 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2000
A friend tore an article about this book out of Oprah Winfrey's magazine and sent it to me.
I purchased the book and read it the same night. Then I re-read it. I am still in the process of reading it once again!
This is a practical book that can be adapted across many religious and spiritual belief systems. Although I may not agree that all of life is a dream, as the author says is the Toltec way, I am more than ready to apply the Four Agreements to my life.
Don Miguel Ruiz writes very simply and beautifully about the Four Agreements, and what he writes about builds upon itself and weaves together to create an ideal way of perceiving ourselves, others, and the world at large.
Each of the Agreements is a separate statement, yet they must all be considered together as one large agreement.
What affected me most in this book is what Don Miguel Ruiz wrote about not taking things personally. For years, I have been stung and hurt by what people have said to me. After reading this book, what has stayed with me is that what people say about me is not WHO I AM. It is merely their opinion based on years of their own experiences and reactions. I no longer base my perception of myself on others' opinions. This has stopped all the negative grudging I had against those I perceived were against me.
I recommend this book to anyone in any walk of life. You will view your world and yourself differently after reading it. It does not ask you to join an organization, change your religion, or become something you aren't. It will, however, change your way of thinking about how you live your life. You will realize the impact of your words, thoughts, and deeds in a way you never have.
If the whole world chose to live their lives this way, what a wonderfully enriching, nourishing place it would be! Improve your corner of the world and study the simply profound wisdom shared within these pages. If you're selfish, read it anyway, change yourself through reading it-those around you will appreciate it!
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