The Four Agreements

I'm thinking it may be time for another inmate book report from Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp.

Don Miguel Ruiz was raised in rural Mexico in the Toltec tradition, but he then attended medical school and became a surgeon. A near death experience caused him to re-explore the mysteries of the 2500-year-old Toltec wisdom, and after much study, he became a nagual (Shaman).

In 1997, he wrote The Four Agreements, his first book based on Toltec wisdom. I read the book in the early 2000s and thought it was so good, I gave a copy of it to my daughter, inadvertently guaranteeing that she would never read it. I have to admit this book would have been life changing, had I taken it to heart--one of many missed opportunities. With that in mind, I re-read it recently here when another inmate loaned me his copy. It's a quick but powerful read.

The four agreements, which are based on Ruiz's ancestral wisdom, are as follows:

1. Be impeccable with your word. Don't speak against yourself or others but instead use your words for truth and love

2. Don't take anything for granted. Hurtful words that others say are not about you, but are instead a projection of their own suffering or fearful reality.

3. Don't make assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express your own desires.

4. Always do your best. While your best may vary with circumstances, when you do your best, you will avoid self-criticism and second guessing.

To incorporate these four agreements into our lives, we must discard other fearful and judgmental agreements that we have already made with ourselves. When we do that, we can become aware of who we really are. We can be transformed to a life of freedom and the intent of our life becomes the transfer of internal energy into unconditional love.

Have you ever noticed the best and wisest minds of the last 3000 years say the same thing--we have a choice in life. We can be ruled by fear, or we can guided by love. Those choices are intentionally made moment by moment many times each day.