Embracing spiritual concepts and peaceful ways, the Toltec people of southern Mexico around 900 A.D. considered all of life to be part of the Great Mystery. Science and spirit were seen to be part of the same entity. Even though the Toltec culture left no written records about their beliefs,
it was believed that a shaman was the repository of Toltec culture
and had the ability to guide people in their lives.
When a near-fatal car accident changed the life of a surgeon born in rural Mexico, he apprenticed himself to a shaman to learn about the Toltec culture. A move to the United States found him exploring the human mind from both an indigenous (Toltec culture) as well as a scientific perspective (his medical training) resulting in a unique combination of traditional wisdom and modern insight in a very short book. The man was Don Miguel Ruiz. The name of the book, a New York Times bestseller for more than seven years, was The Four Agreements, offered four simple guidelines to life.
AGREEMENT 1 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.
AGREEMENT 2 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.
AGREEMENT 3 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.
AGREEMENT 4 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.
Such wisdom, Dom Miguel Ruiz.
Photo & Text © June Maffin