The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

by don Miguel Ruiz, Janet Mills
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

by don Miguel Ruiz, Janet Mills


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Notes From Your Bookseller

This book will change your life. Powerful and engaging, The Four Agreements is a guidepost on how to change and grow as a person.

In The Four Agreements, bestselling author don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.

•  A New York Times bestseller for over a decade
•  An international bestseller published in 52 languages worldwide
“This book by don Miguel Ruiz, simple yet so powerful, has made a tremendous difference in how I think and act in every encounter.” — Oprah Winfrey

“Don Miguel Ruiz’s book is a roadmap to enlightenment and freedom.” — Deepak Chopra, Author, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

“An inspiring book with many great lessons.” — Wayne Dyer, Author, Real Magic

“In the tradition of Castaneda, Ruiz distills essential Toltec wisdom, expressing with clarity and impeccability what it means for men and women to live as peaceful warriors in the modern world.” — Dan Millman, Author, Way of the Peaceful Warrior

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781878424310
Publisher: Amber-Allen Publishing
Publication date: 11/07/1997
Series: A Toltec Wisdom Book , #1
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 243
Product dimensions: 9.60(w) x 6.60(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Don Miguel Ruiz is the bestselling author of The Four Agreements (a New York Times bestseller for over a decade), The Four Agreements Companion Book, The Mastery of Love, The Voice of Knowledge, The Circle of Fire, and The Fifth Agreement. The teachings of Ruiz are best known for transforming complex human issues into simple common sense — a talent that has earned him millions of fans and international acclaim.

Janet Mills is the founder and president of Amber-Allen Publishing and co-author, with don Miguel Ruiz, of six books in The Toltec Wisdom Series. Mills is also the creator of “The Four Agreements for a Better Life” online course, editor of Deepak Chopra’s bestselling title, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, and publisher of the world-renowned “Seth Books” by Jane Roberts.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: Domestication and the Dream of the Planet

What you are seeing and hearing right now is nothing but a dream. You are dreaming right now in this moment. You are dreaming with the brain awake.

Dreaming is the main function of the mind, and the mind dreams twenty-four hours a day. It dreams when the brain is awake, and it also dreams when the brain is asleep. The difference is that when the brain is awake, there is a material frame that makes us perceive things in a linear way. When we go to sleep we do not have the frame, and the dream has the tendency to change constantly.

Humans are dreaming all the time. Before we were born the humans before us created a big outside dream that we will call society's dream or the dream of the planet. The dream of the planet is the collective dream of billions of smaller, personal dreams, which together create a dream of a family, a dream of a community, a dream of a city, a dream of a country, and finally a dream of the whole humanity. The dream of the planet includes all of society's rules, its beliefs, its laws, its religions, its different cultures and ways to be, its governments, schools, social events, and holidays.

We are born with the capacity to learn how to dream, and the humans who live before us teach us how to dream the way society dreams. The outside dream has so many rules that when a new human is born, we hook the child's attention and introduce these rules into his or her mind. The outside dream uses Mom and Dad, the schools, and religion to teach us how to dream.

Attention is the ability we have to discriminate and to focus only on that which we want to perceive. We can perceive millions ofthings simultaneously, but using our attention, we can hold whatever we want to perceive in the foreground of our mind. The adults around us hooked our attention and put information into our minds through repetition. That is the way we learned everything we know.

By using our attention we learned a whole reality, a whole dream. We learned how to behave in society: what to believe and what not to believe; what is acceptable and what is not acceptable; what is good and what is bad; what is beautiful and what is ugly; what is right and what is wrong. It was all there already - all that knowledge, all those rules and concepts about how to behave in the world.

When you were in school, you sat in a little chair and put your attention on what the teacher was...

Table of Contents



2… THE FIRST AGREEMENT: Be Impeccable with Your Word

3… THE SECOND AGREEMENT: Don’t Take Anything Personally

4… THE THIRD AGREEMENT: Don’t Make Assumptions

5… THE FOURTH AGREEMENT: Always Do Your Best

6… THE TOLTEC PATH TO FREEDOM: Breaking Old Agreements

7… THE NEW DREAM: Heaven on Earth




Three Masteries, Four Agreements

The word is like a seed, and the human mind is so fertile, but only for those kinds of seeds it is prepared for.

The first time you read The Four Agreements, some part of you knows that you have heard these concepts before or have experienced them in your life, though perhaps not as simply.

In reading The Four Agreements you discover that humans create thousands of agreements based mainly on making assumptions and taking everything personally, and by doing this, we are using the power of our word against ourselves. We are using all the power of our creation to create a dream that sets us up to suffer for the rest of our lives.

The Four Agreements are a tool for transformation, leading you to stop judging, mainly yourself, and to start practicing another way of life. They lead you to stop the guilt, the shame, and the self-rejection; they help you break the agreements that limit the expression of your creativity, and replace them with new agreements that facilitate the expression of your love.

With The Four Agreements, my intention was to create a messenger that can enter the imagination of readers and change their point of view. If you have practiced these agreements, you already know what they can do. They have the capacity to go directly into your belief system, into those thousands of agreements you made with yourself, and create a doubt. And just like magic, because they are magic, the Four Agreements slowly free the faith that is trapped inside your belief system. Little by little, you recover your integrity, and the real you starts to awaken.

The Four Agreements are like a map that tells you all the different ways to reach your destination. Their simplicity is what makes them so easy to use in so many directions. But the map is just one half. You are the other half. In any relationship, there are two halves. The book, the messenger, is one half of the relationship, but you are the other half, and that is the beauty of this relationship: your half.

If you have a goal and you use the messenger as your guide, you are going to reach your goal. With The Four Agreements, you can learn how to heal your emotional body. You can use it to change your belief system and create a brand new belief system. You can use it to heal your marriage, your relationships with your friends, and your relationships at work, and to improve your life in every way. But first, because it’s a map, you have to start with awareness of where you are and where you want to be.

Thousands of years ago the Toltec created three masteries to guide us out of suffering and return us to our true nature: happiness, freedom, and love. The Toltec encouraged us to see ourselves with truth, and they created a mastery just for awareness. The first mastery, the Mastery of Awareness, is the first step toward personal freedom, because we cannot be free if we don’t know what we are, where we are, or what kind of freedom we are looking for. In this mastery, we become aware of the fog that is in our mind. We become aware that we are dreaming all the time, and that everybody else is dreaming. The Mastery of Awareness can also be called the Mastery of Truth.

The second Toltec mastery, the Mastery of Transformation, shows us how to change the dream of our life. The goal of the second mastery is to put order into the chaos of the mitote – into all of the voices inside our mind – to face our fears, to transform our fears, and to get results. The result we want is the freedom to live our own life instead of the life of the Parasite or the belief system. The Mastery of Transformation is achieved by changing our agreements and reprogramming our own mind in our own way. The Four Agreements are a summary of the Mastery of Transformation.

The result of the first two masteries is a mind that is Parasite-free, and that is the third mastery, the Mastery of Love, or the Mastery of Intent. From the Toltec point of view, love or intent is that part of life that makes the transformation of energy possible. It is Life itself; it is unconditional love. Everything is made with love because everything comes from God or Life. When we master love, we master the dream of our life, and when all three masteries are accomplished, we reclaim our divinity and become one with God. Then every action we take is an expression of the One Being. This is the goal of the Toltec.

For those of you who want to explore the third mastery, I have written a book called The Mastery of Love, which shows you what a dream based on love looks like. The Mastery of Love is the result of the first two masteries, and it offers a better way of living our life with love. But for now, the third mastery is not what we will focus on. The first two masteries are the subject of this book.

In the first part of this companion book, before we talk about applying the Four Agreements, the emphasis is on awareness. What do we want to be aware of

In Part One, we focus on three things:

    1. Human suffering begins with domestication. When we are children, other people hook our attention and teach us to dream the way the society dreams. This is how our attention is used for the first time to create the first dream of our life.

    2. Humans are creators, but our power of creation is invested in our beliefs. The power of our word, which is the same as our intent, our will, our faith, and our love, is trapped inside a rigid structure of beliefs. This leaves us with little power to change our dream.

    3. The function of the human mind is to dream, but we have learned to dream without awareness. Once we are aware that we are dreaming, we awake from the dream and recover our power to change the dream whenever we choose. When we discover that we have the power to create a dream of heaven, we want to change our dream, and the Four Agreements are the perfect tool for that.

In Part Two of this companion book, we explore several ways to master the art of dreaming:
    4. Using your will and attention for the second time. In the dream of the second attention, you choose to believe what you want to believe, and that includes believing in yourself.

    5. Using the Four Agreements to change your actions—reactions. Every choice you make has a consequence or result. When you change the action, you change the result, and you change the dream of your life.

    6. Using attach—detach to surrender to the angel of death. The angel of death can teach you to live in the present moment instead of the past or the future. When your attention is in the present moment, you enjoy life more intensely because you are fully alive.

This companion book will give you more information about the first two masteries, but information is not enough. Information is merely the seed in your mind. What will really make the difference is action.

If you practice the Four Agreements, you will master the Four Agreements. Eventually, after many repetitions, these agreements will become a habit, and you will see how your life is transformed.

There is a beautiful story about Jesus telling his disciples that his words are like seeds and he sends his seeds everywhere. Some seeds land on rock and never grow. Some seeds go into land that is fertile on the surface, but hard underneath; these seeds start sprouting, but soon die. Then there are the seeds that go into land that is very fertile, and they grow strong and become big trees. And you will know the tree by its fruit.

I love that metaphor. It is wonderful to see how many people who have practiced the Four Agreements have already grown into trees that bear fruit.

Just imagine if you could live in a society where the Four Agreements were a habit for everybody, where this habit was the way they expressed life. Imagine living in a society where everybody practiced love until they mastered love. It will happen; it is just a matter of time. There is already a new dream in this world that is ready to be dreamed by humans, Parasite-free. The sun has already changed; the light has changed. We just need humans to dream the new dream.

By using the Four Agreements in our own life, we modify our personal dream, and soon our new dream will modify the outside dream. There is no need to actively try to modify the outside dream. This happens naturally as a result of our own transformation.

Deciding to focus on our own freedom isn’t selfish; it is the greatest gift we can give to humanity.

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