Don Miguel Ruiz is the best selling author of Four Agreements.
His new book The Mastery of Love has recently appeared on book
store shelves. Miguel is a nagual or shaman from the Eagle Knight lineage.
Recently, I spent a wonderful hour talking to him about his teachings.
Connie Hill: Who are the Toltec?
Miguel Ruiz: Toltec means the supreme artists. It's not a tribe,
race or nation. To say Toltec for all Mezzo America, is like saying
Lama for Tibet. Toltec is a title for people who teach and share knowledge
with us. They are Masters. Toltec is a way of life based in art, beauty,
the expression of communication and love, and the supreme art is dreaming.
The goal is to become a dream master.
CH: So that's why you talk so much about dreaming in your books.
MR: Right. Everything is a dream. Once we know that we have
the power to modify it. Humans are so powerful that they create their
own reality, even a drama full of limitations. It's art. Everybody creates
their own drama and comedy. Only most people are not aware that it's
a dream. When we're aware we can have the control over our life. We
have choices. And for sure we'll choose a beautiful life.
The Four Agreements and The Mastery of Love are angels.
Angel means messenger. A book has a message delivered by who ever wrote
the book. These books were my act of power. I gave birth to a couple
of angels with the most beautiful message of love and joy.
CH: The Four Agreements, especially feels too simple
when you first read them, but when you start working the agreements,
you find that the simplicity is deceiving.
MR: The agreements are simple and common sense. They are tools
to modify our lives. When we try to apply these ideas we find out that
the way we live our lives is exactly the opposite, not common sense,
not simple, we make things difficult. That's the reason we have all
of our life dramas.
CH: Last year when I got a copy of your book and started reading
the first agreement "Be impeccable with your word," I thought it was
so easy. Then when I got to #2, "Don't take things personally" it feels
so much more difficult.
MR: As I said before the four agreements are very simple and
easy to understand. To apply them is another story. It takes practice
and practice creates mastery. That's why the fourth agreement is so
important--at least we can do our best. With practice our best gets
better and better until we are masters. Then it becomes effortless and
a habit. Once its a habit life changes just like magic. These books
are written to be read again and again. Read them again with the people
you want to practice with: your friends, your lovers, your family. What
I recommend is that you read these books with the group you want to
work with. The group reads the book, understands and practices it, and
supports each other in this practice. The support facilitates the process
and everyone is changing in the same rhythm. If children start practicing
when they are young, their lives will be so easy when the grow up.
CH: How did you come to know this knowledge?
MR: I'm very lucky! My family's had this tradition for centuries.
I put it in words, but the most important part is the interaction. When
I was a child my parents pushed me to focus on happiness and try to
avoid judgment and gossip. When I studied to become a doctor I learned
to put this knowledge in words and simplify it. Its so obvious, everybody
knows it, but they don't know that they know. When people hear it they
know it was always in their hearts. It's not about knowledge, it's about
wisdom and wisdom is simple. Knowledge tries to complicate and justify
CH: Our mind gets in the way and tries to make it more difficult.
MR: That's the reason for the traditions of meditations, to
stop the mind. Once we stop the mind common sense comes by itself. We
say that life is an ongoing meditation. We don't need to go on a mountain.
We can meditate where we talk and eat. It's just a way of life.
CH: What if you have a bad day?
MR: It's not right or wrong or good or bad. You can't control
what is going on around you. You can control your reactions and that
makes the difference. Then we can say the day was not so good, but you
don't have to blame yourself. You can't avoid things that happen in
CH: How can we fully accept and forgive ourselves and others?
MR: This is a very important part of healing our emotional body.
When we were children we forgave, instinctively. Then we saw our parents
not speak to others for weeks, months and we learned not to forgive.
We need to unlearn this. Forgiveness is an act of self love and if we
practice, our self love will grow. We need to forgive people not because
what they did is or is not forgivable. It doesn't matter how awful their
deed was. We forgive them because we don't want to feel bad every time
we remember what they did, or hear their name, or see them. By not forgiving
them we hurt ourselves every time we remember or hear their name or
see them. It's an act of freedom when we let go. Forgive does not mean
forget. The scar is there but it no longer hurts. When it hurts it's
because it is infected with emotional poison. Forgiveness is the only
CH: At the bookshop we have worked with this information and
we found that in a business sense we had the most difficulty understanding
#3--Don't make assumptions .
MR: This agreement is about communication, we're afraid to ask.
It's easier to make assumptions and most assumptions are not true. Sometimes
you have no other choice than to make an assumption. Being aware you
are making an assumption, you're in control and you know the assumption
may not work. As you practice you learn to make an assumption as the
situation is, not the way you want it to be. When we are unaware assumptions
are big problems.
CH: Is there anything else that you want to say?
MR: I want to tell everyone that they have a choice. They always
have a choice. That can make a difference in their life. And also to
join me when I go to Portland so they have the experience.
Join don Miguel Ruiz Friday, July 30, at 7:30 pm for his talk, THE
THREE TOLTEC MASTERIES ($15) or Saturday, July 31, 9-4:30 pm for his
workshop, HEALING THE EMOTIONAL BODY ($100). Since we expect both
events to fill quickly, preregistration and full payment is required.
Call New Renaissance Bookshop, 224-4929 to register or for information.
The interviewer, Connie Hill, is Event & Newsletter Manager
at New Renaissance Bookshop and a local astrologer. Contact her at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 291-8229