Saturday, March 07, 2009

Four Agreements of don Miguel Ruiz

Several years ago, Toltec shaman don Miguel Ruiz was virtually unknown until Ellen Degeneres lauded his work The Four Agreements to Oprah on her show. His slim tome distills the collective wisdom of his elders into four alluring concepts. These are agreements that he encourages all of us to make with ourselves for a content and meaningful life. Each of these are simple, straight-forward concepts whose practice can dramatically change our lives.

The Four Agreements are:

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.

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.

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.

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
I love how direct and immediately applicable these are. We can begin putting these to practice today as they are foundational to any authentic life or spiritual practice. Individually these are helpful; collectively they are transformative. They four items can be used as simple mantras for authentic living.

This post is dedicated to Nikki Holmes, family friend and fellow traveler on the path, who introduced this to me over Christmas.

Request for Comments
  • How have these or similar agreements fit into your life?
  • What are your own agreements?
  • Do you see the resonance of these with your existing practices?


  1. I would recommend this book to everyone. Thank you Ed for bringing this book to the attention of all your readers. The Four Agreements advocates personal freedom from erroneous beliefs that we have made with ourselves that are creating limitation and unhappiness in our lives. Ultimately, this book is about finding one's own integrity, inner peace and a deeper sense of personal fulfillment. Get your copy today!

  2. Thanks for the summary, Dieter. I still find these 4 agreements powerful--and challenging. I remind myself of them everyday.

    Actually, I track them as my counters on This is a (free) site that I've been creating to help me and others track our own mindfulness.