The Four Agreement
By: Don Miguel Ruiz
Two years ago I attended a yoga teacher training on the beaches of Mexico. This training was my first exposure to a very helpful little book called The Four Agreements written by Don Miguel Ruiz. This is a little book that packs a powerful impact. Don Miguel Ruiz challenges us about the agreements or rules that we have formed throughout our years of development, provides us with a new set of just four agreements and teaches us how to adopt them in order to live a happier, more fulfilled life. It sounds like a gross oversimplification of life but so far, I have personally found this to be a very powerful experience and hope that I can share it with others. The Four Agreements might be a quick read, just seven short chapters, but it succinctly outlines an ancient wisdom that will change your life should you choose to accept these four new rules. I first learned these four agreements through guided meditations on the beautiful coast of Mexico but they have just as great of an impact if you were to read them at home in your bed.
I am not going to get into what these four new rules are here, because the way that Ruiz describes them in this book is much more eloquent and I believe more powerful. When I read this book for the first time, every page hit me, provided me with a new realization or taught me a new lesson. It caused much introspection and lead me to meditate on the various agreements. There is a truth to what he says, that we are taught a succession of rules – what is socially acceptable. We buy into these rules because we are rewarded with attention rather than judged for breaking them. As humans we become conditioned to live according to a set of mores and conditioned to fear the punishment, both self inflicted and that of our peers, should we break these rules. Ironically breaking all of these rules, or agreements as Ruiz calls them, is just what we need to do. We need to break these rules and replace them with new ones.
If you find yourself feeling unhappy or unfulfilled in life…if you find that you are your own worst critic and harshest judge…pick up a copy of The Four Agreements.