Don Miguel Ruiz

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Miguel Ángel Ruiz
Born August 27, 1952
Pen name Don Miguel Ruiz
Occupation Author, teacher, shaman
Nationality Mexican
Genre Personal Growth
Subject Motivational
Notable works The Four Agreements, The Mastery Of Love, The Voice Of Knowledge, The Fifth Agreement

Don Miguel Ángel Ruiz (born 1952), better known as Don Miguel Ruiz, is a Mexican author of Toltec spiritualist and neoshamanistic texts.

His teachings are similar to New Age philosophies which focuses on the Ancient Toltec teachings to achieve happiness. Ruiz is listed as one of The Watkins 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People in 2014.[1]

Some have associated Ruiz's work with Carlos Castaneda, author of The Teachings of Don Juan.


Don Miguel Ruiz was born in rural Mexico, the youngest of 13 children.

Don Miguel attended medical school, and became a surgeon. For several years he practiced medicine with his brothers.

A near fatal car accident changed the direction of Don Miguel’s life. Don Miguel promptly returned to his mother to finish his training and he became a Shaman. Don Miguel then moved to the United States.

In the tradition of the Toltec, a Nagual (shaman) guides an individual to personal freedom. After exploring the human mind from a Toltec as well as scientific perspective, Don Miguel has combined old wisdom with modern insights.

The Four Agreements, published in 1997; was a New York Times bestseller for more than seven years and the 36th bestselling book of the decade. Other books have followed; The Mastery of Love, The Voice of Knowledge, Prayers, Beyond Fear and The Fifth Agreement, a collaboration with his son Don José. All of his books are international bestsellers.[2]

Fluent in Spanish and English, he often lectures and leads retreats in the United States.[3] In February 2002, Don Miguel suffered a near-fatal heart attack. The damage from the heart attack and subsequent coma left him with a heart functioning at only 16% of capacity and in constant pain.[4] He has handed the Eagle-Knight lineage[5] over to his son Don José Ruiz. On October 9, 2010, Ruiz received a heart transplant at a hospital in Los Angeles, California. He was at a retreat in Wimberley, Texas, at the Lotus Ranch when he found out that a heart was available and had to charter a plane to get back to Los Angeles.[3]

The Four Agreements[edit]

His most famous book, The Four Agreements, was published in 1997 and has sold around 5.2 million copies in the U.S.[6] and has been translated into 38 languages. The book advocates personal freedom from beliefs and agreements that we have made with ourselves and others that are creating limitation and unhappiness in our lives.[7] It was featured on the Oprah television show,[8] The Four Agreements are:

  1. Be Impeccable With Your Word.
  2. Don't Take Anything Personally.
  3. Don't Make Assumptions.
  4. Always Do Your Best.

Don Miguel has received a US Air Force challenge coin engraved with The Four Agreements, and he is referenced as a National Heirloom of Mexico.[9]

Ruiz then wrote several other books, including The Mastery of Love, The Voice of Knowledge, and Prayers, which was renamed and re-released as The Circle Of Fire in 2013. He also wrote a companion book to The Four Agreements.

Don Miguel Ruiz's son Don Jose Ruiz has subsequently released a sequel with his father, The Fifth Agreement, which adds a further agreement:

5. Be Skeptical but Learn to Listen.


  • "Life is like dancing. If we have a big floor, many people will dance. Some will get angry when the rhythm changes. But life is changing all the time."
  • "Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive - the risk to be alive and express what we really are..."
  • "Every human is an artist. The dream of your life is to make beautiful art."
  • "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..."
  • "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..."
  • "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..."
  • "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..."[10]


  • The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Wisdom (A Toltec Wisdom Book), 1997, Amber-Allen Publishing, ISBN 978-1-878424-31-0
  • The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship (A Toltec Wisdom Book), 1999, Amber-Allen Publishing, ISBN 978-1-878424-42-6
  • The Four Agreements Companion Book: Using The Four Agreements to Master the Dream of Your Life (A Toltec Wisdom Book)", 2000, Amber-Allen Publishing, ISBN 978-1-878424-48-8
  • Prayers: A Communion with Our Creator (Toltec Wisdom), 2001, Amber-Allen Publishing, ISBN 978-1-878424-52-5
  • Wisdom from the Four Agreements (Charming Petites), 2003, Peter Pauper Press, ISBN 0-88088-990-X
  • Wisdom from the Mastery of Love (Charming Petites), 2003, Peter Pauper Press, ISBN 0-88088-425-8
  • The Voice of Knowledge: A Practical Guide To Inner Peace, 2004, Amber-Allen Publishing, ISBN 978-1-878424-54-9
  • The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery, 2010, Amber-Allen Publishing, ISBN 978-1-878424-68-6


  1. ^ Watkins’ Spiritual 100 List for 2014
  2. ^ "don Miguel Ruiz". Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  3. ^ a b "Don Miguel Ruiz' heart Transplant Oct. 9th : An Exclusive Conversation on his New Heart". YouTube. 2010-11-06. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  4. ^ "Miguel Ruiz official website, About don Miguel". Retrieved February 28, 2015. 
  5. ^ Don José Luis interview by Julia Griffin
  6. ^ "The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom [NOOK Book]". barnes and noble. Retrieved February 10, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Publishers Weekly Magazine". April 18, 2013. Retrieved May 6, 2014. 
  8. ^ "The Oprah Winfrey's Official Website". Retrieved October 9, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Interview with Women For One on Toltec Wisdom". Retrieved February 28, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Don Miguel Angel Ruiz's Profile, Biography & Heritage". Katagogi. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 

External links[edit]