A SUMMARY OF THE THREE MASTERIES AND FOUR AGREEMENTS…
The Toltec created THREE MASTERIES and FOUR AGREEMENTS to guide us out of suffering and return us to our true nature: happiness, freedom, and love.
THE THREE MASTERIES:
THE MASTERY OF AWARENESS
This mastery is the first step towards 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. The Mastery of Awareness can also be called the Mastery of Truth.
THE MASTERY OF TRANSFORMATION
The goal of the second mastery is to put order into the chaos of all the voices in our mind, to face our fears, to transform our fears, and to find the freedom to live our own life instead of the life of the belief system. The Four Agreements are a summary of the Mastery of Transformation.
THE MASTERY OF LOVE
The result of the first two masteries is the third mastery, The Mastery of Love, or The Mastery of Intent. From the Toltec perspective, 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 live, and when all three masteries are accomplished, we reclaim our divinity and become one with God.
THE FOUR AGREEMENTS:
#1 Be Impeccable With Your Word
Being impeccable is not going against yourself. When you are impeccable, you take responsibility for your actions, but you do not judge or blame yourself.
Being impeccable with your word is the correct use of your energy; it means to use your energy in the direction of truth and love for yourself.
Being impeccable with your word makes you immune from anyone putting a spell on you as your mind is no longer fertile ground for negative ideas.
A true Story of awareness and transformation…using the word to judge:
“The first agreement made me realize how much time I spend either judging myself or judging someone else. I live my life in total judgement! I am so determined to reclaim the part of my mind that is simply running a program, that I have begun to track my thoughts by setting the alarm on my watch to go off every twenty minutes. Each time I hear the alarm, I take note of where my thoughts are: Am I judging? I keep a notebook to recored my thoughts throughout the day.
At the end of the day, I look at the list of thoughts and ask myself, “Is this what I want to be thinking?” This simple technique makes me aware of my thoughts and helps me to change the way I use my word. It has also helped me to see if the thoughts I am thinking are truly my own or if they are simply the unconscious program that is running.”
#2 Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others say and do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in.
You are never responsible for the actions of others; you are only responsible for you. When you truly understand this, and refuse to take things personally, you can hardly be hurt by the careless comments or actions of others.
As you make a habit of not taking anything personally, you won’t need to place your trust in what others do and say. You will only need to trust yourself to make responsible choices.
A true Story of awareness and transformation…the Judge and the Victim at work:
“I had a boss at work who was very judgemental. No matter what I did, she would find fault with it and make a point of correcting me in a very cynical way. I really struggled with this. I would go to work and ask myself, “Why am I letting myself be abused this way?”
I was ready to quit my job when I read The Four Agreements. What struck me the most was the term “spiritual warrior,” and “the discipline to be ourselves, no matter what.” I decided to use the situation to become a better “warrior,” and began by making a commitment to always do my best.
Over the next couple of months, I discovered that I was constantly afraid of being judged. This actually allowed my boss to be judgemental; I was playing the role of the Victim, and she was playing the role of the Judge. I continued to react to her judgments, and in some ways it was more difficult because I was so aware of my reactions. I would get angry, or feel betrayed whenever she criticized my work.
One day my boss said something to me and the dream suddenly shattered. What I saw was a woman who was fiercely critical of herself. When I finally understood that she was living in her own dream, and I was living in mine, everything shifted for me. In her dream, her own self-judgments caused her to be judgmental toward me, but it had nothing to do with me. In that moment, I felt compassion for her, and I never took anything she said personally.
I worked at this office for another year and even though my boss could still be judgemental, she started to change. She began to compliment me on my work! By having compassion for her Judge and putting my own Victim to rest, our relationship was transformed All I had to do was change my agreements!”
#3 Don’t Make Assumptions
Have the courage to ask questions until you are clear as you can be, and even then do not assume you know all there is to know about a given situation.
Find your voice to ask for what you want. Everybody has the right to tell you no or yes, but you always have the right to ask. Likewise, everybody has the right to ask you, and you have the right to say yes or no.
A true Story of awareness and transformation…making assumptions about a handicap:
“I was born with no forearms and small hands that come out just below my elbows. For me, learning not to take things personally, and not to make assumptions was a revolution in my life.
I was raised to believe that my physical disabilities don’t have to limit me, but it wasn’t until I read The Four Agreements that I saw how many choices I had made based on assumptions and taking what other people said or did personally.
I had been struggling with career and money issues for a long time, living off my disability cheque and going to college. I asked myself, “If I do not make the assumption that I am limited in any way, what would I want to do?” I knew in my heart that I wanted to be financially independent, but I had always assumed this was impossible. Now I am studying to be an accountant. I have stopped taking other people’s beliefs about having a disability personally. I know that is their dream. My dream is one of unlimited potential. I used to make the assumption that many doors were closed for me. Now I do my best in each moment, with no expectation of being rejected.”
#4 Always Do Your Best
Always do your best means to fully honour your life in every moment.
If you break an agreement, begin again tomorrow, and again the next day. Do not be concerned about the future; keep your attention on today, and stay in the present moment. Always do your best to keep these agreements, and soon it will be easy for you.
“That was then. This is now.
You can always connect with your true nature at any time and be free of everything that went before.”
- Chogyam Trungpa
A true Story of awareness and transformation…no guilt or blame
Always doing my best has helped me to keep the Judge at bay. All I have to do is ask myself: “Was that really my best effort?” If the answer is yes, there’s not a lot the Judge can say. My Judge is harsh, but even my Judge knows that a person can only do her best. If I make mistakes, I do my best to correct them, and if I do my best, then I have fewer mistakes to correct.
THE FIFTH AGREEMENT: BE SKEPTICAL….BUT LEARN TO LISTEN
Don’t believe yourself or anybody else. Use the power of doubt to question everything you hear: Is it really the truth? Listen to the intent behind words, and you will understand the real message.
IN THE FOUR AGREEMENTS, don Miguel Ruiz revealed how the process of our education, or “domestication,” can make us forget the wisdom we were born with. Throughout our lives, we make many agreements that go against ourselves and create needless suffering. The Four Agreements help us to break these self-limiting agreements and replace them with agreements that bring us personal freedom, happiness, and love.
Now don Miguel Ruiz joins his son don Jose Ruiz to offer a fresh perspective on The Four Agreements, and a powerful new agreement for transforming our lives into our personal heaven: the fifth agreement. THE FIFTH AGREEMENT takes us to a deeper level of awareness of the power of the Self, and returns us to the authenticity we were born with. In this compelling sequel to the book that has changed the lives of millions of people around the world, we are reminded of the greatest gift we can give ourselves: the freedom to be who we really are.