From a very young age don Jose Ruiz
was guided by many teachers including his father, don Miguel Ruiz, and his grandmother, Sarita. By combining new insights with ancient wisdom, don Jose Ruiz dedicates his life to sharing the ancient Toltec wisdom by translating it into practical, everyday life concepts that promote transformation through truth, love, and common sense. He is the author of The Wisdom of the Shamans
and, together with his father, don Miguel Ruiz, is the coauthor of The Fifth Agreement
Don Miguel Ruiz lives in San Diego, CA.
--This text refers to the paperback
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
When my son Jose was eleven years old, I took him and his older brother Miguel Jr., who was fourteen at the time, to Madre Grande, a mountain in Southern California. While we’d visited the mountain previously for family events that included hiking and cookouts, Madre Grande also had special significance beyond that, as it is where my mother, Sarita, a curandera
, or “faith healer,” would often share with us the sacred teachings of our family’s Toltec tradition. Sarita was the keeper of the wisdom tradition of our family for her generation.
After we arrived at Madre Grande that day, I asked the boys if they were ready to be initiated into the path of the Toltec, to which they both eagerly agreed. This coming-of-age ceremony took place approximately thirty years ago, and it marked the beginning of a long apprenticeship they would undertake to learn the ways of our ancestors, culminating years later in both becoming master teachers in their own right.
While Jose and Miguel Jr. share much in common, they have taken slightly different routes in sharing the teachings of our family in their own unique way. Miguel Jr. has brought the ideas to a largely mainstream community, while Jose has embraced the shamanic origin of the Toltec tradition, and explained these ancient teachings in a way the modern world can understand.
Unlike some forms of shamanism, the Toltec tradition places a special emphasis on unconditional love and personal healing as the means by which we create transformation in ourselves and the world. We teach that we are all the artists of our own lives, and that we have the power to change our lives if we don’t like the ones we’re living.
In fact, the truth is that it’s only when we change ourselves that we change the world. This axiom has been stated in various ways by many of the great teachers in every spiritual tradition. In my opinion, this message is needed today as much as ever. When we look around this beautiful planet, we see so many of our fellow humans suffering—mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically—and as a result they often feel blocked from the innate sense of self-love, joy, and peace that is available to us all.
It’s time to heal from this kind of suffering, and the book you are holding in your hands right now can help you do exactly that. In the pages that follow, my son, don Jose Ruiz, will share specific rituals and ceremonies from our Toltec tradition that can help you come into harmony with your innermost self and the world around you.
The shamanic practices described here will teach you how to take the raw material of life—physical pieces of the natural world, along with your inner thoughts and intentions—and draw out their meaning and power through ceremony. This is the joining of spirit and substance, of intention and action, all with the purpose of helping yourself—and in turn, others on this beautiful planet.
To be our own healers, we must look into our wounds, not turn away from them, or try to ignore them. Doing so takes bravery and stamina, but it’s only when we understand our wounds and heal them that we transform our lives.
In my opinion, there has never been a more important time to do this work. My hope is that you will take the tools Jose describes in these pages and create the life you deserve.
All my love,
Don Miguel Ruiz
Author of The Four Agreements
--This text refers to the paperback