Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge ” as Want to Read:
The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge

(The Teachings of Don Juan #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  34,028 ratings  ·  970 reviews
The story of a remarkable spiritual journey, the first awesone steps on the road to becoming "a man of knowledge," the road that continues with A Separate Reality and Journey To ixtlan. Includes The Teachings and A Structural Analysis.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published 1983 by Touchstone/Simon & Schuster (first published 1968)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  34,028 ratings  ·  970 reviews

Sort order
Miguel Mayher
Jun 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
You may find this book has a lot of chaff on how they prepare peyote and other drugs, mundane descriptions in diary... yet when you less expect it, they hit you with a boulder of wisdom that leaves you freezed.

There is ONE core idea in the book that makes the price tag disappear. You cannot pay for it. It goes like this:

"Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Teachings of Don Juan (The Teachings of Don Juan #1), Carlos Castaneda
The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge was published by the University of California Press in 1968 as a work of anthropology, though many critics contend that it is a work of fiction. It was written by Carlos Castaneda and submitted as his Master's thesis in the school of Anthropology. It purports to document the events that took place during an apprenticeship with a self-proclaimed Yaqui Indian Sorcerer, don
Rich Flammer
Nov 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I found this book in my friend's house in Spring Lake, New Jersey about 20 years ago. Flipped through it, started reading, and couldn't put it down. Since then I've read all of Carlos Casteneda's books, but this is by far the best. Sadly, the power of this work is often diminished by readers who mistakenly, and obtusely, attribute his experiences solely to tripping through the use of psychotropic plants in Mexico. "That's a book about tripping," people have told me. But no, it really has nothing ...more
Sep 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Pagans
Shelves: witchynonfiction
I am going to give the same review to all the Carlos Castaneda books I read in that series, simply because they are all outstanding. I was lucky to come across Castaneda very early on my magickal path. My spells and rituals have always relied on the power of intent, and I have found no better education on how to focus your intent than in this series of books. Back then (1994) they were classifed as nonfiction. Lately, they say they are fiction. All I know is much of what is in these books works. ...more
Amazing. Essential reading for any deep thinker and open-minded person who has experienced "non-ordinary realities."

This book spoke to my soul. I have had out of body experiences and know firsthand that our physical reality is not the only one. I have personally experienced some of what is described here - and not from ingesting peyote, but from spontaneous OOBEs.

I don't know why I did not read this sooner as I've heard of Castaneda well before now. It's comforting to have your personal experie
Aug 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-forever
The Best Advice that anyone has ever given me is all in this book. This book is my spiritual guidance.
"A warrior acknowledges his pain but he doesn't indulge in it.
The mood of the warrior who enters into the unknown is not one of
sadness; on the contrary, he's joyful because he feels humbled by
his great fortune, confident that his spirit is impeccable, and
above all, fully aware of his efficiency. A warrior's joyfulness
comes from having accepted his fate, and from having truthfully
Back in the 70's, Carlos Castaneda—a young anthropologist from the University of California—was the shit amongst hippies, new-agers and wanna-be-cool academics desperate to shed their stuffy tweed. Now? Not so much. For many readers, Castaneda's death knell sounded when most of his accounts turned out to be—factually speakingcomplete and utter BS. To which diehard Castanites objected: "But, like, what is truth anyways, man?"

I don't wish to get terribly enmeshed in the debate. But to my logical,
Mar 05, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A young anthropologist goes into the desert, meets an old shaman and does a bunch of peyote, DMT/salvia, and shrooms. This book is his account from one trip to another with bits of hippy-wisdom thrown in, like the oft-quoted "ask yourself if this path has a heart" passage. Beyond the tripping, the author doesn't seem to understand the spiritual aspects of what Don Juan is trying to tell him. Like when he smoked the "little smoke" and thought himself to become a bird, he asks Don Juan afterwards ...more
Jan 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This obscure writer has a huge cult following who believe that Castaneda's semi-fictious stories about Don Juan and the indigenous peoples of Mexico hold the keys to power and enlightenment. Ninja is a skeptic. She doesn’t believe in any of that rot – but they are best books being peddled as non-fiction that I have ever read.

Years ago, I caught an edition of “Imprint” on our local public television station TVO. The host, Daniel Richler, was leading a panel discussion about native spirituality an
Nov 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fall-2008
The discussions on whether this book is fiction or non-fiction are rather futile, and prevent the reader from engaging with it more closely. I think a smarter move would be to suspend judgment on the matter, and look into what one can learn from this account.

The Teachings of Don Juan may be read as a bildungsroman where the narrator/anthropologist Carlos Castaneda engages with an alternative reality, under the strict guidance of Don Juan, on the path to becoming “a man of knowledge”. As a means
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
درباره کتاب

کتاب تعلیمات دون خوان، اولین کتاب از سری کتاب های کاستاندا در باب شمنیسم سرخپوستی و شروع جنبشی است که کاستاندا مروج آن بود. کاستاندا در این کتاب به نحوه آشنایی خود با دون خوان و پذیرش شاگردی وی می پردازد. بنابر رسمی سرخپوستی، یک ناگوال (استاد و مرشد) در سال های پایانی عمر خویش، بخشی از اندوخته های خویش را به یک شاگرد منتقل می کند. انتخاب شاگرد بر اساس خواست فردی نیست و توسط نیروی غیرشخصی صورت می گیرد. کتاب دو بخش دارد که بخش نخست روایت ماوقع برحسب توالی زمانی به زبان اول شخص و بخش دوم
May 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
kinda boring
Pamela Wells
Mar 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Every Seeker has at some point experienced an unexplainable moment. These are great opportunities to expand your perceptions to begin to believe in something greater then yourself that cannot be explained by your culture, current beliefs or family. Any of Carlos Castanada's books will give you the opportunity to discover another perspective about what reality really is. For those who call themselves Seekers - looking for the meaning of life - this is a foundational book. This was the first book ...more
Michael Lassoff
Jun 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Michael by: Barrett
Normally teachings that involve drugs bother me to no end. Somehow this book is proving an exception to that. Drugs, I think, complicate spirituality by orienting seekers toward intense spiritual experiences. They strike me as a great form of laziness, which would be fine if they were more effective than they are. But it usually just boils down to rich white kids that watched the matrix one too many times. Again, in the person of Don Juan, the drugs occupy a very secondary position. Foremost, mo ...more
Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Svakako da bi mi ova knjiga mnogo više legla da sam dvadesetak godina mlađi i siguran sam da bih pronašao mnogo više paragrafa vrednih da zastanem i pročitam ih ponovo.
Kao, na primer, ovaj:

"No! I'm never angry at anybody! No human being can do anything important enough for that. You get angry at people when you feel that their acts are important. I don't feel that way any longer."

Poslednja trećina je suvoparna strukturološka analiza koja ubija svu čar čitanja i magiju celokupnog opisanog doživlj
Dec 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This may be the first book that truly exposed me to psychedelic literature. I have just completed it for my third time, and it was just as fresh as the times I read it during college.

Carlos Castaneda was an American author who wrote a series of books about his experiences with traditional Mesoamerican Shamanism. The books that follow The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge are also excellent, and I plan on re-reading the series and reviewing it. This book is written in first person b
Wesley  Gerrard
Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
For anyone who has the vaguest interest in shamanism, this is an essential text. It is Carlos Casteneda's seminal work and in my opinion is a work of art. He has a very direct personal way of revealing his story, about an encounter with an ageing Native-American man of knowledge, who takes Carlos under his wing and reveals to him some of the secrets of shamanism. The range of psychedelics encountered are followed up in the book, after consumption, with vivid detail of the accompanying experience ...more
Jan 02, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
I was reminded of this book by a recent article, and I realized I had never read it when it first came out. I was curious to see what the fuss was about. I must say I was sorely disappointed -- the book is clumsily written and very sparing with its insights. Not recommended for enlightenment or even a good read.
May 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very deep, you need to be in the right frame of mind for this one
I'm just going to be honest here--I did not like this book. It was a struggle for me. There were a few quotes that I liked, but they were few & far between.

Since taking a class in college, I've been interested in learning about Native American spirituality. This book just wasn't what I was expecting. The first section containing the teachings & dialogue of Don Juan was interesting. But the descriptions of "non-ordinary reality" were oftentimes so bizarre that they sounded fake to me. Gr
Jun 23, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I liked the first half of the book, but then it just seemed to be more of the same, so I stopped about 3/4 of the way through. Maybe I'm just impatient, or maybe the story was going nowhere. I understand why don Juan was annoyed with the narrator, he got on my nerves at times, too.

There were good parts, though, I liked where they were out in the desert ingesting peyote, and he wandered off talking to the embodiment of peyote, or "Mescalito", who told him to eat some more, but he didn't have a kn
Sep 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Although the authenticity of this text has been questioned over the years, and it has been disowned as an anthropological case study (for obvious reasons), this text remains a beautiful and thought-provoking piece of historical fiction. Castaneda no doubt spent a great deal of time in the Mexican Southwest and in this novel he recounts his first years under the tutelage of Don Juan, a Yaqui "brujo" or sorcerer. He describes his fascination with psychotropic cacti, mushrooms and jimson weed, and ...more
Jan 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Whoa. This one was a real trip and half. UCLA grad student in botany goes down to southern Arizona to learn about plants in the 1960s. Winds up studying under the tutelage of a local Yaqui shaman and explores the nether-regions of human perception, induced through a variety of 'power plants' as well as peyote (its own special deity). The is the first of a whole series of books and a large following that were largely inspired by the author, Carlos Castaneda. I haven't read the others, but I like ...more
Erik Graff
Mar 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in altered states of consciousness
Recommended to Erik by: Bill Causer
Shelves: religion
Carlos Castaneda's series about Yaqui religion is a mixture of fact and fiction. According to the Wikipedia article about him, the first three of the dozen or so volumes he produced constitute the academic work leading to his doctorate in anthropology. However, only this volume, the first, has an academic tone. Subsequent volumes are more literary.

Although Castaneda is rightly criticized for misrepresenting his work to the UCLA faculty of anthropology, the first three books still bear reading fo
Yeliz Küçükkoner
Kattığı bir şeyler oldu, ancak, benim konuya duyduğum uzaklık nedeniyle okumam ve anlamam biraz zor oldu.
Tabii ki bu kitabın değer ve önemini azaltmıyor.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I recently attended a short course (8 hours) at UCSD Extension entitled Principles of Clarity. It could also have been called Mindfulness if that term is more useful to you in envisioning the nature of the course. Forewarning, this is the longest Goodreads review I have ever written.

One of the readings recommended by Karen Dobkins (the professor at UCSD instructing the course) was The Teachings of Don Juan; A Yaqui Way of Knowledge. Her intent was to help us comprehend that there were more ways
Samson Martirosyan
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Մեկ շնչով կարդացի։ 5 աստղը քիչ է Կաստանեդայի գրական տաղանդն ու Դոն Խուանի ուղեկցությամբ անցած փորձը գնահատելու համար։
Շատերը ասում են, որ գրքում տեղի ունեցող իրադարձությունները Կաստանեդայի երևակայության արդյունքն են, բայց ես չեմ կարող դրան հավատալ, անհնար է։ Չհավատալուս պատճառներից մեկը այն է, որ ուղղակի չեմ ուզում հավատալ, որ այս ամենը հորինված է, երկրորդ պատճառն էլ որովհետև այս գիրքը շատ անհասկանալի բաներ պարզ դարձրեց ինձ համար։ Ասում եմ անհասկանալի բաները պարզ դարձրեց, բայց եթե հարցնեք, թե ին
მინდია არაბული
არ ვიცი, რამდენად კორექტულია ამ წიგნის მიმართ სიტყვა ლიტერატურის ხსენება. ეს უფრო გამოცდილებაა, ვიდრე წიგნი, ერთგვარი ჩექფოინთი მკითხველობით ბიოგრაფიაში. დონ ხუანის სწავლება არაა უბრალოდ სწავლება, უფრო სწორად, არაა თეორია, არამედ საგანთა უშუალო გამოცდა, უშუალო შეცნობა. თეორია გულისხმობს ინფორმაციის გადაცემას, ხოლო კასტანედა ამტკიცებს, რომ ინფორმაციის ფლობა არ არის ცოდნა. ის რაც არის ცოდნა, არ ეტევა მწირ ლინგვისტურ პირობებში, გაცილებით ბუნებრივია, გაცილებით აშკარა. მეტიც, ჩანაწერებში აღწერილი მის ...more
Bistra Ivanova
Apr 18, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned, fiction
Добре зная, че книгите, претендиращи да бъдат "духовни", но същевременно предрешени като романчета, за да станат "общодостъпни", обикновено са точно толкова плитки, колкото изглеждат, но тук направо щях да се задавя с био чая си от удивление! Твърде много години бях слушала за Кастанеда и Дон Хуан от хора, в чието думи най-малкото се вслушвам, за да имам основание да очаквам поне нещичко. Нещо различно от смешни разговори, недомлъвки, много страшни _тайни_, още повече наркотици и никаква идея за ...more
Jetska Kahanek
May 22, 2011 rated it liked it
I loved this book but once I researched the author a little more, I found his cult like theories to be weird and creepy. I have 3 of his books and wouldn't mind parting with them. These books are primarily about student anthropologists who studies Native American usage of peyote, Dimethyltryptamine(DMT), saliva, and mushrooms. He meets a shaman who teaches him the method in which to use peyote and discovers the powers of shamanism. The first half of this book goes into the efforts of trust and s ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Advantages Of Nulante Cream 1 2 Jan 16, 2019 07:09AM  
hi 16 134 Sep 17, 2014 05:51PM  
Trust 1 31 Jul 30, 2008 04:21PM 1 14 May 01, 2008 06:01AM  
  • The Witch's Dream: A Healer's Way of Knowledge
  • I'd Rather We Got Casinos: And Other Black Thoughts
  • Johnny Mnemonic: The Screenplay and the Story
  • Sorcerer's Apprentice: My Life with Carlos Castaneda
  • The Way of the Shaman
  • The Teachings of Don Carlos: Practical Applications of the Works of Carlos Castañeda
  • Book 4
  • Urban Shaman
  • 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl
  • Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy
  • Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon
  • The Holotropic Mind: The Three Levels of Human Consciousness and How They Shape Our Lives
  • In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching
  • Seven Arrows
  • The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism
  • The Center of the Cyclone: Looking into Inner Space
  • Practical Sigil Magic: Creating Personal Symbols for Success
  • The Spear of Destiny
Carlos Castaneda was an American author.
Starting with The Teachings of Don Juan in 1968, Castaneda wrote a series of books that describe his training in shamanism, particularly with a group whose lineage descended from the Toltecs.
The books, narrated in the first person, relate his experiences under the tutelage of a man that Castaneda claimed was a Yaqui "Man of Knowledge" named don Juan Matus.

Other books in the series

The Teachings of Don Juan (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • A Separate Reality
  • Journey to Ixtlan
  • Tales of Power
  • Second Ring of Power
  • Eagle's Gift
  • Fire from Within
  • Power of Silence
  • The Art of Dreaming
  • Magical Passes: The Practical Wisdom of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico
  • The Wheel of Time: The Shamans of Mexico Their Thoughts About Life Death & the Universe
“For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path that may have heart, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length--and there I travel looking, looking breathlessly.” 171 likes
“Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions. To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life. Only then will you know that any path is only a path and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. I warn you. Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary.

This question is one that only a very old man asks. Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long long paths, but I am not anywhere. Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you.

Before you embark on any path ask the question: Does this path have a heart? If the answer is no, you will know it, and then you must choose another path. The trouble is nobody asks the question; and when a man finally realizes that he has taken a path without a heart, the path is ready to kill him. At that point very few men can stop to deliberate, and leave the path. A path without a heart is never enjoyable. You have to work hard even to take it. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy; it does not make you work at liking it.”
More quotes…