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The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship: A Toltec Wisdom Book

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In the tradition of Carlos Castaneda, the author distills essential Toltec wisdom on human relationships as well as techniques for integrating this awareness into daily life.

248 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 1999

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About the author

Miguel Ruiz

144 books4,021 followers
The tools shared by don Miguel are based on common sense and shared with such simplicity, that the universal message underlying his teaching is recognized by many. don Miguel's message is simple, practical and when implemented, even incrementally, changes lives.

In the tradition of the Toltec, a Nagual guides an individual to personal freedom. Combining new insights with old wisdom, don Miguel has dedicated his life to sharing the ancient Toltec wisdom by translating it into practical concepts that promote transformation through truth and common sense.

Don Miguel Ruiz was born into a family of healers, and raised in rural Mexico by a curandera (healer) mother and a nagual (shaman) grandfather. The family anticipated that Miguel would embrace their centuries-old legacy of healing and teaching, and carry forward the esoteric Toltec knowledge. Instead, distracted by modern life, Miguel chose to attend medical school and become a surgeon. A near-death experience changed his life. Stunned by this experience, he began an intensive practice of self-inquiry. He devoted himself to the mastery of the ancient ancestral wisdom, studying earnestly with his mother, and completing an apprenticeship with a powerful shaman in the Mexican desert. In the tradition of the Toltecs, a nagual guides an individual to personal freedom. Don Miguel is a nagual from the Eagle Knight lineage, and is dedicated to sharing his knowledge of the teachings of the ancient Toltecs. He is the author of The Four Agreements, The Mastery of Love, The Four Agreements Companion Book, and THE TOLTEC ART OF LIFE AND DEATH (COMING OCTOBER 27TH, 2015, FROM HARPERELIXIR).

source: http://www.miguelruiz.com/tradition/r...

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,080 reviews
3 reviews7 followers
February 20, 2008
Mastery of Love is one of the most influential books I have ever read. I recommend it to all of my girl friends and I think every guy should read it as well. Ruiz also wrote The Four Agreements...very good read but I liked Mastery of Love more b/c as a girl that has grown up in a (pleasantly) divorced family, I am a skeptic of love and it’s hard for me to open up.

This book starts off discussing love on a conceptual level but then turns into more of a How To book...which is the part I enjoyed the most.
It very simply explains that all you need to do is love yourself first and all things will fall into place.
This is sometimes a very hard concept for women- since many are taught at a young age to always put people’s needs ahead of their own. They end up letting themselves go and resent their family for not appreciating all the energy and effort they put into the family- when in reality that was never asked of them. I think this is where many marriages fall apart. You can’t make anyone but yourself happy. Period. Everyone has there issues...don’t waste your energy trying to fix theirs- just accept and love them for who they are...and hopefully you will have surrounded yourself with people that are aware of this as well and work towards self improvement everyday.

You are Life passing through your body, passing through your mind, passing through your soul. Once you find that out, not with logic, not with the intellect, but because you can feel that Life - you find out that you are the force that makes the flowers open and close, that makes the hummingbird fly from flower to flower. You find out that you are in every tree, and you are in every animal, vegetable, and rock. You are that force that moves the wind and breathes through your body. The whole universe is a living being that is moved by that force, and that is what you are. You are Life.
Profile Image for Matt.
Author 1 book65 followers
May 7, 2012
Disclaimer – I doubt I ever would have chosen to read this book without a recommendation from someone else. It was lent to me by a co-worker, and I read it, in part, out of respect for her.

The author: Miguel Ruiz once went to medical school and became a surgeon. Later in life after a traumatic accident he forsook it all to learn the healer’s ways and become an “Eagle-Knight” in the Nagual tradition. He has since studied the “Toltec” people and written about their teachings. He has written a few books now, the most successful being “The Four Agreements.”

The book: I hated the first 3 chapters. The first chapter described the wisdom he had obtained from the Toltec people. He then goes on to tell a “Toltec story” that somehow I already heard in Sunday School as a kid. It made me think – this guy is a hack. He picked some obscure historical group that no one really knows a lot about, and he invented stories about them to sound like it was ancient and mystic…when really the stories were made up by him or taken from other sources. He then proceeds to tell us a real truth:

“To master a relationship is therefore about action. It is not about concepts or attaining knowledge. It is about action. Of course, to have action, we need to have some knowledge or at least a little more awareness of the way humans operate.”

He kind of summed up his book right there. It’s not about knowledge, it’s about action. So stop reading this book and get moving…but of course he wants us to actually keep reading and to buy his book or he wouldn’t make any money or convince anyone to come to his seminars, courses, etc…In cases you hadn’t guessed, at this point I was becoming quite the cynic.

He then discussed mental illness and described it thus:

“We call it schizophrenia, paranoia, psychosis, but these diseases are created when the reasoning mind is so frightened and the wounds so painful, that it becomes better to break contact with the outside world.”

I have to admit there may be some truth in his statement, but it is far too simplistic. He makes it sound as though we make a conscious decision when life is too painful to create our own reality. It’s like people’s minds decide to go crazy, and I’ve seen that it is not so.

He then explains all the things humans naturally understand. Things like right and wrong, fair and unfair, love and hate.

“Each of us creates a personal dream for our own self, but the humans before us created a big outside dream, the dream of the human society. The outside Dream, or the Dream of the Planet, is the collective Dream of billions of dreamers. The Big Dream includes all the rules of society, its laws, its religions, its different cultures and ways to be.”

At this point I realized that he is either an Atheist, or believes in an unformed God that is simply the spirit of life within each of us. He does not believe there is any right or wrong…it is all perception. To me it slapped our Founding Fathers in the face - “We hold these truths to be self evident.” Don Miguel Ruiz would argue that they are only self-evident because we are all in the same dream, they are self-evident because we have convinced ourselves they are true.

"There is no one to blame for this disease; it is not good or bad or right or wrong, it is simply the normal pathology of the disease. No one is guilty for being abusive."

He keeps expounding on this idea that nothing we ever do is bad or wrong, it’s part of humanities disease.

At this point I was about to abandon the book for good because he was just making me mad…then he made some good points.

He gave the parable of the Magical Kitchen. It basically says – Imagine you have a magic kitchen that makes anything and everything you want, whenever you want it. Someone comes to your door and offers you a pizza, but you have to work for him the rest of the day. Of course you would say no, you can have that pizza or better for free, so why get it from someone else who expects something in return? Then imagine you haven’t eaten for days. You have no money and no food, and someone makes you the same offer. You may accept. Each day you are offered pizza if you will do what he says for the rest of the day. Soon you become dependent on the Pizza, you have to keep working for it. You fear the Pizza giver might leave one day, or not return…then you’d starve to death. You become possessive, desperate, and willing to do anything to keep the Pizza giver coming.

This is how we are with Happiness and Love. When we love others completely and absolutely, we are completely full of happiness. No one can offer us more happiness or love…we already have all we need, and we can share with everyone else…forever! We will never run out. But when we feel like we have no love, no happiness, and someone offers us a sliver, we jump at it. We take whatever we can get, no matter the price. We enter into terrible relationships simply because we have no love for others, no love for ourselves, and we need someone else to give it to us. As he states:

“Happiness never comes from outside of us.”

“If happiness can only come from inside of you and is the result of your love; you are responsible for your happiness.”

“When we love, we don’t have expectations, we do it because we want to, and if other people do it or not, it’s because they want to or not and it’s nothing personal.”

“The only way to master love is to practice love. You don’t need to justify your love, you don’t need to explain your love; you just need to practice your love.”

This is when I started to like the book. He was writing truth, and it was truth people need.

The next quotes about relationships and finding “the right one” were quite poignant.

“I can tell you that the right woman for you is the one you love just the way she is, the woman you don’t have the need to change at all…you are lucky if you find the right woman for you, and at the same time you are the right man for her.”

“You know the kind of man or woman that you want? The one that makes your heart sing, the one is aligned with the way you are, the one who loves you just as you are. Why set yourself up for something else? Why not get what you want? Why pretend to make someone fit what she is not?”

“When you buy something you don’t need, it ends up in the garbage. It’s the same in a relationship.”

“If you cannot love your partner the way she is, someone else can love her just as she is. Don’t waste your time, and don’t waste your partner’s time. This is respect.”

“You take care of your half of the relationship. The other half is not your problem.”

Then he made a quote that made me perturbed again.

“We learn to pretend to be what we are not”

We often practice to become something we are not. We want to be an athlete, or a scholar, or religious, or a good dresser. I do see people being false when they are trying to go against their beliefs, who they really are. But I see nothing wrong with learning new things and becoming things we weren’t before. Guess what, I’m a lot of things I wasn’t when I was a child…because I practiced. For example. My sister told me once she needed to stop acting like she was Hispanic, because she’s not. She was dating a guy from Columbia at the time. Well now they are married, and she is working diligently to learn Spanish. She will never be “Hispanic” by blood, but she can learn their language and appreciate their culture, food, and customs. This is not pretending to be something you are not. It is learning, expanding your horizons. So he has a point, but it shouldn’t be portrayed as an entirely negative thing.

"There’s no problem with being gorgeous. If you walk through a crowd of people and they tell you “Oh, you are beautiful.” You can say “Thank you, I know,” and keep going. It doesn’t make any difference to you. But it will make a difference if you don’t believe that you are beautiful and someone tells you that. Then you are going to say “Am I really?” This opinion can impress you, and, of course, that makes you easy prey."

Beauty and perception are one and the same. It can control us, or be our greatest asset.

"You will forgive them not because they deserve to be forgiven, but because you don’t want to suffer and hurt yourself every time you remember what they did to you."

Forgiveness is not for the offender, it is for the offended.

"You have a limit to the amount of abuse you will accept, but no one in the whole world abuses you more than you abuse yourself. The limit of your self abuse is the limit you will tolerate from other people. If someone abuses you more than you abuse yourself, you will walk away, you run, you escape."

This one made me think for a very long time – is that how we determine what abuse we’ll take…how bad we think we are???

"Whatever is not true will not survive skepticism, but the truth will always survive skepticism."

Unfortunately this one was wrong. Like Harry S. Truman said: “You can accomplish anything in life, provided that you do not mind who gets the credit.”
Profile Image for Michele Harrod.
519 reviews47 followers
January 6, 2013
This is one of those perfect books, that sits on my bookshelf, and then miraculously falls into my bag, just as I head away for a long weekend - just when I need it the most. You know the times, those short breaks, when you need to take some time out to try and make sense of the world, and where you fit into it. This book answered those questions perfectly. In fact Don Miguel Ruiz's explanation of the hell that is earth, and how and why we have so foolishly created this for ourselves, was just what I needed to hear. It was exactly the explanation I needed. Currently studying animal welfare, I am often confronted with human actions that make finding a place of 'love' in my heart for the people who inflict these heinous actions, utterly impossible. In fact, there are days I cannot bear even being branded as a 'human' myself when I see the things humans are not only capable of doing, but then, actually DO. I went away wondering if in fact I needed to leave this area of study, as it was so hard for me to handle. But instead, this wonderful gem of a book helped to find explanations for these horrible crimes. And most importantly, it told me this... this will be going on the wall, to remind myself every day, that my shoulders cannot take the weight of everyone else's actions, and nor do they have to. I have tried to do that for far too long!!

"Becoming aware is about being responsible for your own life. You are not responsible for what is happening in the world. You are responsible for yourself. You didn't make the world the way it is; the world was already the way it is before you were born. You didn't come here with a great mission to save the world, to save society, but surely you come with a big mission, an important mission. The real mission you have in life, is to make yourself happy, and in order to be happy you have to look at what you believe, the way you judge yourself, the way you victimize yourself". (p.111)

And most importantly, it reminded me that love really is all that matters. And that the only sort that really nurtures us, is the love we find within ourselves. Thanks for reminding me of this, and that it just might be possible to find someone else who is also busily filling themselves up on their own love, and just looking to share it - rather than looking to suck all mine out of me. I always imagined that was how love should be. I had started to think this concept was nothing more than a dream!! It was good to hear that in fact, this is exactly how it should be. Makes me damn glad I kept waiting!!!

Highly recommended - in fact, I think this one might just have to be read all over again.
Profile Image for Brad.
116 reviews7 followers
December 4, 2008
I just can't get past the bad writing. The concepts occasionally seemed worth a bit of thought yet by the time the author finished beating them into the ground through repetitive poor sentences I disregarded the ideas in disgust. Really, I didn't know someone could rephrase a single thought so many times without once expressing it in a succinct, (or even quasi-intelligent,) manner. Ah well, I guess I won't be able to 'self-help' after all... Ghost writer, anyone?

Profile Image for EN.
19 reviews
September 6, 2017
Sexist oversimplification with the occasional good point.
Profile Image for Liz.
98 reviews9 followers
March 26, 2014
This book certainly contains some good and well needed advice, for example it frequently stresses the importance of self acceptance and self love, a concept which I think many of us struggle with.

However, I found the book difficult at times because it frequently seemed to fall into the realm of over simplification. Perhaps non western based concepts of 'enlightenment' are supposed to be by nature - simple - and I am missing the point? But I'm not entirely convinced of this. I agree that Western thought is often too focused on having, taking and receiving, rather than giving as a source of joy and happiness - and I agree that something needs to change, that happiness shouldn't be about having and taking. However I also find the idea that you should be overflowing with love for everything and everyone around you all the time, unrealistic. I think that while trying to be more accepting in our daily lives would probably be of benefit to ourselves and others I also feel there are times when anger, sadness and negative feelings are justifiable and sometimes cannot be avoided.

Having said that, I think I will be pondering this book for quite some time, I think it is that kind of book. Perhaps I am just too full of the "fear and emotional poison" that my society has drilled into me, to be able to fully grasp the concepts of unconditional love in this book. Perhaps over time my views will change. It's certainly made me think.

This book is definitely worth a read, even if like me, you are not sold on everything he says - just because it presents a radically different approach to life & relationships compared to that which many of us know.
Profile Image for Shannon .
39 reviews7 followers
December 22, 2011
We practice and practice, and we master how to be what we are not.
Soon we forget who we really are, and we start to live our images. We create not just one image, but many different images according to the different groups of people we associate with. p20

If you take your happiness and put it in someone's hands, sooner or later,s he is giong to break it. If you give your happiness to someone else, she can always take it away. Then if happiness can only come from inside of you and is the result of your love, you are responsible for your happiness. We can never make anyone responsible for our own happiness, [...] p53

Every relationship we have [...] is unique because we dream a small dream together. Every relationship becomes a living being made by two dreamers. p 57-58

+Love has no obligations [...] love has no resistance. Fear is full of obligations.
+Love has no expectations. Fear is full of expectations. With fear we do things because we expect that we have to, and we expect that others are going to do the same. That is why fear hurts and love doesn't hurt.
+Love is based on respect. Fear doesn't respect anything, including itself. [...] If I don't respect you, then I try to control you. [...] When I don't respect myself, I feel sorry for myself, I feel I'm not good enough to make it in this world.
[...]love respects. I love you; I know you can make it. i know you are strong enough, intelligent enough, good enough that you can make your own choices.
+Love is completely responsible. Fear avoids responsibility, but this doesn't mean that it's not responsible.
+Love is always kind. Fear is always unkind. [...] Love is always kind, and that kindness makes you generous and opens all the doors.
+Love is unconditional. Fear is full of conditions.
+In the track of love, there is justice. If you make a mistake, you pay only once for that mistake, and if you truly love yourself, you learn from that mistake. In the track of fear, there is no justice. You make yourself pay a thousand times for the same mistake.

The only way to master love is to practice love. You don't need to justify your love, you don't need to explain your love; you just need to practice your love. Practice creates the master. p71

You cannot change other people. [...] That is a fact. They are what they are; you are what you are. You dance or you don't dance. You need to be completely honest with yourself -- to say what you want, and see if you are willing to dance or not. p74

You are going to be [...] right [...] if she loves you just the way you are and she doesn't want to change you. She doesn't have to be responsible for you; she can trust that you are going to be what you claim you are, what you project you are. She can be as honest as possible and project to you what she is. p77

Don't invent in people what is not there. p80

We just need to accept our truth and intend a new beginning. p114

It's about honoring the God inside each other. p155

Everything is what it is. You don't need to justify what is true; you don't need to explain it. What is true doesn't need anyone's support. Your lies need your support. p167

Help us become Masters of Gratitude, Generosity, and Love so that we can enjoy all of your creations forever and ever. Amen. p205
Profile Image for Jeanny.
1,877 reviews144 followers
October 12, 2015
My reaction after I completed the book:
Well, that was .....{o_0}..... I think ..... I need a moment to compose my thoughts....

This is not my usual choice of reading material. However, I stumbled upon a discussion about this book & its merits & became intrigued with the concepts being discussed. So much so as I walked out of the room I immediately purchased the audible version of the book. The narrators Jill Eikenberry & Michael Tucker did a decent job reading the material. They had soothing voices throughout & had steady pacing. The listening length was 2 hours & 33 minutes. I rate the narration 4 stars.

That done on to the review on the actual material/lessons. (As of 10/2015) This book has 600+ reviews on Amazon with a nearly perfect 5 star average. I hate to admit the discussion I previously mentioned was more lively & enlightening then the material itself truly deserved.

Let's start with the fundamental concept this book revolves around: Your life is a dream.

"Your whole life is nothing but a dream. You live in a fantasy where everything you know about yourself is only true for you. Your truth is not the truth for anyone else, and that includes your own children or your own parents".

So my first thought was "What like the 1999 movie The Matrix The Matrix Reloaded: Screenplay or like the Revler series Darkness Falls?" I immediately think I need to call on my suspense of disbelief. Which I find extremely odd being I started this book with the preconception it is what amounts to a self help book.
Whatever. As Oat Willie used to say, “Onward! Through the fog!”

I'm going to throw in a few additional quotes just reiterate the fact your world is a fantasy of your own creation.

"Your life is the manifestation of your personal dream. If you can transform the program of your personal dream, you can become a dream master. A dream master creates a masterpiece of life. But to master the dream is a big challenge because humans become slaves of their own dreams. The way we learn to dream is a setup. With all the beliefs we have that nothing is possible, it's hard to escape the Dream of Fear. In order to awake from the Dream, you need to master the Dream".

"When you are aware that everyone around you has emotional wounds with emotional poison, you can easily understand the relationship of humans in what the Toltecs call the dream of hell. From the Toltec perspective, everything we believe about ourselves, and everything we know about our world, is a dream".

OK now that we've established our reality amounts to one big fantasy of our own creation let's move on to the 2nd concept. Welcome to HELL. *evil laughs

“If you look at any religious description of hell, it is the same as human society, the way we dream. Hell is a place of suffering, a place of fear, a place of war and violence, a place of judgment and no justice, a place of punishment that never ends.”

Well, I suppose like religion & its many holy books all things are open to interpretation. Many people use some variation of the phrase living in hell/this is hell. Whatever. (Notice I continuously revert to the ever popular HS gibberish "Whatever" throughout this review.)

I'm going to throw in a few additional quotes just to reiterate the fact your life is a dream/fantasy of your own creation known as H-E-L-L-.*more evil laughs

“There are humans versus humans in a jungle of predators; humans full of judgment, full of blame, full of guilt, full of emotional poison — envy, anger, hate, sadness, suffering. We create all these little demons in our mind because we have learned to dream hell in our own life.”

"Life brings to you exactly what you need. There is perfect justice in hell. There is nothing to blame. We can even say that our suffering is a gift. If you just open your eyes and see what is around you, it’s exactly what you need to clean your poison, to heal your wounds, to accept yourself, and to get out of hell.”

-OK, got it i'm responsible for my own fantasy hell & I should be happy for it. Whatever, let's move on.

Third concept: I'm so sorry to inform you you've been infected with an undignoused disease. Yes, ladies & gentlemen, this has progressed to you're being infected with a mental disease. Let's recap not only are you causing your fantasy dream world to be hell you're now diseased.

“human mind is sick with a disease called fear. Just like the description of the infected skin, the emotional body is full of wounds, and these wounds are infected with emotional poison. The manifestation of the disease of fear is anger, hate, sadness, envy, and hypocrisy; the result of the disease is all the emotions that make humans suffer.”

-At this point I'm losing interest.

I'll not continue to quote this man & his many concepts. More than likely, most of you have picked up on the fact my review is what amounts to scoff. This material feels like a bunch of at best new age mumbo jumbo. At worse & the more likely scenario the author had a bad acid trip while reading about the historical archaeological Mesoamerican culture & its beliefs system. Unfortunately for us he documented his rantings & it was published. What's worse I have paid good money to hear it.

Don't pretend you don't know what i'm talking about. The majority of us who attended any higher learning institution have come across the potheads who think themselves full of wisdom they're bursting to share with you. Well, I recommend you buy this book if you want to reminisce.

If you happen to be the majority of people who loved this book please remember the teachings you've just learned & apply them here: “You don't need to justify your love, you don't need to explain your love, you just need to practice your love. Practice creates the master.”
That said don't attempt to convice me to love this book.

Rating 2 stars.

Disclaimer: Not all the material in this book is ludicrous, obtuse, & repetitive. Some of the concepts are practical. Love yourself, your responsible for your own happiness & not an outside source. You're only responsible for your half of a relationship. BC it's only fair, I'll include quotes below.

“Every human being has a personal dream of life, and that dream is completely different from anyone else’s dream. We dream according to all the beliefs that we have, and we modify our dream according to the way we judge, according to the way we are victimized. That is why dreams are never the same for any two people. In a relationship, we can pretend to be the same, to think the same, to feel the same, to dream the same, but there is no way that can happen. There are two dreamers with two dreams. Every dreamer is going to dream in his own way. That is why we need to accept the differences that exist between two dreamers; we need to respect each other’s dream.”

“Humans hunt for love. We feel that we need that love because we believe we don’t have love, because we don’t love ourselves. We hunt for love in other humans just like us, expecting to get love from them when these humans are in the same condition as we are. They don’t love themselves either, so how much love can we get from them? We merely create a bigger need that isn’t real; we keep hunting and hunting, but in the wrong place, because other humans don’t have the love we need.”

This book counts toward Girls, Guns and Grimoires] Book Bingo Challenge
Profile Image for Ursy.
18 reviews8 followers
June 19, 2011
This book has very little and everything to do with creating meaningful relationships with others. It's sole focus is about creating a loving relationship with yourself. It gives real world examples of how we create our own hell. If we can create it, we can destroy it. This book looks at how and why we've created a dream of hell and sheds light on how we can turn that dream into a dream of heaven.

Although I was not big on the slightly religious undertones in some of the chapters, I do believe that we are here for a reason and if that is the case, something created us. It may be faulty logic to some, but it could also be completely logical. It may not be the God that Christians believe in, and it may not be the God that Muslims believe in, but I can hold true to the fact that there is a creator in all of us. We are our own god. We create our own dream/life. The religious aspect of the book was easily overlooked because of the depth of perception that it gives to living life the way we believe it to be.

Don't believe me. Don't believe yourself. Don't believe others.
Find your own truths.

Definitely worth reading.
2 reviews4 followers
February 10, 2017
After reading various reviews, I felt that people who gave low rating are grumbling because they are trying to interpret this book logically. If you have a tendency to do the same then you would probably not like this book. This book has statements like "You are perfect." "Everything around you is perfect" "Happiness can only come from inside of you and is the result of your love." - which are impossible to explain using logic.

Miguel has touched a number of basic but important aspects like the negative effect of other people's opinions, low self-esteem lead to the need for constant validation, healthy relation with oneself helps to have a healthy relation with others, maximizing happiness, defining love, belief system. Below are some excerpts from various dimensions of this book:

People build different images to get accepted by their parents, by friends & by society, and we are the ones who domesticate our children towards acceptance, fear, right, and wrong which gives a spark to different images. When we pretend to someone else who we are not, to live up to that image we lie or live in fear to maintain the facade.

Perfect image of ourselves in our mind acts as major roadblock in self-acceptance. When we do not accept ourselves other people also do not accept us or we end up apprehending that other people will reject us for the same reasons we are rejecting ourselves.

Expectations & the constant desire to change someone according to our own "dream" adds friction to the relationships with friends & family. We give control of our happiness to others as soon as we have expectations from others, and end up setting ourselves for failure.

Everybody is in the constant quest for love in others, which means that nobody has it and yet we are trying to find it in others. The author tries to argue that love comes out of us & we already have it but we are not able to see it.

And there are many more interesting sayings for which you should read the book :)
Profile Image for Esmeralda Jimenez.
2 reviews8 followers
January 15, 2010
The best spiritual book I have ever read. It teaches you how you can reach happiness and love, within yourself. Once you have mastered self-love and have healed from emotional wounds, happiness is achieved and this is vital for a healthy loving relantionship. This book will have a dramatic influence in 2010 for me, just what I needed. Can't wait to start reading the Four Agreements.

"Happiness can only come from inside of you and is the result of your love. When you are aware that no one else can make you happy, and that happiness is thte result of your love, this becomes the greatest mastery of the Toltecs: the Mastery of Love"
Profile Image for Hal Elrod.
Author 73 books1,218 followers
September 30, 2010
One of my top 10 favorite books. I learned that "love" alone is never enough to sustain a happy relationship. We can fall in love with any living thing (such as a dog) if we spend enough time with it. Just because we love our dog doesn't mean we should carry on a romantic relationship with our dog.

What's most important is compatibility -- sharing the same values and views on major issues (money, sex, children, attitude, etc.)
Profile Image for Tere Campos.
90 reviews12 followers
October 13, 2019
La verdad me costó trabajo leerlo. Me gusta el mensaje que quiere transmitir pero quizá no estoy de acuerdo en las palabras que usa para afirmar ciertas cosas. Siento que apoya mucho la relatividad y el panteísmo. Hay una mezcla de creencias, sin embargo dice que debemos deshacernos de ellas.

Me siento satisfecha porque da tres consejos casi al final, y los tres los aplico.
Primero, no creerle a él.
Segundo: no creer en mí misma (no se refiere a la capacidad, sino a las creencias/programaciones, sentido de lo bueno o malo)
Tercero: no creerle a nadie.
Porque claro que en la duda surge el aprendizaje por interés y tal vez el más signiticativo.
Pues yo dudo de todo lo que dice porque sus bases parecen ser empíricas, y no es que quite mérito a la experiencia, pero siento que es simplemente un libro de opinión y motivacional que te lleva a quererte a ti, para luego querer a los demás (mensaje bueno), pero varias analogías me parecieron fuera de lugar, o no aplicables, así como algunos conceptos.
Repito, tiene muchas cosas que me hicieron sentido. Pero también muchas otras que me resultaban contradictorias. Me hubiera gustado que tuviera referencias, pero como digo, es más un libro de un solo autor basado en sus creencias que ha obtenido de su educación, vivencias y ancestros, entre otros elementos obviamente.
Profile Image for Christie.
31 reviews
January 23, 2009
Ruiz's delivery irritates me just as much as Thomas Friedman of the World is Flat. Of course, I have been in the minority before, and I don't mind being in it again.

On the positive side, this book contains some healthy and true messages about how we love, and why we fail, and how so many of our actions and reactions are based on fear. There were some messages in this book that I needed to hear, but I could have removed a lot of fluff of the analogies and stories. They either just felt off the wall to me, or not really well told. I even skimmed through some sections instead of reading them properly.

I would like to say that I will re-read it to get more out of it second time around, but I doubt that I will. In the meantime, I will tote it around with me at the bottom of my backpack for the next two months, so obviously I think there is some value in it. :)

Profile Image for Kathryn.
416 reviews1 follower
July 15, 2009
didn't "technically" finish it....it was too terrible...boring, lame, corny, and repetitive...highly unrecommend
Profile Image for Roy Khadra.
71 reviews12 followers
December 3, 2018
I guess "Don Miguel Ruiz" is the best-known to represent the Toltec philosophy. The link that connects all his books together is based on the idea of considering Life as a collective dream that each person plays the main character in the scene, he is participating in. One's life is the story he is writing according to some images reflected by light reaching his position. This light phenomena is better known to us by "Conscience" or "Awareness". Conflicts occur when two different stories interfere in distributing roles. It is more complicated than this, but this is the simplest approach I can give.
My review isn't about discussing the possibility of the love the writer is referring to, or questioning the Toltec philosophy. There is a lot to think about and to analyze before giving a decisive opinion. But I can say that I loved the message of this book, and here are some major points I like to mention:

Time to unlearn:
A child is the prove that we have to unlearn what our awareness is made of through our years of living. Lead by his most authentic indicator: his instinct, a newborn, knows what life is about: exploring. An unspoiled child cannot find a goal of his existence if not for enjoying it. He is happy until the domestication does its job by convincing that we are here an ambiguous higher purpose and we have to follow some rules. A child judges honestly. Either you are good to him and you are worth his trust, or not. But, later on, he learns the most practiced among arts: manipulation. Then, he understands he must sacrifice his joyful innocent intuition to win some rounds. He wins a lot of them, but he laughs no more because he is happy. Just as a part of the collective game, and the dreams get transformed into a nightmare called "civilization". Yes, I agree with "Don Miguel", it is time to unlearn a lot of things.

Definition of adolescence:
The child learning to follow. He obeys, and he is free for responsibilities. But not for so long. Bit by bit, he no longer loves this situation, he wants to break free and to be himself a master. But freedom comes with responsibilities and through a revolution. So, he must evolve his skills and techniques, and choose his own causes. Here, comes the era of the chaotic experiments, making plans and taking decisions. It is a critical transition phase, it is adolescence.
It is not that simple, but this how I could interpret it. For the ones who are near to the animals’ world, and have the patient to observe carefully, can understand this fact perfectly. A baby animal watches his mother to learn the techniques of hunting, because he is doomed to be himself a good hunter, or die in hunger. The pride of a lion isn't based on the quality of his fur, but rather of saving his dignity from hunger or dying. It is for sure that our paths are deviated from the direction of our trajectory that lead to our evolution. People get depressed, wild animals don't. I guess we are urged to ask: "Why?". I guess the answer is quite easy: animals fight for their basic needs, but not for dogmas they don't understand. We exist to explore and to discover our world, not to own it or to rule it. We live for the joy of living. We must praise our creators, no matters how he looks like: a spirit, a book, an idea, a scientific fact, or an absurd matter. We must thank the source of our life, not wasting time in defining it. Live to serve life, this is the holiest purpose. But, can we? I guess the writer believes that a human being is able unlearn what wrote thousands of years on his genes. Maybe we can, the day we understand that the skin is an instrument of perception not of discrimination.

I agree with "Don Miguel" that violence is the way to release one's inner poisons. We seek power to defeat our obedience. We break rules because we can't stand it anymore. We shout to refuse being ignored. We hurt others because we learned to express ourselves through this language. Yes, we cry because we couldn't hold it anymore. Then, we kill due ignorance and lack of security. So, violence is significant, it shows the depth of humanity's wounds.

We live our life seeking some kind of perfection. As a child, as a student, as a worker, as a lover, as a parent and most of all, as a human. But we never notice that everything around us tells that perfection is a concept we created to suit our pride. According to our perception, even nature isn't perfect despite its accuracy, it symmetrical shapes and its charming beauty. We will always find what to be modified. The way religion describes the compassion shows that the list-to-follow is too long, which contradicts their acclaim that Heaven is so near. Maybe, the short relieving-sentence "No one is perfect" is the most repeated worldwide. Yes, because this is what we believe. Maybe humans love challenges.
We are urged to take a moment to contemplate our history, to admire how we are, and to see how perfect things are around us. It is time to stop being manipulated with. Isn't the same person, who is inviting us to the journey of perfection, trying to convince us of its impossibility? Sure. Existence is perfect because only perfection can exist. We are perfect, and to feel it we have to unlearn the way we are programmed to judge ourselves. To, honestly, love life and give it a beautiful meaning.

If we deprive Hell from the everlasting-fire idea, the one that poets and painters created to describe its monstrosity, what would be left?! Its real meaning. Hell is said to be a place where our souls suffer endlessly. Loneliness makes us suffer. Lack of love makes us suffer. Starving makes us suffer. The non-stop-self-judging makes us suffer. Injustice and slavery make people suffer. The lack of security summons suffer. Isn't the universe, we live in, where you can find all what is said to exist in Hell? Indeed, and plus the guilt. Some say that we have to die to get there. Yes, but death can take different forms, and here on earth we have them all. If hell is where liars, killers, and bad souls live, so must not doubt that earth has become hell.

Maybe, somehow, I misinterpreted some points. But this is how I understood it. So, my review represents my point of view and my own impressions about it. To deny it or prove it, you have to read the book. I recommend it.
Profile Image for Arina.
1 review1 follower
December 14, 2020
"Už aklą aklesnis tas, kuris netrokšta regėti. Už kurčią kurtesnis tas, kuris netrokšta girdėti, o tas, kuris nenori nieko suprast - pats didžiausias pamišėlis."
Profile Image for Zoe Campos.
7 reviews2 followers
April 16, 2022
“In our mind we create the part of us that is always judging. The judge is judging everything we do, everything we don’t do, everything we feel, everything we don’t feel. We are judging ourselves all the time and we are judging everyone else all the time based on what we believe and based on the sense of justice and injustice” (Ruiz 37). Overall I would rate this a 5 star read, this isn’t your traditional book of fiction or nonfiction but this book is a good book to read if you are in need of guidance. For example this book can help you to see how to finally except and forgive ourselves and others. “ happiness can only come from inside of you and the result of your love. When you are aware that no one else can make you happy and that happiness is a result of your love this becomes the greatest mastery of the toltecs: The mastery of love.” This book is Man versus himself and man versus society, to explain why this is man versus himself because we we’re still trying to figure out ourselves and still trying to grow and this book will help you to do so. This is also man versus society because we are also going up against others for example in relationships. Furthermore to connect to why this is a five star read is because it’s a easy book to read, Miguel Ruiz goes in depth of the human brain, this book helps you create a healthy relationship with yourself and others, and again a great book to read if you are in need of guidance.
Profile Image for Kennia.
86 reviews74 followers
August 11, 2015
What beautiful messages! Don Miguel Ruiz writes of the toltec teachings on love. The toltecs were known as men and woman of knowledge and for thousands of years they have passed down their knowledge. I can definitely see myself going back to this book and rereading any chapter. The reason I gave it 3 stars was because there was a lot of repetition and the writing was not the best BUT I will not let this stop you from reading this book. I'm going to read more of Don Miguel Ruiz in the future!
Profile Image for marketafus.
73 reviews19 followers
March 19, 2020
Chtěla jsem dát šanci i tomuhle typu literatury, takže jsem ji fakt přečetla celou a už si to víckrát neudělám. Nechápu, odkud se bere tak vysoké hodnocení, protože mi nepřišla zajímavá. Stejné myšlenky najdete v dnes již tradičních facebookových skupinách Citátky pro dnešní den, kde si je Boženka s Jarmilkou nasdílejí na profil společně se smajlíkovým peklíčkem.
No nic, nebudu zlá, esoterika prostě není nic pro mě.
Profile Image for Mehrsa.
2,234 reviews3,657 followers
October 22, 2018
Good wisdom here, but this is really not the kind of book I like. It feels so ethereal and hard to pin down. I guess I should have known based on the cover and the promise of the book. I just thought that perhaps there was more depth in here than I had assumed.
Profile Image for Ania Hałat.
4 reviews
April 17, 2022
Ta książka bardzo pomogła mi w podejściu do pojęcia miłości (z czym miałam duży problem). Autor tłumaczy, że każdy kocha na swój sposób, a przede wszystkim by kochać i być kochanym trzeba BYĆ SOBĄ. Piękna utrzymująca na sercu książka.
Profile Image for Razie.
3 reviews9 followers
Currently reading
December 22, 2017
زندگی دقیقا همان را برایتان می آورد که به آن نیاز دارید.خداوند عادل است.موردی برای نکوهش نیست...
Profile Image for Rashmi.
97 reviews1 follower
October 28, 2022
Short but an enjoyable read. Happiness never comes from outside of us. It should come from within. Don't put the key to your happiness in anyone else's hand. Even in a relationship you are always responsible for keeping your half in perfect order. When you have love for yourself, you can give love to others.
Profile Image for Ryan.
10 reviews
December 31, 2022
Finished my book goal of the year! This was a great read to finish off the year and welcome a new one. Had lots to offer about the importance of self-love, perfect mood setter for making new resolutions!
Profile Image for Hana.
3 reviews1 follower
April 6, 2021
this book was filled with lots of wonderful nuggets of wisdom and truths regarding the ideas of love, and how love is the driving force in our lives. i learned a lot and marked down a lot of specific phrases, as the writing was calming and beautiful. it definitely felt like a spiritual experience just reading it, and ruiz's storytelling made for a fresh and magical read, making this book different from the average self help book.

however, i do this this book missed the mark when it comes to dealing with trauma, as well as coming across as quite judgmental toward alcohol and drug usage, which i did not appreciate especially in a book that preaches self acceptance and self love. there were certain comments and even certain phrasing that did not sit right with me and made me question who the author was and what he was really trying to preach. i thought maybe i was overthinking it, but i had this feeling on more than one account and it even made me want to stop reading at times.

so, i don't know if i would 100% recommend this book, but i also wouldn't 100% not recommend it, LOL. because i really do appreciate a lot of the wisdom from the book, it was an easy and fast read (yes it took me months but it's because i completely stopped reading for a while LOL) for someone who is not the best or most experienced reader, and i do feel happier and more centered after reading it.
Profile Image for Mads P..
98 reviews12 followers
July 30, 2008
Good. One should definitely read the Four Agreements first, even though this repeats some of that. The basic message is that you can't love anyone else until you love yourself. Love comes from within, not without. I think most people know this, but don't really live it. One of his big points in both books is that most of what we see/think about life is an illusion. Everything exists in our perception, we don't see things as they really are, we see them how we're trained to see them. He asserts that most of us live our lives in "hell" because of our perceptions of ourselves and others. We must work to undo a lot of that and return to childlike openness, but with the wisdom of an enlightened, awakened soul. Lots of what he's saying fits in with concepts of the child within as Charles Whitfield describes. Book also talks about the wounds of the emotional body and how they need to be healed just like physical wounds, otherwise we spread poison and pain to others and feel it continually ourselves. There's lots of talk of spirituality as well, in regards to forgiveness and god (love) emanating from within.
Profile Image for Amy Lesher.
46 reviews8 followers
February 27, 2013
If you are seeking to understand how & why relationships work out they way they do, this book is a gem. From it's all about you to it's not about you, these teachings will shift your understanding to a different level.

"A Toltec is an artist of Love,
an artist of the Spirit,
someone who is creating every moment,
every second, the most beautiful art--
the Art of Dreaming.

Life is nothing but a dream,
and if we are artists,
then we can create our life with Love,
and our dream becomes a masterpiece of art."

"Happiness can only come from inside of you and is the result of your love. When you are aware that no one else can make you happy, and that happiness is the result of your love, this becomes the greatest mastery of the Toltecs: the Mastery of Love." ---from the book

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