Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
The Wisdom of Un-learning
Category:
Healing
Photo by Miguel Ruiz Jr. and Jose Ruiz

Brothers Miguel Jr. and Jose Ruiz belong to a lineage of spiritual teachers called naguales in their Toltec tradition. Both apprenticed with their father, Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, as well as their grandmother, Madre Sarita. Now, the generations intertwine with the Ruiz family teaching and co-authoring books together while also pursuing individual callings. In The Agreements of Love, Miguel Jr. and Jose will lead workshop participants on a journey from ancient to modern life guided by their ancestral knowledge.

The Toltec tradition is oral, not written, and the brothers embody their teachings in part by sharing the stories of their lives. “Our elders have shared with us the lessons that life taught them,” says Miguel Jr. “Though a lot of the mediums have changed, the way we relate to the world hasn’t, and that is what helps us to heal the wounds that have distorted our lines of communication and our lives.”

“The wisdom of my elders shows us that there is nothing to learn but only to unlearn what does not serve us anymore,” says Jose. This un-learning often takes the form of releasing the assumptions, judgements and negativity that prevent people from tapping into the unconditional love underlying life. “These teachings bring us the awareness to help us understand where negativity is created,” Jose continues. “We don’t have to believe or take sides or take things personally. We can consciously make a choice to bring ourselves the gift of inner peace. This can only come from within.”

The Ruiz brothers use a framework of five agreements as the foundation from which they guide people through this process of un-learning. The first four agreements, originally set out by their father, include the following: Be impeccable with your word; Don’t take anything personally; Don’t make assumptions; Always do your best. These agreements are widely known and utilized around the world; The Four Agreements has been translated into 40 languages and sold more than seven million copies.

From early on, Miguel Ruiz Sr. tried to share a fifth agreement, that encouraged people to see the wholeness of their reality: Be skeptical, but learn to listen. “Though I shared the fifth agreement, I discovered that no one was ready to learn the teachings that underlie it,” Miguel Sr. shares. But years later, his son Jose successfully brought it to the world. They co-authored The Fifth Agreement in 2011. “By making the five agreements, we can become aware of what takes our inspiration away,” says Jose. “In the Toltec tradition, ‘Toltec’ means artists of the spirit. The way we live our life is an art; that is why it’s very important in this day in age to be authentic and live with an open heart. Life is too short to have it closed.”

The Ruiz brothers’ workshop offers rare insight into a living oral lineage. Plus, they have a lot of fun together. “Teaching together feels like we’re playing, just like when we were kids. But now instead of playing with toys and games, we are teaching and spreading our knowledge,” says Miguel Jr. “I hope that people come away with a moment of clarity that allows them to make a choice: to either continue to live with conditional love, or to live in unconditional love. To be able to make that choice with awareness.”

Learn more about The Agreements of Love.

Photo by Rick Rasmussen

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

The Wisdom of Un-learning

About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Category:
Healing
Photo by Miguel Ruiz Jr. and Jose Ruiz

Brothers Miguel Jr. and Jose Ruiz belong to a lineage of spiritual teachers called naguales in their Toltec tradition. Both apprenticed with their father, Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, as well as their grandmother, Madre Sarita. Now, the generations intertwine with the Ruiz family teaching and co-authoring books together while also pursuing individual callings. In The Agreements of Love, Miguel Jr. and Jose will lead workshop participants on a journey from ancient to modern life guided by their ancestral knowledge.

The Toltec tradition is oral, not written, and the brothers embody their teachings in part by sharing the stories of their lives. “Our elders have shared with us the lessons that life taught them,” says Miguel Jr. “Though a lot of the mediums have changed, the way we relate to the world hasn’t, and that is what helps us to heal the wounds that have distorted our lines of communication and our lives.”

“The wisdom of my elders shows us that there is nothing to learn but only to unlearn what does not serve us anymore,” says Jose. This un-learning often takes the form of releasing the assumptions, judgements and negativity that prevent people from tapping into the unconditional love underlying life. “These teachings bring us the awareness to help us understand where negativity is created,” Jose continues. “We don’t have to believe or take sides or take things personally. We can consciously make a choice to bring ourselves the gift of inner peace. This can only come from within.”

The Ruiz brothers use a framework of five agreements as the foundation from which they guide people through this process of un-learning. The first four agreements, originally set out by their father, include the following: Be impeccable with your word; Don’t take anything personally; Don’t make assumptions; Always do your best. These agreements are widely known and utilized around the world; The Four Agreements has been translated into 40 languages and sold more than seven million copies.

From early on, Miguel Ruiz Sr. tried to share a fifth agreement, that encouraged people to see the wholeness of their reality: Be skeptical, but learn to listen. “Though I shared the fifth agreement, I discovered that no one was ready to learn the teachings that underlie it,” Miguel Sr. shares. But years later, his son Jose successfully brought it to the world. They co-authored The Fifth Agreement in 2011. “By making the five agreements, we can become aware of what takes our inspiration away,” says Jose. “In the Toltec tradition, ‘Toltec’ means artists of the spirit. The way we live our life is an art; that is why it’s very important in this day in age to be authentic and live with an open heart. Life is too short to have it closed.”

The Ruiz brothers’ workshop offers rare insight into a living oral lineage. Plus, they have a lot of fun together. “Teaching together feels like we’re playing, just like when we were kids. But now instead of playing with toys and games, we are teaching and spreading our knowledge,” says Miguel Jr. “I hope that people come away with a moment of clarity that allows them to make a choice: to either continue to live with conditional love, or to live in unconditional love. To be able to make that choice with awareness.”

Learn more about The Agreements of Love.

Photo by Rick Rasmussen

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
The Wisdom of Un-learning
Category:
Healing

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About

Esalen Team

The Wisdom of Un-learning

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