Study Guide: The Four Agreements

Study Guide!

This is a list of quotations and questions to help you prepare for the New Age Book Study that will cover The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book), by don Miguel Ruiz, and this study guide is complete in its entirety. To find other review question blog posts on the same theme from other books, check out this archive.

Remember, these are questions to help you go deep and engage. In an hour we won’t be able to cover them all, and so we won’t even try.

Our schedule for discussing this book is: Intro & Ch 1, April 10. Ch 2, April 17. Ch 3, April 24. Ch 4, May 1. Ch 5, May 8. Ch 6 & 7 May 22. We meet on Wednesdays at 4pm in the Warsaw Library.

For more information about our New Age Book Study, check out its info page.

Read on for the study guide!


  • In your own words, what happened to Smokey Mirror?
  • Do you think this really happened?
  • Whether or not you think it really happened, do you think it is true?

Ch 1: Domestication & the Dream of the Planet

Quotes to consider

  • “Even if the Book of Law is wrong, it makes you feel safe.” (p 11)
  • “We are living in a dream of hell.” (p 14)
  • “Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive – the risk to be alive and express what we really are.” (p 17)

Consider your own experience

  • Ruiz writes about the agreements we make in our every day life. Does it make sense to you?
  • What sort of agreements have you made?
  • Do you feel domesticated?

Ch 2: The First Agreement – Be impeccable with your word

Quotes to consider

  • “All the magic you possess is based on your word. Your word is pure magic, and misuse of your word is black magic.” (p 27)
  • “When you are impeccable, you take responsibility for your actions, but you do not judge or blame yourself.” (p 31)
  • “You can measure the impeccability of your word by your level of self-love. How much you love yourself and how you feel about yourself are directly proportionate to the quality and integity of your word.” (p 44)

Consider your own experience

  • Can you relate to Ruiz’s use of the concepts of white and black magic and spells?
  • Have you already been working on impeccability with your word in ways large and small?

Ch 3: The Second Agreement – Don’t take anything personally

Quotes to consider

  • “Nothing other people 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.” (p 48)
  • “You may even tell me, “Miguel, what you are saying is hurting me.” But it is not what I am saying that is hurting you; it is that you have wounds that I touch by what I have said.” (p 51)
  • “Even the opinions you have about yourself are not necessarily true; therefore, you don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally.” (p 54)

Consider your own experience

  • Do you often take things personally?
  • Have you had moments of peace in the midst of hell when you realized that someone was acting dreadfully and it had nothing to do with you?

Ch 4: The Third Agreement – Don’t make assumptions

Quotes to consider

  • “All the sadness and drama you have lived in your life was rooted in making assumptions and taking things personally. … Our whole dream of hell is based on that.” (p 64)
  • “We have the need to justify everything, to explain and understand everything, in order to feel safe. We have millions of questions that need answers because there are so many things that the reasoning mind cannot explain. It is not important if the answer is correct; just the answer itself makes us feel safe. This is why we make assumptions.” (p 67-68)

Consider your own experience

  • Think about an assumption you’ve recently made that has turned out to be false. What were the consequences of your incorrect assumption?
  • Do you have experience with sending and receiving the emotional poison Ruiz discusses?

Ch 5: The Fourth Agreement – Always do your best

Quotes to consider

  • “Under any circumstance, always do your best, no more and no less. But keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next. Everything is alive and changing all the time, so your best will sometimes be high quality, and other times it will not be as good.” (p 75-76)
  • “Doing your best, you are going to live your life intensely. you are going to be productive, you are going to be good to yourself, because you will be giving yourself to your family, to your community, to everything. But it is the action that is going to make you feel intensely happy.” (p 78)
  • “If you do your best always, over and over again, you will become a master of transformation.” (p 86)

Consider your own experience

  • Ruiz describes doing your best as getting off the hook with the Judge and your sense of guilt. Have you tried it? Does it work for you?
  • Can you see how the fourth agreement is necessary to live into the first three?
  • What would the first three agreements be like to try to live, without the fourth one to moderate?

Ch 6 & 7: The Toltec Path to Freedom & The New Dream

Quotes to consider

  • “The problem with most people is that they live their lives and never discover that the Judge and the Victim rule their mind, and therefore they don’t have a chance to be free.” (p 98)
  • When we talk about the Toltec path to freedom, we find that they have an entire map for breaking free of domestication. They compare the Judge, the Victim, and the belief system to a parasite that invades the human mind. From the Toltec point of view, all humans who are domesticated are sick. They are sick because there is a parasite that controls the mind and controls the brain. The food for the parasite is the negative emotions that come from fear. (p 101)
  • “Choosing this path gives us, at the very least the dignity of rebellion, and exures that we will not be the helpless victims of our own whimsical emotions or the poisonous emotions of others. Even if we succumb to the enemy – the parasite – we will not be among those victims who would not fight back.” (p 103)

Consider your own experiences

  • Where are you in your journey? Awareness, Transformation, Intent, or before these three masteries?

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