What I have learned from my Toltec friends.


     For close to 30 years I had a spacious apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where I enjoyed very much having overnight guests. Within a few years, mainly because of “word of mouth” recommendations I wound up having a flourishing B&B which to my delight opened for me, a wonderful world of the loving and gentle people of South and Central America.

    Traveling with my dog Buzzi at that stage of my life, in addition to yearly trips to Poland begun to also include many trips to my dearest friends Rosa Maria and Elsa in Guatemala, where I conducted Radical Forgiveness and Freeing the Artist workshops. While there I often joined my friend Rosa on her teaching trips of Pranic Healing to women in small villages in Paten and around Lake Atitlan. Observing the women who came with their infants and small children to listen to Rosa was for me, an absolutely joyous and unforgettable display of love of life, as is. They wore gorgeous scarfs which came off their small weaving frames and their shiny eyes and smiling faces told the world that now, that the bad war with the military was over, all was well again with their world. And when their toddlers climbed over them, their little feet were just simply kissed in a display of unconditional love.

     I attended my first workshop with Shaman and M.D. Miguel Ruiz in Mexico, and my thoughts went immediately to those women in Paten. I felt on my own body, probably for the first time in my life, how it really felt to be loved unconditionally. Other workshops with the Ruiz family followed and I even invited Don Jose Ruiz, Miguel’s son, to the New York Open Center, where after one evening’s talk, he sold 120 books of The Fifth Agreement which he wrote with his father. Seeing how the people at the Open Center reacted, I decided that, as I do with all other Masters I meet, I wanted to share what I have learned from my Toltec friends with the people who come to listen to me individually or during my workshops. In order to do it effectively I developed a set of exercises one, for each of the Agreements and they have become another cornerstone of my work with people in Poland or whenever and wherever I happen to be and of course in whichever language English or Polish I happen to be working in.

The five Agreements of Ruiz

1. Be impeccable with your word - never use the power of the word against yourself.

2. Don’t take anything personally - All humans live in their own world, in their own movie/story/dream and you live in yours.

3. Don’t make assumptionsMost assumptions are not the truth; they are fiction. Ask, if you really want to know.

4. Always do your best - The only thing you can “do”; become a master at doing it with love.

5. Be skeptical and listen for the truth - When you listen, you will start to understand the story-both yours and theirs.




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Irena Rutenberg