Don Miguel Ruiz, a shaman explicator of ancient Toltec wisdom, offers in this book a spiritual path which leads to self-mastery and self-expression. He sees our major problem as our fear of being ourselves. Most of the trouble in our lives we bring upon ourselves as judge, victim, and hostage to societal belief systems, laws, and practices.

Ruiz has come up with four agreements built upon awareness, transformation, and intent. They are (1) Be impeccable with your word, (2) Don't take anything personally, (3) Don't make assumptions, and (4) Always do your best. As he explicates these agreements, the reader will find resonances with Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism, and Native American spirituality. These four paths to personal freedom involve a re-prioritizing of values so that we can make positive use of inner energy, cherish our center, learn from mistakes, and live creatively.