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The Toltec Art of Life and Death (Audiobook)

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A HarperElixir Book The beloved teacher of spiritual wisdom and author of the phenomenal New York Times and international bestseller The Four Agreements takes readers on a mystical Toltec-inspired personal journey, introducing us to a deeper level of spiritual teaching and awareness. In 2002, Don Miguel Ruiz suffered a near fatal heart attack that left him in a nine-weeks-lo A HarperElixir Book The beloved teacher of spiritual wisdom and author of the phenomenal New York Times and international bestseller The Four Agreements takes readers on a mystical Toltec-inspired personal journey, introducing us to a deeper level of spiritual teaching and awareness. In 2002, Don Miguel Ruiz suffered a near fatal heart attack that left him in a nine-weeks-long coma. The spiritual journey he undertook while suspended between this world and the next forms the heart of The Toltec Art of Life and Death, a profound and mystical tale of spiritual struggle. As his body lies unconscious, Ruiz’s spirit encounters the people, ideas, and events that have shaped him, illuminating the eternal struggle between life—unending energy and truth—and death—matter and subjective knowledge—in which we are all called to engage. Over ten years in the making, The Toltec Art of Life and Death invites readers into the mind of a master of spiritual seeking, offering an unparalleled and intimate glimpse into the development of a soul. In this culmination of a lifetime's learning, Ruiz shares with readers the innermost workings of his singular heart and mind, and summons us to grapple with timeless insights, drawn from ancient Toltec wisdom, that are the essence of transformation.


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A HarperElixir Book The beloved teacher of spiritual wisdom and author of the phenomenal New York Times and international bestseller The Four Agreements takes readers on a mystical Toltec-inspired personal journey, introducing us to a deeper level of spiritual teaching and awareness. In 2002, Don Miguel Ruiz suffered a near fatal heart attack that left him in a nine-weeks-lo A HarperElixir Book The beloved teacher of spiritual wisdom and author of the phenomenal New York Times and international bestseller The Four Agreements takes readers on a mystical Toltec-inspired personal journey, introducing us to a deeper level of spiritual teaching and awareness. In 2002, Don Miguel Ruiz suffered a near fatal heart attack that left him in a nine-weeks-long coma. The spiritual journey he undertook while suspended between this world and the next forms the heart of The Toltec Art of Life and Death, a profound and mystical tale of spiritual struggle. As his body lies unconscious, Ruiz’s spirit encounters the people, ideas, and events that have shaped him, illuminating the eternal struggle between life—unending energy and truth—and death—matter and subjective knowledge—in which we are all called to engage. Over ten years in the making, The Toltec Art of Life and Death invites readers into the mind of a master of spiritual seeking, offering an unparalleled and intimate glimpse into the development of a soul. In this culmination of a lifetime's learning, Ruiz shares with readers the innermost workings of his singular heart and mind, and summons us to grapple with timeless insights, drawn from ancient Toltec wisdom, that are the essence of transformation.

30 review for The Toltec Art of Life and Death (Audiobook)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rljulie

    I've been a somewhat reluctant fan of Ruiz's work, in a "pinch your nose and just dive in" kind of way. That is to say that underneath the "Church of Oprah" cultish trendy new-age-ness of this pseudo-spirituality, I find a lot of solid pragmatic advice, and ways of framing life that make good sense, and when I can get beyond the mysticism, I find cognitive-behavioral-therapy-style usefulness. "The Four Agreements" would be on my list of "books that have changed my life", and I mean that in the b I've been a somewhat reluctant fan of Ruiz's work, in a "pinch your nose and just dive in" kind of way. That is to say that underneath the "Church of Oprah" cultish trendy new-age-ness of this pseudo-spirituality, I find a lot of solid pragmatic advice, and ways of framing life that make good sense, and when I can get beyond the mysticism, I find cognitive-behavioral-therapy-style usefulness. "The Four Agreements" would be on my list of "books that have changed my life", and I mean that in the best way. With this one, though, there's no "beyond the mysticism". It's Ruiz's autobiography, written as a meditative dream experienced when he was in a medically-induced coma after a heart attack. His mother undertook a journey of meditation to "meet" him on an astral plane and bring him back to his life on earth. It's difficult to criticize something so deeply personal and believed as that, so I can only say that I myself find both parts of this particular story difficult to engage with. The first part, the "journeying" and dreaming, wandering around trees and soaring through outer space, reeling through time and meeting "the ancestors" just seemed dippy. The second component, the biographical material, is his own admissions of himself as an over-indulged womanizing wunderkind-turned-legend...there's no hook there that relates to me. He is rather a legend...that's unarguable. It's just not relevant to many others. But I know it's sure to sell a jillion copies and be a best seller, and probably will find purchase with many readers who aren't quite like me. Two stars: an extra one just because I do have so much respect for Ruiz's storytelling and vision. (Advanced Reading Copy, read June 2015)

  2. 4 out of 5

    DoubleM

    Very disappointed in this book: it is just another patriarchal, misogynistic treatise extolling the virtues (????) of men and demeaning women, e.g., Iala (knowledge) is depicted as EVIL (reminding the reader of Eve being the epitome of Evil in the Bible); that women have no value except to tempt men, and men, being esteemed because they succumbed to the temptation, are honored for their conquests. I found no new ideas, no "awareness," no inspiration and no value in this tome - a total waste of t Very disappointed in this book: it is just another patriarchal, misogynistic treatise extolling the virtues (????) of men and demeaning women, e.g., Iala (knowledge) is depicted as EVIL (reminding the reader of Eve being the epitome of Evil in the Bible); that women have no value except to tempt men, and men, being esteemed because they succumbed to the temptation, are honored for their conquests. I found no new ideas, no "awareness," no inspiration and no value in this tome - a total waste of time and money!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nada

    I respect and like Miguel Ruiz a lot but what the hell is this? Too egoistical. Unreasonable. Unbearable.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Fernando

    Not your usual Don Miguel Ruiz book. This is mostly his biography. Miguel writes his whole transition of becoming an enlighten and aware person. He is writing as if he is in a dream in which his relatives are guiding him, also "LALA" who is his knowledge follows him through the whole book. Different but interesting. Not your usual Don Miguel Ruiz book. This is mostly his biography. Miguel writes his whole transition of becoming an enlighten and aware person. He is writing as if he is in a dream in which his relatives are guiding him, also "LALA" who is his knowledge follows him through the whole book. Different but interesting.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jose Amezcua

    It's not so good for me. I think you can get the same ir more knowledge with his other books but I do love the author. His books changed my life. The first book I read was the 4 agreements thanked to a girl who was very important in my life. She left me but I remember her every time I read Miguel's books. Maybe I need to read it in my L1. Read it anyway. :) It's not so good for me. I think you can get the same ir more knowledge with his other books but I do love the author. His books changed my life. The first book I read was the 4 agreements thanked to a girl who was very important in my life. She left me but I remember her every time I read Miguel's books. Maybe I need to read it in my L1. Read it anyway. :)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Magdelanye

    Before the word was ever spoken there was...something...that rules words...that rules all dreams. p200 Knowledge follows us everywhere, like a concerned friend or a persuasive lover....It attempts to tell our hearts whom to love and what to hate .At it's most intrusive,knowledge is a ruthless autocrat. p225 We poison ourselves with judgments and fear, then we spread the toxin to living beings all around us. To heal ourselves requires self love. p226 Our story is not the truth. Our best scientific e Before the word was ever spoken there was...something...that rules words...that rules all dreams. p200 Knowledge follows us everywhere, like a concerned friend or a persuasive lover....It attempts to tell our hearts whom to love and what to hate .At it's most intrusive,knowledge is a ruthless autocrat. p225 We poison ourselves with judgments and fear, then we spread the toxin to living beings all around us. To heal ourselves requires self love. p226 Our story is not the truth. Our best scientific equations are not the truth. Symbols can't replace the truth, but they can serve it. They can point us in the right direction and when...knowledge surrendesr to what it can't comprehend-we become instruments of intent. Awareness wins the war of ideas. Love wins against self-judgement and personal suffering. p227 I am not exactly sure what is meant by 'instruments of intent' but it would seem to imply something like the review coming through us rather than mining for it or grappling with it. Although it seems some sort of grappling is necessary, especially in a book such as this one which presents itself on so many levels, it's encouraging to think that Love and Awareness could win. On one level, it is the playful fantasy of a Toltec Shaman, catalogued under fiction but more a mythological fantasy that takes us on a dreamlike journey through time, tracking the highlights of memory. On another level it is a clever expansion of Don Miguel's teachings and he prods the reader at every turn to transcend any limitations of comprehension. People put their faith in opinions and rumours and out of this they construct a world, believing that their construct is the real world. p64 Doubt can cause the citadel to crumble , and that kind of tremor is necessary if we want to see beyond our private illusions. p65 I began my immersion in this book with the audio version. The narrator's voice ( Christian Barrillas) was hypnotic and the events fantastic and difficult to follow.It was easy to take offence at Don Miguels spiritual machismo, but I quickly grew to love the narrators voice with his soothing accent, a great help with my insomnia. I needed the book however, and with a bit of juggling managed to get them checked out at the same time. I found that my repetitive listening allowed me to get into the bones of the text. You want truth? You search for the thing that cannot be found and all the while it is eager and accessible. p142 It is not actually a conflict between good and evil; it is a conflict between truth and lies.... Great thoughts should be applied. not catalogued. p66

  7. 4 out of 5

    Maxence Lecam

    Good but very long. A little bit repetitive in some parts. Need to be highly concentrated to be able to not lost yourself. Better to listen (audible) or read in a quiet place. I recommend to read author previous book "the 4 arguments" before engaging in reading this one. Also having a little bit of knowledge about Toltec culture could help. Good but very long. A little bit repetitive in some parts. Need to be highly concentrated to be able to not lost yourself. Better to listen (audible) or read in a quiet place. I recommend to read author previous book "the 4 arguments" before engaging in reading this one. Also having a little bit of knowledge about Toltec culture could help.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joey Outten

    Wow. What a bunch of ego driven guru bullshit. I loved The 4 Agreements. It's good advice to take in my daily life but this... Wow. What a bunch of ego driven guru bullshit. I loved The 4 Agreements. It's good advice to take in my daily life but this...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Fred P

    Part guide to a good death, part historical fantasy, with a subtle overlay of Toltec spirituality, this book probably has a lot of depth, and might interest someone elderly. I could not connect with this book on an emotional level, and that interfered with my understanding of the life lessons that Don Miguel is trying to explain. A shorter and more condensed book might make that clearer. I'm comparing it a bit with Casteneda's Wheel of Life, which may be unfair, but they both teach life lessons Part guide to a good death, part historical fantasy, with a subtle overlay of Toltec spirituality, this book probably has a lot of depth, and might interest someone elderly. I could not connect with this book on an emotional level, and that interfered with my understanding of the life lessons that Don Miguel is trying to explain. A shorter and more condensed book might make that clearer. I'm comparing it a bit with Casteneda's Wheel of Life, which may be unfair, but they both teach life lessons in the Toltec tradition, one is condensed jewels, the other is dense panoramas.

  10. 5 out of 5

    JP

    I struggle to understand how some people find profundity in books such as this. I had heard it described as Ruiz’s “masterpiece” in the course of a long form interview. I’m still not sure how I would describe it, but masterpiece is not a term I would use. The most positive comment I can make is that the imagery is creative. The story is a series of dream scenes involving the spirit of the author, his mother, several departed ancestors, and others of his family. An Eve-like character and a depart I struggle to understand how some people find profundity in books such as this. I had heard it described as Ruiz’s “masterpiece” in the course of a long form interview. I’m still not sure how I would describe it, but masterpiece is not a term I would use. The most positive comment I can make is that the imagery is creative. The story is a series of dream scenes involving the spirit of the author, his mother, several departed ancestors, and others of his family. An Eve-like character and a departed grandfather guide his mother through the unconnected sequence of realizations that will result in the author returning from his coma back into the physical world. I can value that the author’s actual life experience of returning from a coma gave him further creative impetus; however, this work doesn’t inform any significant philosophy or life lessons. Some of the scenes are colorful, but the writing is simple and there’s no compelling story arc. At 120 pages in, I gave up on this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bandana Sharma

    It's an interesting look into the personal life of someone perceived as a great teacher.. I'm not sure if it was intentional but he comes across as quite a flawed human being and in that sense and the spirit of facing death perhaps it's a story about self-acceptance. What bothers me is that it seems issues about poverty, abuse and trauma may be hinted at and lurking in the background and never directly talked about. Instead there are general statements like 'just accept you were born perfect.' s It's an interesting look into the personal life of someone perceived as a great teacher.. I'm not sure if it was intentional but he comes across as quite a flawed human being and in that sense and the spirit of facing death perhaps it's a story about self-acceptance. What bothers me is that it seems issues about poverty, abuse and trauma may be hinted at and lurking in the background and never directly talked about. Instead there are general statements like 'just accept you were born perfect.' so it's quite self-contradictory in a way. It seems more like the thoughts of someone beginning a spiritual journey (perhaps a 20 year old) rather than someone who's lived a full life. I suppose that's man-years.. jk ;) also, I said 'ewww' audibly many times while reading. Some creepy stuffy in there.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Romain

    I listened to the audiobook and very much enjoyed the story of Don Miguel Ruiz. The key takeaway of my reading this book was the idea of “You” being virtual reality and “Your Human” the truth. My human is, or should be the love of my life. Being the closest human to me having been there with me through all of my experiences, including my birth, and will be there with me until the end. My human is deserving of all of my love, loyalty, and respect having always obeyed me no matter many times I neglec I listened to the audiobook and very much enjoyed the story of Don Miguel Ruiz. The key takeaway of my reading this book was the idea of “You” being virtual reality and “Your Human” the truth. My human is, or should be the love of my life. Being the closest human to me having been there with me through all of my experiences, including my birth, and will be there with me until the end. My human is deserving of all of my love, loyalty, and respect having always obeyed me no matter many times I neglected or abused him. My constant companion and friend knowing all of my confessions and accepting me as I am. Talk to your body as your friend. “He who can speak, must speak while we have the gift. We just love while we still live. And we must act while we still have the strength.” There is only one truths but the lies we tell ourselves are countless.

  13. 4 out of 5

    James Williams

    This is the first book of Miguel's that I was not a fan of. However, I am not a fan of fictional style books, even though this was his autobiography. It takes the readers into his unconscious state while he survived a heart attack. He used the four agreements to describe thoughts and dialogue, but it just failed to hook me. I was a little disappointed by this read. Dr. James Arthur Williams www.unmaskytp.com This is the first book of Miguel's that I was not a fan of. However, I am not a fan of fictional style books, even though this was his autobiography. It takes the readers into his unconscious state while he survived a heart attack. He used the four agreements to describe thoughts and dialogue, but it just failed to hook me. I was a little disappointed by this read. Dr. James Arthur Williams www.unmaskytp.com

  14. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    Regretfully, I must admit that this is by far the weakest books any of the Ruiz family has written about Toltec Shamanism -- a belief system that has become quite important to me. I found it clumsy, rambling, and far far far (that's right, three fars) shorter on insights, lessons, and practices than any of the other Toltec books I've read. Regretfully, I must admit that this is by far the weakest books any of the Ruiz family has written about Toltec Shamanism -- a belief system that has become quite important to me. I found it clumsy, rambling, and far far far (that's right, three fars) shorter on insights, lessons, and practices than any of the other Toltec books I've read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lacey Kennison

    i have been a huge fan of miguel ruiz’s books in the past. the reason why i gave this book two stars is because it felt boring to me. that has a lot to do with the fact that i’m not usually personally interested in autobiographies, which is basically what this book was. there were some insightful teachings within the pages, which is why i gave this book two stars as opposed to one.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sue Smith

    An interesting look at the inner workings of Don Miguel Ruiz's mind and the Toltec philosophy. I found this book a wee bit weird, truth be told and there were times that it was hard to follow and I had to make myself keep at it. An interesting look at the inner workings of Don Miguel Ruiz's mind and the Toltec philosophy. I found this book a wee bit weird, truth be told and there were times that it was hard to follow and I had to make myself keep at it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    So many underline-able words of advice in this book! don Miguel never disappoints in his ability to help us look inward and outward all at the same time. My only disappointment was that I got this from the library and wasn’t able to mark all the passages that felt impactful!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    Not what I expected. It's like a very long trippy near death experience. It's not really a conventional memoir. And it's kind of awkward describing your parents having sex in order to conceive you (Ruiz). I didn't finish it. Not what I expected. It's like a very long trippy near death experience. It's not really a conventional memoir. And it's kind of awkward describing your parents having sex in order to conceive you (Ruiz). I didn't finish it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina White

    Good insight, beautifully written

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marcia Sheer

    Intriguing This book was thought-provoking and intriguing. It was not a quick read for me, as it took me awhile to comprehend.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Juan

    The lessons are well meant but the story is nonsense.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Irma

    Book quote: Freedom begins with each individual‘s mind dares to liberate itself from the prison it created. We are free when the war in our heads is over.

  23. 5 out of 5

    A

    This book chose me. Maybe it was the word "Toltec" in the title. It was too new-agey for my taste. This book chose me. Maybe it was the word "Toltec" in the title. It was too new-agey for my taste.

  24. 5 out of 5

    David Sjolander

    A fascinating tale. It illustrates the Four Agreements. While, at, one point - toward the middle - this story appeared narcissistic, its true meaning became clear in the closing chapters.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mary Lou

    Beautiful!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jelena Antic

    Gave this book a shot but it isn't for me. Sincerly didn't get it. Gave this book a shot but it isn't for me. Sincerly didn't get it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Keener

    Useful wisdom

  28. 4 out of 5

    Vladislav Gomzyakov

    No idea what this book was trying to convey... Really surprised about how little substance I was able to get from it, that's not usually the case. No idea what this book was trying to convey... Really surprised about how little substance I was able to get from it, that's not usually the case.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Carey

    Good but a little bit repetitive in some parts. If you are a fan of "The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, then it may be worth a read. Good but a little bit repetitive in some parts. If you are a fan of "The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, then it may be worth a read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    daryl

    A great read and a recent favorite. I pity those who reviewed this book negatively on Amazon; they are missing so much!

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