April 2009


The tragedy of modern man is that his creativity, his spirituality, and his contemplative independence are inexorably throttled  by a superego that has sold itself without question or compromise to the devil of technology.

Thomas Merton, The Inner Experience, 129.

A monastic community . . . is an efficient, living, useful survival of the past.

Thomas Merton, The Inner Experience, 125. [emphasis mine]

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Written by Don Miguel Ruiz, this is an interesting little book packed with distilled Toltec wisdom. Here are the four agreements, taken from the jacket cover:

  1. Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
  2. Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality…
  3. Don’t make assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. 
  4. Always do your best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstances, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.