BOOK REVIEW: The Wisdom of the Shamans: What the Ancient Masters Can Teach Us About Love and Life by Don Jose Ruiz

Publication Date: May 2, 2018
Format: Paperback
Genre:  Shamanism

Publisher: Hierophant Publishing 
Buy: Kindle | Audio | Paperback


For generation after generation, Toltec shamans have passed down their wisdom through teaching stories. The purpose of these stories is to implant a seed of knowledge in the mind of the listener, where it can ultimately sprout and blossom into a new and better way of life.

In The Wisdom of the Shamans: What the Ancient Masters Can Teach Us about Love and Life, Toltec shaman and master storyteller Don Jose Ruiz shares some of the most popular stories from his family's oral tradition and offers corresponding lessons that illustrate the larger ideas within each story.

Ruiz begins by explaining that contrary to the stereotypical image of "witchdoctor", the ancient shamans were men and women who fulfilled several roles within their communities: philosopher, spiritual guide, medical doctor, psychologist, and friend.

According to Ruiz, their teachings are not primitive or reserved for a chosen few initiates but are instead a powerful series of lessons on love and life that are available us all. To that aim, he has included exercises, meditations, and shamanic rituals in an effort to help you experience the personal transformation these stories offer.

The shamans taught that the truth you seek is inside of you. Let these stories, lessons, and tools be your guide to finding the innate wisdom that lives within.


I have read many of Don Miguel Ruiz's books and always found them to be simple yet so helpful. When I found this book by his son Don Jose I had to grab it.  Based on the teachings of his father and his ancestors in the Toltec tradition this book shares the simple wisdom that everyone has the ability to be a Shaman.  "It is the the wisdom of waking up, of finding your own personal freedom, of living in peace and harmony, and being of service to others and the planet."

Through Toltec stories passed down to him through his family Don Jose Ruiz explains how to achieve this. How to learn to embrace life in many different ways and live in truth.  To set boundaries and be non-judgmental.  Its not always easy to do but as we let go of our addiction to suffering we will find that it becomes easier.  Start looking at even the so called negative things in your life as teachings, celebrate them because this is when we learn the most.  

I've read a few negative reviews on this book, people who have recommended other books about shamanism but what I find interesting is that the books they recommend are always written by white authors not authors who are handed these traditions down from their native ancestors.  This book may seem simplistic but it has a lot of wisdom. Along with the stories there are exercises for contemplation or journaling.  Things that enhance the teachings that are being offered.  It is up to you to take the journey.  Do you want to truly live or do you want to be the living dead. 

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