A Book Review: The Mastery of Love

The Mastery of Love is an invitation from Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills to take a different perspective on love and relationship. It is based on the ancient teachings of the Toltec, ``the women and men of knowledge”, the masters of science and art, also known in southern Mexico as the naguals. Don Miguel Ruiz is a nagual who comes from the line of the Eagle Knight. The Mastery of Love is one of the books in The Toltec Wisdom Series written by him, together with his co-author, Janet Mills,  who is the founder and president of Amber-Allen publishing.


-There are two main things in life: an outer image and an inner image. The outer image is everything that we believe about ourselves and about the world around us; the inner image is the real us. The outer image is a dream. The inner image is pure love; it is Life.

-We are an emotional body with wounded skin that when triggered by another person or a circumstance, we get hurt. The pain is caused by the habitual practice of operating from a place of fear.

-The Dream instilled in us a Belief System that hurts and limits us from living our authentic selves. In Toltec, this is the Parasite in our head.

- The Parasite churns out poison from our reaction to what we believe as injustice. We pass the poison on to others by getting into an argument with them. In this way we catch their attention and attach it to our drama. After the fight, we feel better but the other person who received all of our complaints doesn't so he or she fires back with his/her drama, hooking our attention, transferring his/her poison to us. This back and forth transfer of poison shows how we treat each other nowadays.

- Love and forgiveness can heal emotional wounds and help us get out of the misery that the Parasite created. We are the force that can make change happen. 

- Becoming a hunter is the first step of change. Be aware of every reaction you have, arrest it, surrender it to love, and let love flow from your heart. 

- In a relationship, we are only responsible for our half ; the other half is taken care of by our husband, or wife, or son, or daughter, or a dog, etc. Drama ensues from taking responsibility for the other half. 

- The need of our mind is not necessarily the need of our body. When we are hungry, we eat to satisfy the needs of the body. We don’t feel hungry anymore but our mind still thinks the body needs more food so we binge eat. Being aware about what our mind needs and what our body needs can help us control our impulses.

My Thoughts 


The Mastery of Love is interesting but sometimes confronting. It’s take on love and relationship challenges what I know and believe about love and relationship.  I thought we are like empty vessels looking for people or things to fill us up with their love. In this book, we are likened to an overflowing fountain that is abundant with love, moving in a perpetual motion from our heart to the others, nurturing our relationship with them. We are not scared to love others or not to receive love from others because in us love is already present and abundant. This way of thinking is transformative.

The Toltec teachings are presented in a way that is general and abstract. The stories are theoretical but  they were able to make me retrieve my own concrete experiences to make them sensible to me. The book is repetitive at times to fully emphasize its message. However, I felt it was too much to take in all the big statements, generalizations, and examples. That's why I needed to take time to understand them fully and absorb their core message. 

I appreciate Don Miguel Ruiz’s advice; “Don’t believe me.” He asked the readers to not believe him but to “think and make choices." As I’ve said, reading this book is an invitation and it’s up to the readers to allow the book to transform their notion of love and relationship. It did change mine. 


Discussion Questions

1. What is your idea of a relationship? How about love?

2.Did your idea of love and relationship change after reading this book?

3. What is the most surprising information from this book?

4. What questions came up as you read the book?

5. Would you apply the teachings in this book in your life? Why or why not?

Further Information

Title: The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship --Toltec Wisdom Book

Author: Don Miguel Ruiz, Janet Mills

Genre: Self-Help

Publisher: Amber-Allen Publishing (July 7, 2011)

Publication Date: ‎ July 7, 2011

Print length: 135 pages