|Don Miguel Ruiz draws on the ancient Toltec traditions of Mexico, where he was born and raised. His mother was a "curandera" (healer), his grandfather a "nagual" (shaman). In medical school, Ruiz studied Western medicine, becoming a surgeon. However, his life was changed by a near-death encounter in a car crash, which caused him to reexamine his life. He decided to study with his mother, and learn all he could about Toltec practices. He also apprenticed himself to "nagual" or master. After several years, he and his mother moved to California and they started making public appearances. His first book, THE FOUR AGREEMENTS, based on simple, commonsense tools for living, became a national best seller. Through appearances, books and tapes, a website, and his own center, the University of Transformation, Ruiz has become a major figure in the Body, Mind, and Spirit marketplace.