By Mark Ellis
With his prowess as an NFL quarterback, movie star looks, and marriage to a supermodel, Tom Brady of the New England Patriots is either deeply admired or the subject of loathsome envy that borders on hate by others.
Like his coach, Bill Belichick, he tends to reveal little about his inner thoughts and feelings. But over the last few years he’s mentioned an unusual book that guides his life, written by a New Age shaman from Mexico named Don Miguel Ruiz.
The book, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom is “kind of a mantra for my life,” Brady told a Boston radio interviewer last year. He said the book helped him face the challenges associated with “Deflategate,” when he was accused of under-inflating footballs to gain a competitive advantage over other teams.
“I take everything from it (the book),” he told the Wall Street Journal. “There isn’t a wrong word in that book. I read it every couple of years just to refresh.”
It may not be a surprise to learn that Oprah Winfrey publicly endorsed the book after it was recommended to her by Ellen DeGeneres. Brady was given the book as a gift by his wife, Gisele Bundchen.
Ruiz’s ancient Toltec spiritualist influences have fed a movement that believes that ancient spiritual guides can provide modern enlightenment. Some have compared Ruiz’s work to Carlos Castaneda – also influenced by shamanism linked to the ancient Toltecs.
“Ruiz contends that what we see and experience in our lives is nothing but a dream,” notes Jason Gay in the Wall Street Journal. “You are dreaming right now in this moment,” Ruiz writes. “You are dreaming with the brain awake.”