10 Questions Series: don Jose Ruiz

August 25, 2013 by Chris Grosso

don Jose Ruiz


NAME: don Jose Ruiz


BIO: Don Jose Ruiz was born and raised in Mexico, and at the age of 21, he came to the United States to live and study with his father, don Miguel Ruiz (teacher and bestselling author of The Four Agreements). Don Jose lectures widely across the United States and at sacred sites around the world. 


Q: Who and or what, do you attribute the person you are today to?


A: I attribute it to my parents and family who I learned from. Not from what I heard but what I saw. They showed me love, respect, and loyalty. They showed me the Toltec tradition. I learned that I am an artist making a positive world, living it and sharing it by living in integrity. Rebellion was introduced to me at a young age. This part of my life I also attribute to my life lessons.  We don’t know where we will be born, what religion or sex we will be but I am grateful for all the good and bad moments in life and the peer pressure that allowed me to decide how I want to live my life. My gratitude goes back to my family and friends and to the Rock N Roll that created the soundtrack of my life.


Q: What are some of the musical albums or musicians/bands that have impacted your life and in what way?


A: Caifanes – el silencio- A classic rock band of Mexico that put Shamanic Awareness with street knowledge of the neighborhood where I grew up in Tijuana together into rock and roll. Their music has given me such understanding of the old Traditions of old Mexico the dream of the Mechicas (Old Mexican). The understanding of our nature of the tradition of our Mexican roots. They brought the Toltecs, Mayans, Aztecs, and Olmecs to the concrete jungle where the dream of spirituality has evolved. It was a great sound track in my life to connect with my inner self. It’s funny where tradition returns to us and each song in this album connects me with the divine. This album taught me to meditate with rock and roll.

Nirvana- Nevermind- This album showed me how music doesn’t need to be perfect. It was produced and recorded by the artists in a simple way to show how music can be completely from the mind and heart simply to share.  This year Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters band, after they won a Grammy, gave a beautiful speech that suggested to just find your craft with your heart and share it by playing with an open heart. The album Nevermind was simply music I could learn from and play. I incorporate those simple open-heart ideas in my own band. The idea to share my art with my own heart and soul and in everything I do.

The Doors- Absolutely Live- Listening to this album was like seeing my grandmother and her friends doing ceremony. Doing it with Rock and Roll. Morrison and The Doors were just a band in the moment. This has taught me to be like that in everyday life. Everything is a ceremony said the lizard king. This album showed me presence. Now with my friends in our band, The Circle of Shadows, we are inspired by the Shamans of Rock and Roll.

Scorpions – The Best of Rock and Ballad – This album and band introduced me to passion with romance and fire. The ballads are something that touch your heart like cupid singing to the next love. Still Loving You was the ultimate song dedicated to the love of my life, which is me. Of course, once I felt the love for myself it made it possible to share. We can’t give what we don’t have and that is how I listen to love. “There is No One Like You” as I look into the mirror of life. Life responds, I’m going to “Rock You Like a Hurricane” and I say bring it on. I will accept whatever it is with love.

Bob Marley- Legend-This song says it all, “Positive Vibration yeah”. From beginning to end this record reminds me of the true feeling of being humble. Expressing the voice of the people and of love. This is the way to live life. Becoming inspired by this record, and the positive feelings of life, you can honestly say “We Be Jammin”.


Q: What is one of the most shocking experiences you’ve ever had?


A: One time I was ditching school and we went to the beach. We were playing music and drinking. I remember jumping into the ocean and all of the sudden there was a strong current. It pulled me in deep and I prayed to the ocean, “if you let me live I’ll dedicate my life to sharing my family teachings.”  At that moment, a friend came from out of nowhere and pulled me out. He saved my life. A week later, I tried to justify the coincidence to the matter of what had happened. I was walking home from school and there was a lot of traffic. The cars were stopped and all of a sudden, a Volkswagen hippie van lost its breaks and was going downhill. Instead of crashing into the traffic, the driver jumped out of the vehicle, and the vehicle went off the cliff and landed ten steps in front of me. I remembered the deal I had made with the ocean. The next day I was hanging out with one of my good friend’s downtown. Suddenly a person came with knife in front of my friend. Without thinking, I got in front of the knife and told the person holding it to value life. He miraculously listened and I listened to myself and that’s how my life changed. I learned that life is precious; it is a miracle to be alive and have the opportunity to live and enjoy each experience.


Q: What is one of the most beautiful experiences you’ve ever had?


A: I was on top of the pyramid of the sun and prayed for a baby boy to come into my life. When I got home, my older brother came with the best news saying that he and my sister in law were pregnant with a baby boy. It was amazing to see my brother step into that part of life and watch our family grow. It was an amazing time when his baby girl was born. She stole my heart.


Q: What is one of the most defining moments in your life and why?


A: When my father, Don Miguel Ruiz asked me to speak on stage in front of thousands of people. I had never spoken in public before and I was afraid to speak in public. I felt so much fear however, I never felt so alive in my life. Because of that experience, I was able to overcome my fear and now speaking is one of my passions, to inspire others.


Q: What do you believe are the benefit, if any, vs. the dangers of mind-altering drugs?


A: I think when we take the poison that the abuser has for a victim away and put it into the hands of a Doctor or Government and World Leaders there could be something that may help the addict and take away the power from a drug empire cartel or mafia. Benefits to all the crimes income will be taken away & if Doctors monitor legally we can identify the criminal from the victims but only a person in power can do it.  We all can dream, but they have to decide to rebel against power and it’s suicide to do it alone. If as a country we do it together, we walk together, then the government can have the power over the drug instead of the11 year old being manipulated by traffickers.


Q: What are some films you’ll never forget seeing for the first time and why?


A: What Dreams May Come- It’s a beautiful story about life. The scene where Robin Williams character says to his wife, “I will lose myself in minutes”, and how that woke her up to realize they’re both going to Heaven by both making that decision.


Groundhog Day- It showed me that when we put our attention to our automatics we can change and learn from ourselves. Discontinuing our automatic and negative habits of our life shows what awareness means to see and change things with consciousness.


Forest Gump- This movie shows how being a good positive person, you can bring so many gifts to life. Forest shows us the gift of being authentic and how changing or believing in your self can change the world little by little.


Mickey’s Christmas Carol-This movie teaches that someone who is negative in life could turn positive with love and common sense


Star Wars – All of the Star Wars Movies teach spirituality in a very fun way. Either you choose negativity (the Sith Lord), or positivity (the Jedi Counsel). With those decisions provided, why not serve positivity?


Q: Does God exist and if so, in what capacity? If not, why not?

A: What is most important is to have gratitude to be alive. I do believe in some energy that created all the life around us. I don’t care to know what it is because when I question it, I remove it from my life. When I just have faith, I feel it. I feel life and that is what I understand to be the energy that God creates- negative or positive. Everything is a gift from life, which is the same as that energy source which some may call God. I do believe in God or whatever name anyone is giving to the creator of life, and why- because I am alive.


Q: What do you think your greatest contribution to humanity is?


A: Dealing with my own negativity. If I deal with my own negativity, I will only pass positivity to my family and friends wherever I go. I always believe that when we see the altar of life, forget putting candles and flowers on it, let’s put the gift that comes from our heart, the message of positivity. And when we are aware of the message we give to ourselves, and our loved ones, we give and live with open hearts. Of course, I’m talking about living a positive life that is unconditional love that is contagious.


Q: What does the human experience mean to you?


A: The resurrection of the embodiment of life in action. The greatest gift to humanity is the greatest gift from life. Life itself, because it inspires us to make history before we forget ourselves and live with gratitude!!!!

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Chris Grosso is a writer, public speaker, mental health youth group facilitator, and author with Simon & Schuster. He also writes for Revolver Magazine, Fangoria, and has spoken at a bunch of fancy-schmancy festivals and conferences (as well as even more events that were significantly less than fancy-schmancy). Chris's podcast, The Indie Spiritualist, is hosted on Ram Dass's Be Here Now Network.