The Teachings of Don Juan

By Carlos Castaneda,

Book cover of The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge

Book description

An anthropologist records his corversations with the Yaqui Indian sorcerer and offers a structural analysis of Don Juan's teachings.

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Why read it?

3 authors picked The Teachings of Don Juan as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I read this wonderful book when I was a teenager, and it had a lot of influence on me. I still read it again and again and gain a lot from it.

This is one of the earliest descriptions available of a meeting with a Mexican shaman, and the teachings of that shaman. It vividly describes the way the shaman acts, thinks and operates, and this is so remote and alien from modern Western thinking that it made me realize that alternative ways of perceiving realities do exist. 

Regardless of what some say, I am confident it really happened and…

This was the first book I ever read that challenged my conventional thinking about reality, consciousness, and human potential. Castañeda's experiences with Don Juan Matus, a Yaqui Indian sorcerer invites readers to question their perception of reality and the significance of altered states of consciousness to understand the human experience.

The book introduced me to the practice of lucid dreaming, and to this day this practice is the center of my spiritual euphoric life experiences.

From Michael's list on When looking for a soulful deep dive.

Well, this book totally changed my view on the world and how reality is perceived! Whether you choose to believe that Castaneda met and was initiated by a Yaqui sorcerer, or whether you believe it is just a very convincing piece of writing by a college student studying anthropology is up to you. What shouldn’t be ignored are the underlying psychological truths and messages that make this a powerful story about seeing the world in which we live through new eyes. This book started my interest in shamanism and led to nearly 25 years of study and practice that has…

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