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The Invitation

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  1,800 ratings  ·  162 reviews
Visionary author Oriah Mountain Dreamer brings to life the wisdom of her beloved invitation, which has touched hearts everywhere with its fresh and spirited call to live life more deeply, honestly, and well.

Like the inspirations for Robert Fulghum′s All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten, Cherie Carter-Scott′s If Life Is a Game, These are the Rules, and Margar
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published April 21st 1999 by HarperOne (first published February 1st 1999)
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This was a great book for me - I have read it countless times over the years and the wisdom in its pages speaks to my soul - a great read for getting yourself back to center and realizing what's important in life.
What I liked most about this book is that it talked about spiritual stuff, w/o being nihilistic and acknowledging that many theories within the spiritual/personal growth community were trash. I would call it honest, because although I did not agree with some of her ideas, I was able to respect her more because she didn't present this rosy-colored-over the top ideology that might neglect injustice.

I would highly recommend reading this book! You don't need to read it cover to cover, can just read
I had come across the poem "The Invitation" which is the basis for the book. I was so moved by the passion and rawness of Oriah's words. The book goes on to give her inspiration of the poem, an excellent easy read that I didn't want to put down! She also includes some meditation excercises that were helpful.
These little books are a nice invitation to ponder - not weighty, not earthshattering, just a gentle nudge to not be a wet blanket to life.
Angie Millgate
Dec 31, 2007 Angie Millgate rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
this is one I pick up every so often and just read excerpts out of it. It is FABULOUS every single time!
Liane Wakabayashi
The Invitation offers honest reflections on life designed for sharing. The stumblings, especially in relations with men, bring about big growth for the author. Recommended to read with a highlighter pen in some places--as there were gems of wisdom here I want to reflect upon as a wife, a mother, a sister and daughter. Not that Oriah's message hasn't been said before but no matter how many times authors say it, I'm still in awe when an authentic voice, like Oriah's, can remind me that beauty is a ...more
The first time I read this book I thought it was pretty good. Ten years later, I think it's even more valuable. The author describes what she sees as the key facets of life: longing, betrayal, joy, sorrow, beauty, failure and how she's experienced these things and what's she's learned from them. She also provides meditations on fear, gratitude, belonging and other issues we're faced with as we walk the path of life. The Invitation itself is a bidding to live a life of openness, honesty, and will ...more
Silke Blumbach
Oriah invites us to live a life which is both sensitive and passionate, which is meaningful because it is intense in big and small things - and she is uncompromisingly honest by not talking the painful things away.

Amazon: "One night, after an unsatisfying evening at a party, author Oriah Mountain Dreamer wrote the start of The Invitation. By the light of her streetlight, she began, "It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of mee
Alexis Pullen
This book fills in some of the practical, daily living gaps that I sometimes think the Buddhist lit misses. It oscillates between making points that I really "get", things that I really needed to hear, and just generally annoying me. Maybe it's her writing style, maybe it's her "voice", that I can "hear" throughout as I'm reading. In some ways I really appreciate the voice of a woman on this whole matter of being present and living life. This, however, also made her stories difficult for me to r ...more
Mandi Friedman
This book was amazing. I just read it while on vacation in Cali next to the rolling waves, which was a perfect setting. Oriah led me to contemplate my hidden motives and to live in search of life by being true to myself. I've learned lessons in this book that will help meakr decisions for the rest of my life.
Michele Harrod
The Invitation is in my mind one of the finest poems ever written, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this at a time that I am looking to make complete 100% changes in my life, and I had loads of time to think and really take in the ideas and concepts. Despite the authors name sounding overly 'woo-woo' (as many of my friends refer to a majority of my reading and interests), Oriah writes very honestly about living authentically in the real world where kids leave the bathroom floor wet, friends get ...more
The most poignant thing about this book is the poem, 'The Invitation' upon which it is based. Oriah does a good job of expanding on each stanza in the poem with personal stories of heartbreak, illness, and love. She appears to be a bit cynical as she relates her views to that of new age thought and optimism. The poem, 'The Invitation' was for me the draw as it forces you to examine relationships--all relationships--and challenges you to explore the depths of them and to allow others to explore y ...more
Kathryn Dechairo
Not the type of book I would typically read but I am so glad that I did. The poem at the beginning of the book is incredibly beautiful, thought provoking and inspiring.

As I went on to explore the rest of the book I could feel myself opening up to questions we often ignore or avoid.

I am not religious so loved that the author spoke of things in a spiritual sense, acknowledging that faith and belief can take many forms.

A great read and one I believe I will get even more from each time I revisit it
I really dug this book in a big way...I think I need to buy my own copy of it. At first it sounded like just another volume of new-agey pap, but Oriah Mountain Dreamer actually had a lot of very intelligent things to say, and called shit where she saw it (which I always respect). She offers very grounded permission for the reader to accept herself, and it turned out to be a comforting read.
Dec 25, 2007 sawyer added it
Read the poem "The Invitation" first. If it resonates with you, read the book. I think it worked well for me because of the particular space and mindset I am (sometimes) in right now. In other words, I am open to it, to what she has to say and how it resonates with things in my own life.
Don't let the author's New Age name scare you off. The Invitation is a soulful poem about what should really matter between humans, not what Madison Avenue tries to condition people to. The book contains the poem, and a discussion of the poem.
I enjoyed this book so much, I bought a dozen and have given them away to various favorite women over the years. Truly made me reconsider many of my choices and the changes since then have all been for the best!
I love love love this poem. It really hones in on what is important when meeting other people and not judging. I am not too much a fan of her personal anecdotes which follow every line of her poem.
Oriah forces one to do some serious introspection, to question the status quo and to re-examine the way one lives.

The book is an extension of her acclaimed poem, "The Invitation". Each chapter is based on a stanza of the poem. The book is Oriah's honest account of how she took stock of her life.

The book was like an emotional onslaught. I had to stop a couple of times when reading each chapter to examine my psyche and to dig deep in my heart searching for answers to questions arising as I read. T
Absolutely beautiful, uplifting, and inspirational. Much thanks to my friend Rachel for the gift of this book.
I made it to the twenty-eighth page and then set aside the book in disgust, not over what had filled the first two chapters but over encountering a single line: My second husband is a good man; we did not have a bad life. It was simply not my life. The content is indubitably worthwhile, for some people; for me, the premise of her work is spoilt by the blatant inference that relationships must be fodder for personal desire. Some things are more valuable than the vague impulses of a self-absorbed ...more
Maria Paiz
I almost didn't buy this book because of the author's flaky-sounding name, which made the book sound like it would offer a bunch of new-age pseudo-wisdom crap. I was pleasantly surprised to find it originally started out as a poem --and a beautiful one at that-- about love: the ache for profound, delicious love all of us have and seldom find, be it towards a lover, a friend, or even towards our own selves. It speaks candidly and courageously about stumbling through life, mistake after mistake, w ...more
Randall Secrest
It doesn't interest me what you do for a living . I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing . It doesn't interest me how old you are . I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive..."The Invitation" was originally published in slightly different form, in "Dreams of Desire," a collection of poetry by Oriah Mountain Dreamer and actually the title, dreams of desire, is more relevant th ...more
Lynelle Clark
This book was recommended to me by a good friend and I was not disappointed with the content. The author exposes and questions so many things in our daily lives. To find that place where we can truly be satisfied with who we are and the things in our life.
Evoking self examination by meditation to find the answers that is within your heart and really look at it, make changes even if necessary. To really know yourself and be happy with who you are.
This is a book that will not be put away on a shel
"IT DOESN'T INTEREST ME WHAT YOU DO FOR A LIVING. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.
It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive. It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed
Jan 29, 2009 Kelly added it
"Wherever we have drawn the line, the risk of crossing it feels very real."

"We risk failing to fulfill our desires, being exposed for our deepest yearnings.. to move toward our desire we have to allow ourselves to be the fool, the one who does not know, the one who starts again from the beginning."

"Learn to live without knowing it all."

"Never apologize for what you do well." +take pleasure in the things you can't do well.

-Navajo prayer:
"May I walk with beauty before me,
May I walk with beauty b

Listening to My Heart’s Prayer and reading The Invitation both by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. Not sure which this is from, maybe both. Awareness comes in this divine season that has come to my folded knee – he’s on his knees here * it’s the place of failed space where the lover has a broken open place and the business about the lover letters, “if your love letters are true” these are the lights of encouragement that are surrounded by if we can receive them. I will surrender myself to you keep saying
Mark Bennett
The sudden death of Julie Elliott, CA AVID's Division Director, compelled me to give it a go. Julie had given me the poem years and years ago on a Valentine's Day. Julie knew how to provoke and inspire.

The book, a kind of explication and back story to the poem, was revealing and honest. It might not be for everyone, but the poem certainly is.

If you're interested in reading the complete poem that begins below, you can read it at my website:


It doesn’t i
Dennis Dupuis
It was OK. I found it hard to read, but containing a few gems that made the reading of it worth my time and life energy. "I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool, for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive." has become a criteria I hold near & dear in the choosing of my friends. Not a "must read", rather a "just read."
This is not my typical sort of book, because I already live my life passionately and with meaning. However, parts of it made me think about some things I hadn't or validated the big life decision I made recently. I would recommend people read it and use the meditations, particularly people who are longing for a more meaningful, complete life.
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The Dance: Moving To the Rhythms of Your True Self The Call: Discovering Why You Are Here What We Ache For: Creativity and the Unfolding of Your Soul Opening The Invitation: The Poem That Has Touched Lives Around the World Your Heart's Prayer: Following the Thread of Desire Into a Deeper Life

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“And I found that I can do it if I choose to - I can stay awake and let the sorrows of the world tear me apart and then allow the joys to put me back together different from before but whole once again.” 98 likes
“You cannot trade the courage needed to live every moment for immunity from life's sorrows. We may say we know this but ours is the culture of the deal-making mind. From infancy, we have breathed in the belief that there is always a deal to be made, a bargain to be struck. Eventually, we believe, if we do the right thing, if we are good enough, clever enough, sincere enough, work hard enough, we will be rewarded. There are different verses to this song - if you are sorry for your sins and try hard not to sin again, you will go to heaven; if you do your daily practise, clean up your diet, heal your inner child, ferret out all your emotional issue's, focus your intent, come into alignment with the world around you, hone your affirmations, find and listen to the voice of your higher self, you will be rewarded with vibrant health, abundant prosperity, loving relations and inner peace - in other words, heaven!
We know that what we do and how we think affects the quality of our lives. Many things are clearly up to us. And many others are not. I can see no evidence that the universe works on a simple meritocratic system of cause and effect. Bad things happen to good people - all the time. Monetary success does come to some who do not do what they love, as well as to some who are unwilling or unable to see the harm they do to the planet or others. Illness and misfortune come to some who follow their soul's desire. Many great artist's have been poor. Great teachers have lived in obscurity.
My invitation, my challenge to you here, is to journey into a deeper intimacy with the world and your life without any promise of safety or guarantee of reward beyond the intrinsic value of full participation.”
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