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The Invitation

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  4,197 ratings  ·  249 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, 136 pages
Published April 21st 1999 by HarperSanFrancisco (first published February 1st 1999)
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Esoteric Angel I am not financially well off; however, I have loved Oriah's postings on FB for several years and I know she suffers health issues, if I am not mistak…moreI am not financially well off; however, I have loved Oriah's postings on FB for several years and I know she suffers health issues, if I am not mistaken, much the same as I. If you are not in a financial situation that allows you the ability to purchase this book, I would be honored if you would accept it as my gift to you for all of the love that Oriah has brought in to my life over the years. It truly would be a very sacred honor. I hold the deepest love and respect for Oriah. (less)

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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  4,197 ratings  ·  249 reviews

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May 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Dec 26, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
May 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
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
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a wise and honest book that inspires the reader to experience and embrace life fully, not avoiding or squelching one's fears and insecurities, but sitting with and learning from them, and to seek out others who do the same. It's full of raw emotion, as the author unflinchingly shares her own struggles and heartbreaks, as well as her deep longing for human connection on the most profound levels. I found much to ponder and, as a result, I am more aware of my own baggage and shortcomings, n ...more
Mar 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Dec 22, 2007 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. ...more
Jan 15, 2013 rated it did not like it
Personally for me, I found this book boring and pretentious. Her constant repetition of the work "ache" made me want to scream. I stopped reading after 3 chapters. ...more
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Seriously could not praise this book enough, just jumped to my favorite book I've read. Makes you think and (re) evaluate your life and opens your eyes! ...more
Michele Harrod
Nov 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Kathryn Dechairo
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Feb 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Dec 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oriah offers an "invitation" to every single of us to "show up" in the universe. She reminds us we don't serve the universe by being small, rather we serve the universe by making the most out of our lives. Full of deep meaning, inspiration, and motivation. ...more
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The original prose poem is a powerful stand-alone product, but this book that accompanies the original poem is not as compelling. There are nuggets of good moments, and the writing is done well, but some of the ideas are too "in the clouds" and needed some grounding in reality. ...more
Angie Millgate
Dec 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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!
Feb 24, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: living
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.
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first time I ever read The Invitation (as in, the poem in this book’s introduction) was when Mr Ceruzzi handed it out in one of my 11th grade English electives. It was like someone had distilled all the hope for the future and faith in the inherent strength and kindness of people that I secretly held in the depths of my teenage heart, and then channeled it into words I could’ve written in my most introspective journal entries. For a while I tried to find its origin based on the author’s name ...more
Sep 01, 2019 marked it as exodus-twenty-seven
Shelves: inspirational
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 f
Jeffrey Howard
Nov 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wisdom
I've slowly chipped away at this book for a few months, indulging in it as a bathroom reader. I appreciate Oriah's orientation about the world and find it very agreeable. She gets a lot of things correct—she just get's it!—and communicates "it" in a very digestible way.

I didn't meet any particularly new ideas or paradigm-shattering concepts; however, I am gladdened by her contribution and the impact her work has had on the lives of other people. The world could use more people like her.
Marianne Mullen
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: personal-growth
Maybe it's her writing, or maybe it's the age/stage of my life, but this book really spoke to me. I loved the rawness of feeling and the eloquence and beauty of Oriah's writing. It was an easy, soulful read for me and I can't wait to read her other books. ...more
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare dream of meeting your heart's longing."

So begins the poem "The invitation, one of my all time favorites for many years. A call with a coaching client of mine prompted me to finally get around to reading the book by Oriah Mountain Dreamer that explains and elaborates on the meaning of the poem. A disciple of David Whyte, my favorite poet, Oriah manages to capture the essence of human existence in o
Randall Secrest
May 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
May 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality
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
Jul 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
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
Alexis Pullen
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Jigme Datse
There were some really interesting parts of it, but despite what it said, it did not change my life. Maybe I am *already there*. I doubt it though.

One of my major issues with this book was that it pretty much said "you have to reproduce in order to be of any value". Sure that was only a small portion of the book. I am highly unlikely to even be physically able to reproduce, and it actually *happening* seems even more unlikely. So that really *did* hit me very hard in a rather negative way.

Jan 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
Things are bad when you're writing and rewriting your scathing review as you read a book. I appreciate the gist of the book -- seize the day, conquer your fears, live life on your own terms, etc. It's difficult to describe why I so intensely disliked this book. Perhaps because it epitomized the self-centered approach to fixing your life.

In the end, I have to acknowledge that it's much harder to write about joyful, positive topics than melancholy ones. And I can see this book being meaningful to
Liane Wakabayashi
Mar 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buy-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.
Amanda Friedman
Nov 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
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Old Souls Book Club: The Invitation 3 5 Oct 21, 2017 05:26PM  

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Oriah is first and foremost a story-teller, a lover of words and symbols and the stories that lift our spirits, open our hearts and offer us ways to see patterns and create meaning in our lives. The focus of her life and work has been an on-going inquiry into the Sacred Mystery. Her writing, teaching and personal journey all explore how we can each become the individual we are at the deepest level ...more

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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.” 163 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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