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3.9 17
by Oriah

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"The Invitation" is a declaration of intent, a map into the longing of the soul, the desire to live passionately, face-to-face with ourselves and skin-to-skin with the world around us, to settle for nothing less than what is real."
-from The Invitation

Shared by word of mouth, quoted on the World Wide Web, recited over the radio, and read aloud at


"The Invitation" is a declaration of intent, a map into the longing of the soul, the desire to live passionately, face-to-face with ourselves and skin-to-skin with the world around us, to settle for nothing less than what is real."
-from The Invitation

Shared by word of mouth, quoted on the World Wide Web, recited over the radio, and read aloud at spiritual conferences and other gatherings, "The Invitation" has been passed along by thousands who have discovered and treasured its unique message. Now Oriah Mountain Dreamer expands on her beloved prose poem, presenting a powerful and inspirational challenge to all of us who long for true intimacy and joy.

Speaking from the heart, Oriah Mountain Dreamer invites us to confront the varieties of human experience, from desire and commitment to sorrow and betrayal, and challenges us to open repeatedly to love and life. Unique, practical, and often surprising, The Invitation is an invaluable guide to living the ecstasy of everyday life, learning to recognize true beauty in ourselves and the world, and finding the sustenance our spirit longs for.

Author Biography: Oriah Mountain Dreamer leads workshops, ceremonies, and retreats through the United States and Canada. She has appeared on several national television shows including a recent appearance on Oprah.

Editorial Reviews

This book began as a prose poem, scribbled after a disappointing party. Using the form of a poem that she remembered from a workshop, Oriah wrote The Invitation as an expression of all the things that she wanted to share with others. Since its first publication in 1999, this book has been translated into over a dozen languages.
Richard Carlson
The Invitation is a treasure.
John O'Donohue
A fierce and tender presence, I its wisdom could become a lifelong companion, engaging and awakening theoriginal and unique rhythm of your mind and soul.
Wayne W. Dyer
Her words pierce my shell and pricked at my soul. An invitation to the ultimate dance.
Michael Toms
“Stunning in its simplicity and power, soul food for the mind and heart, a prose poem for a new world.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 7.37(h) x 0.65(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Invitation

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 centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life′s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn′t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it′s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!"

It doesn′t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn′t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn′t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

The Invitation. Copyright © by Oriah. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are Saying About This

Wayne W. Dyer
"Her words pierced my shell and pricked at my soul. An invitation to the ultimate dance."
Jean Houston
"Wise. So very wise is this deep and thoughtful book. It is a wisdom born of one who knows shadows and loss and gathering foundness, joy and genuine ecstasy. The truth-telling courage of Oriah Mountain Dreamer gives us a bracing antidote to the easy answers of the pop gurus. Here is a feast of life with real food to nourish the hungry seeker."
Richard Carlson
"The Invitation is a treasure. If you want to live more deeply, honestly, and passionately, you must read this book."
Michael Toms
"The Invitation is stunning in its simplicity and power, soul food for the mind and heart, a prose poem for a new world."

Meet the Author

Oriah is the author of the inspirational prose poem and international bestselling book The Invitation as well as the bestsellers The Dance and The Call. Her writing sets forth in detail how we can follow the thread of our heart's longing into a life of meaning and purpose. Her latest book, What We Ache For: Creativity and the Unfolding of Your Soul, explores creativity as a way of accessing and cultivating a spiritually rich life. Oriah is the mother of two grown sons. She lives with her husband, Jeff, several hours north of Toronto in a home surrounded by forest stillness.

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Invitation 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is THE book of books. My introduction to this book has changed my perception of the world and myself in it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have just ordered however the recent featured book of hours for autumn which follows both the monestic days readings and church seasons a structured book
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Guest More than 1 year ago
You can NOT read this book in one sitting. The teaching and the life truths that you learn are so emotionally drawing, that you must take reflection breaks. If your heart is hurting and your soul has been crushed - turn to this book for a hope that is shared from the most intimate portions of a woman's pain and joy. It is one of those books where you will be wishing you had read it... 'before' the circumstances in your life tested you beyond belief. The author is a physician of the human spirit - she proposes not only a diagnosis... but cures. She brought me the medicine. Thank you Oriah.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Until, I read this book I thought there to be no hope on my path. I have given myself up so many times to help others achieve their inner most desires. This book gave me the strength to reach inside and unlock so many cages. It will inspire you to balance, it will catapult you into a realm of living you thought only existed in fairy tales. Oriah has shared the very core of her being to heal others and for that she is a blessing but she has choosen not to be in disguise.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book is written from the viewpoint of real experience. It is worth the price.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was driving the one hour home from work the other night listening to public radio out of washington, DC. There was an interview with Oriah Mountain Dreamer about her book, THE INVITATION, and I was mesmerized. I pulled over, got out a pen and tried to put down some inspiring quotes. I am facilitating a personal growth group for a group of Jewish Women at my temple tonight, 1/9/00. I was searching for ideas to get this diverse group to a more spiritual connection. Suddenly it all fell into place. Instead of going to Sabbath Services that night, I took a detour and went to the book store and found, THE INVITATION. I read for 3 hours and then bought the book. I am reconnecting to my own temporarily lost center as a result of reading it. My husband was even willing to listen to several chapters. It is an important book, so honest, so inspiring. ( I want to contact Oriah to ask about something she said in the interview but cannot find her address on the internet.........can anyone help?)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please don't put the entire book in your review. We would like to read it too. Duhhhhhhhhhhhh
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ms. Oriah Mountain Dreamer has created a pathway beyond the comforable and the mundane into that which challenges and repels you. By addressing the edges of your personality and sensitivities, you can build on and extend your awareness and your reality in honest ways that better fit your inner self. The book is propelled from the author's emotionally intense vision of her life as expressed in this question: 'Did I love well?' Although her personal examples are simply there to help your own journey, their poignancy touched me deeply. If you are like me, you will admire the honesty and openness of her sharing. Ms. Dreamer has had two failed marriage and many failed relationships. She has had friends who experienced horrible personal setbacks. You will be seared by the pain, the truth, and the beauty in these experiences. And you will be the better for the vicarious experience. Above all, this book is a call to have courage, courage to go beyond the comfortable into the important. Because of the examples chosen and her personal perspective, this book will probably speak more eloquently to many women than to many men. The book is broken down into the statement of her invitation to follow her spiritual path by dealing with longing, fear, sorrow, joy, betrayal, beauty, failure, commitment, and fire to develop the deep sustenance to allows you to go to your true inner home. Each section contains personal experiences of her point, and ends with valuable meditation exercises to help you find your own 'truth' in these areas. Although the book sounds like another New Age tract, it is actually anti-New Age in many ways . . . especially in favoring emotional and physical reality over spiritual vagueness. Here is a little of what she has to say on these subjects: Accepting the Invitation: ' . . . [Y]ou will experience, not just read about, the ache, the sorrow, the joy, the courage, the peace . . . .' The Longing: 'This is what I ask for: intimacy with myself, others, and the world . . . .' The Fear: 'We are afraid we will not be enough.' ' . . . [D]esire . . . brings the ecstasy of falling more deeply in love with my own life every day . . . .' The Sorrow: 'If we are strong enough to be weak enough, we are given a wound that never heals.' '[That wound] is the gift that keeps the heart open.' The Joy: 'The enemy of joy is the litany of 'not good enough' . . . .' The Betrayal: 'Sometimes, to choose life, we must break agreements; sometimes we must keep them although they are hard to keep.' The Beauty: ' . . . [G]ratitude expands my ability to receive beauty.' 'It is what pulls us towards life.' The Failure: ' . . . [O]ften an attempt to avoid the paralysis of shame.' The Commitment: ' . . . [F]eed the children when [they] thought they could not.' The Fire: '[D]ifficult to keep our hearts open, to feel the fear and pain.' Finding Our Way Home: 'Are you willing to meet yourself and not turn away from what you are?' As you can see, Ms. Dreamer sets a high standard, but one that you will probably be proud to match. I particularly recommend the meditations in the book. My own meditation routine repeats the same process. I found it rewarding to use different methods. Many new thoughts occurred to me as a result. It was a deeply moving experience in each case. After you have finished your spiritual journey with this book as a guide, I suggest that you write out your own examples to match these topics from your own experience. This will make the material more accessible, especially if loving well is not your core reason for being. Be yourself, in more ways and more fully! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution