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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 16 July 2010
this has to be one of the most inspirational books I have ever read. Oriah writes so well that every word has meaning - this book changed the way I think about life and the people around me - I have also lent this book to friends who have loved the easy style and content- go get yourself a copy!
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on 21 November 2000
The Invitation is exactly that, it invites you to apply these questions to you and your life. It manages to be healing, challenging and thought provoking and a constant source of comfort ~ knowing you're not the only one to have felt this way. It is easily readable, not full of jargon or new age phrases and makes a great gift, especially to a friend in need. The last line haunts ~ "I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments."
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Ms. Oriah Mountain Dreamer has created a pathway beyond the comfortable 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!
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on 18 January 2004
It is very rare for a book to touch the most profound feelings and emotions within us, but this one does it again and again. It has the intensity of poetry in its heartfelt prose. If I’m honest, I often pick up ‘self-development/spirituality’ books because I want to read about how to improve my life without actually having to *do* any more than just read. On this score The Invitation challenges me right from the start. It is compelling reading and it leads me to broader, deeper, more intense thoughtfulness about what living is every time I open the cover.
Oriah Mountain Dreamer touches often on thoughts and feelings which ring utterly true to my life and yet I’ve never allowed myself to admit them. It’s both a relief and an inspiration to read sentences such as: ‘It is not the being, not even the doing that exhausts. It is the trying’.
The Invitation is a call to integrity… integrating all of ourselves into our lives. No denial of the bits we think we don’t like, but an acceptance, even a celebration of all and every part of ourselves, our feelings and our thoughts. It certainly isn’t the path of least resistance in life, but this book paints it with glorious honesty, clarity and beauty. I know I will return to this text again and again and that my life will be the richer for it.
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on 3 October 2006
I read this book during a difficult time in my life, it helped me to focus on me and what is really important. The inspiring stories she tells of her life enable you to translate what she is trying to say into your own meaning, and the best thing about this book is everybody who reads it will take something away from it that they will always remember.
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on 5 August 1999
To begin I must thank this wonderful woman for her courage to share this wonderful book with the world. I would then like to thank her for letting me know that I am not strange or weird and nor are my thoughts on living my life as I have thought for so long. She has given me the okay to be who I am, because I strived for so long to let others know who I was, and now I see myself in the pages of her book. I believed all that she writes and hid this because others could not see what I was trying to say. Now I have a book, a guide to pass on to those who look puzzled at me and wonder 'who are you'. I am the one who lives through my heart, soul, and lives life with love. Thank you for setting me free and to all of those who have crossed my path, wondered who I was, read this book and find the answers to your questions.
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on 16 July 1999
I send a daily quote or poem out each day to hundreds of people When I sent out The Invitation people of every age and from all over the world went wild; they loved it. I have never received such a response. This is a powerful book that has changed the lives of many. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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on 2 May 1999
This little treasure of a book takes ordinary life and elevates it to mystical status.It is one of the most moving books I have ever read and when I finished the last page I actually felt better about myself than I have in a long time. Do not misunderstand, this isn't some flaky new-age message. This book is firmly rooted in real-life but it manages to make the mundane trials of our lives seem more like a dance with the divine that connects all humans. I would hate to say anything that might make potential readers shy away from this book, and I really am not able to convey its beauty or the feeling of peace I felt while visiting the noble world illuminated by Ms. Mountain Dreamers words but please, as a favor to yourself and someone you love, find this book and read it. Your soul will thank you.
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on 22 July 1999
The Invitation is incredibly moving. It invites you to live life more fully, and feel all there is to feel-both the good and bad. I don't know what I was expecting to find when I picked up this book, but I got more than I could have hoped for. One of the most compelling aspects of this book is that Oriah Mountain Dreamer is not afraid to practice what she preaches. Actually she doesn't preach at all, which is extremely refreshing. Here is a woman who has gone through it all, and is not afraid to be REAL. She is not some New Age guru living in a bubble, this is a real woman who can move you to tears with simple profound wisdom, and still admit to you she gets irked with her teenage sons for leaving wet towels on the bathroom floor. What a wonderful book!
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on 13 July 1999
this book grabbed me at a time when I was feeling pretty down in the dumps. Wondering when the magic of life was going to strike again. While I was reading this I felt like it was being written just for me. I could relate to so much of it. It made me realize that even when we are feeling sad or lonely, to stay with it and go to the depth of it. That is when we slowly start coming out of it with more knowledge and awareness of who we are. It's about being authentic. Who you really are underneath all the pretenses. And staying with your pain or someone else's and knowing your going to survive it and be more of who you are because of it.
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