Cover image for The call : discovering why you are here
The call : discovering why you are here
Mountain Dreamer, Oriah, 1954-
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Francisco : HarperSanFrancisco, [2003]

Physical Description:
212 pages ; 20 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL624 .M6759 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The Call exhorts us to heed the voice inside us, calling us to discover and to live fully our true selves and our heart's desires - finding our own unique calling, not in the expectations of others and in the outside world, but deep within ourselves.

I have heard it all my life
A voice calling a name I recognized as myown.
Sometimes it comes as a soft-belliedwhisper.
Sometimes it holds an edge of urgency.
But always it says: Wake up my love. Youare walking asleep.
There's no safety in that!

The Call, like Oriah's previous books, starts with an evocative, richly textured prose poem. In it, Oriah challenges readers to discard what they know of themselves as seen through other people and the world around them, and to delve deep into their own selves to find who they truly are. She persuades the reader that there is nothing as essential as what you believe yourself to be, and that it's not necessary to search for meaning in other people and the world's agendas; just be confident of your own distinct gifts, challenges and dreams.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

The author, a workshop and retreat leader, follows up her two earlier bestsellers (The Invitation and The Dance) with the spiritual search that is at the center of all our lives. On a 40-day vision quest that ended abruptly when she became ill, Mountain Dreamer heeded an inner voice that instructed her to go home; once there, she continued her contemplative retreat, and through meditative practices (which she shares here), she comes to acknowledge the difficulty she has with overcoming ego demands, such as her strong drive to achieve. Although Mountain Dreamer is sincere in her wish to be of help to others, her writing lacks clarity and a strong structure. She recounts how she came to a decision to turn down an opportunity to study shamanism in the Amazon. When she prayed for guidance, she understood that, although she might make the trip someday, what she needed to learn then was to live in the moment. And that moment was one of flux, when she moved to a new home with her husband and did not see her grown sons as frequently. She digresses here on the fact that change is ongoing in every life, and on her discovery that the word at the center of her particular existence is "rest." The author's message is delivered by way of her deep spiritual convictions and New Age orientation. Author tour. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



The Call Discovering Why You Are Here Chapter One The Call I have heard it all my life, A voice calling a name I recognized as my own. It comes most often just before I fall asleep. There on the edge of restful darkness, as the defenses of a sharp and demanding mind crumble just a little around the edges, forbidden thoughts and unwanted feelings make a bid for consciousness. It has come for years, not every night, but intermittently, when I close my eyes: an image on the back of my eyelids, unbidden and unwelcome, an image of my own wrists, slit and bleeding. I know this isn't what you expect from someone who writes about the deepest longings of the heart and soul, someone who has asserted and believes that we are in our essential nature compassionate and capable of being fully present. It's not what you expect from someone whose life is filled with meaningful work she enjoys, intimate relationships she values, and a commitment to cultivating a daily connection to the Sacred Mystery that is larger than herself. It's not what I expect. But there it is. Most often in the image, my hands are completely cut off. When this image first came to me years ago I would pull away from it quickly, afraid of what it might mean. Although I was not consciously feeling suicidal, I was afraid that perhaps on some level I was being drawn to consider suicide without even knowing it. I have counseled adults struggling with the lifelong wounding brought about by a parent's suicide. I have two sons I love. I did not want to give any ground to the thoughts or feelings I feared might be behind this image. Suicide was not and never will be an option. But still the image comes, frequently but irregularly, like some strange and persistent messenger who will not give up until the message has been received. I decide to pay attention to what is happening in my life and the world when the image appears. I discover that the image does not come more frequently when things in the world seem to be falling apart at an accelerated rate. The tragic events of September 11, the increased violence in the Middle East, stories of poverty and injustice within my own community all touch me deeply, but they do not alter how often or how vividly the image comes to me as I drift off to sleep. Neither does it seem to come with increased frequency when things in my own life are not going well. Sometimes the image appears when everything seems to be working out the way I want it to or think it should. After years of being unable to banish the image, I finally decide to listen to what it has to tell me, to allow and be with the feelings that come when I simply stay with it. And I am flooded with a level of exhaustion that forces me to lie down on the bedroom floor next to my meditation cushion. The woman with her hands -- a symbol of doing -- severed says to me silently but emphatically, "I quit!" I lie on the floor and consider the white plaster of the ceiling, allowing the feelings of failure to come. I stay with the knowledge of how frequently I am not fully present despite my intentions and my practice of meditation and prayer. I am frustrated at learning primarily in hindsight. During my contemplative meditation I can see clearly that I could have remained calm and compassionate when the woman from the insurance company informed me that my driving rating has been lowered and my premiums upped despite the fact that I did not make the claim or the police report that someone has apparently inserted into my file. But this insight was not available, did not guide me when I was speaking directly to her and she refused to correct the error. I am demoralized by how often I still find myself overtired from doing too much despite my efforts to increase my awareness of my own limitations by diligently doing my daily practice and conscientiously avoiding those things I know speed me up and make it harder to stay connected with myself and others-caffeine, tv, junk food. Over and over I resolve to slow down. And I do. I reorganize, take on less, let go of things that do not need to be done. But the eyes of the woman in the image -- my eyes -- mirror the sense of futility that is growing within me, question the reason for all this effort, point to a hopelessness I just barely outrun each day. Her weary face dares to ask the question why? Why do any of it? Why not simply forget about being awake? Why not just find a really good pharmaceutical product that will allow me to continue to function in the world and be a happy carrot? What's the point of all this effort, all this diligent trying that seems to fail more often than it succeeds in creating awareness? This is a story of my quest to hear and heed the call at the center of my life, the call to live the meaning -- the why -- at the center of all of our lives. It is an invitation to you to turn your attention to the call at the center of your life so that together we might begin to live consciously who and what we are and in so doing alleviate suffering in our lives and in the world and embody the deep happiness that is our birthright. The call is that consistent tug we feel at the center of our lives to do more than just continue, to know and fulfill the meaning of our lives. The call is always there, whispering in the soft places of our bodies and hearts, in the longing that reminds us what we ache for at the deepest level ... The Call Discovering Why You Are Here . Copyright © by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from The Call: Discovering Why You Are Here by Oriah Mountain Dreamer Staff All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.