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The Dance: Moving To the Rhythms of Your True Self Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 21, 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"What if the question is not why am I so infrequently the person I really want to be, but why do I so infrequently want to be the person I really am?" This is the opening question to The Dance. And like a thematic melody, this is the thread that holds Oriah Mountain Dreamer's book together, as she encourages readers to stop trying to change who you are and simply remember that "who you are is really enough." There are many reasons Mountain Dreamer is such a popular author (her debut book, The Invitation, was a soaring success), the main one being she doesn't pretend to have all the answers. Instead her warm, conversational writing shows us how to "live the questions," as the poet Rainer Maria Rilke once beckoned us to do. When Mountain Dreamer yells at her 19-year-old son, even after vowing to be patient, she asks herself, "Why [do] I repeatedly fail to live the intentions that matter to me? I want to know how to narrow the gap between the sincerest desires of my soul and my daily actions." Living these questions isn't easy, but it is the only way Mountain Dreamer wants to dance. Her chapters explore topics such as greed and money, creating love relationships, overscheduling, and solitude. At the end of each chapter she suggests a fitting mediation or exercise. --Gail Hudson

From Publishers Weekly

On the heels of her bestselling debut, The Invitation, Mountain Dreamer has written the gentlest of spiritual self-help books urging readers to slow down, let go and dance. Her central theme is that who we are is enough (loving enough, compassionate enough) and that only fear prevents us from accepting this liberating truth. Another recurring theme is the importance of learning to hold and keep others in our hearts in order to dissolve the divisive us-and-them dichotomy that deadens empathy. Each of her 12 chapters is followed by a practical meditation for readers to internalize and implement her ideas. If these lessons sound heavy-handed or high-minded, Mountain Dreamer delivers them in the most engaging and personal way. Her writing is intimate and conversational, its greatest strength being her use of illustrative anecdotes. Sometimes she draws from the lives and experiences of individuals she has spiritually counseled, but most often she tells stories about herself. These are not the exhortations of a wise and enlightened spiritual guru, but the true-life struggles of a multifaceted woman who is a divorced single mother of teenage boys, a lover, a spiritual guide and a writer. Her occasional use of profanity is entirely gratuitous, but she writes disarmingly of her own hurts, blunders and embarrassments, including her failures to take her own advice. The fact that she does so "without self-recrimination" demonstrates her effort to heed the message of the book and accept herself as she is. (Sept.) Forecast: Even readers who usually eschew New Age books enjoyed The Invitation, which has sold nearly a quarter of a million copies and received a nice spike in sales after the author's appearance on Oprah last year. Mountain Dreamer suffuses this gift book with the same broad appeal; it should easily sell out its first printing of 68,000. HSF plans national advertising and a five-city author tour.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; First Edition edition (August 21, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062516930
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062516930
  • ASIN: B000078UH7
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,833,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Peter Marmorek on August 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I loved Oriah's first book, "The Invitation" , so I looked forward to "The Dance"...but with the fear that maybe the magic wouldn't happen again; maybe she'd said the important stuff and this would be the leftovers. I needn't have worried.
I read an exerpt on her website and now I've read the whole book. It's powerful and magic, and I feel changed by it. Not because it left me with a sense of who I could be, but because it gave me a sense of the value of who I am, and of how to more fully live with that.
Oriah says of her book " It is the story of my discovery that the question is not �Why are we so infrequently the people we want to be?� but rather �Why do we so infrequently want to be the people we really are?� ...It is the story of our struggles with those things that make it hard to remember who and what we really are, the places where is easy to become afraid in our culture."
She also shows us much more of the person she is, of her background in Shamanic teaching and the workshops that she ran, and that makes the "The Dance" more powerful for me. Her stories are vivid and real, and she often tells painfully human anecdotes of mistakes she makes; no "I'm the Master who knows all" fraudulance here.
It's really a wonderful book...if you're on my Christmas gift list, you probably don't need to buy a copy, but otherwise you definitely should.
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By A Customer on September 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This was a beautiful book and I will have to agree even better then the Invitation. However, you don't have to read the invitation first to enjoy this book but if you haven't read the Invitation then you would be missing something as it also is a wonderful book. " Take my hand and dance with me " This book will truly change you, your perspective and you just don't want to miss this one!
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Format: Hardcover
I was so taken with this book that I read it in one day, staying up much past my bedtime! Oriah writes from her heart and her experiences - she acknowledges her frailties, doesn't gloss over the complications of life, and suggests skills to learn that could help a person learn to "Move to the Rhythms of Their True Self." I was captivated by the beautiful poetry, energized by her suggested meditations, and through her writing, realized just how much I need to slow down! I have not read "The Invitation," but will do so in the near future. In the meantime, "The Dance" goes with me wherever I go - to be read again and again and again.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is difficult to imagine, but The Dance is even better than The Invitation. With her unique blend of beautiful language and down-to-earth wisdom, Oriah Mountain Dreamer takes us to the next logical, post-invitation step: action. "Don't just say 'yes' to my invitation," Oriah tells us, ". . . take my hand and dance with me." The Dance is about active spirituality, about putting our dance steps where our mouths are. And as with The Invitation, Oriah Mountain Dreamer leads us along this path by taking her turn at vulnerability first. She leads by example, and she is a beautiful, perfectly imperfect example of what humanity can be. The Dance offers fresh perspectives ("I believe that the big picture is somehow shaped by how we live the details, the little pictures that run through our lives."), and wise counsel ("If you need to be afraid, fear will come wherever you are, but you don't have to go out looking for it."), and it confronts the dangers of oversimplified, sugar-coated self-help recipes. ("Guaranteed outcomes and delineated steps may be warranted and useful for baking cookies and assembling bookshelves, but I find them less useful and potentially misleading when we are talking about finding meaning and creating happiness in our own lives and in the world.") As a psychotherapist, as an author, and as a human being, I have found a kindred, anti-namby-pamby spirit in Oriah Mountain Dreamer. Reading The Invitation is not a prerequisite for reading The Dance, but I can't think of a better way to spend your reading time than to read these two babies back to back. I said that it is difficult to imagine that The Dance is better than The Invitation, but you don't have to rely on imagination. Reading is believing.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an amazing book. The poem itself is fantastic - it just speaks to your inner most being, like a quiet friend asking you those life questions. Each chapter is introduced by a stanza in the poem and then the chapter itself is Oriah talking about her experiences with that particular question or idea. The writing style is simply wonderful, conversational, story style that just draws you in. I bought this book on a whim having only seen the poem once on a postcard and I thought it was nice. I had no idea how much the book and reading the stanzas in a slower way would touch me so much. I was reading along, la di da, thinking really nice book, lots of good "stuff" to ponder, la di da, and then I got to chapter "Hitting the Wall". The stanza that goes with this chapter reads like this: "I have heard enough warrior stories of heoric dancing, Tell me how you crumble when yoy hit the wall, the place where you cannot go beyond by the strength of your own will. What carries you to the other side of that wall, to the fragile beauty of your own humanness?" I've only "hit the wall" once before in my life - not to say that everything has been easy but I've always been able to see the glass half full and get on with things...until this one time. When I read these lines in the book it just touched me so much and her own stories that she provides throughout this book - they're just so honest and frank. There's a lot to think about in here. I haven't read Invitation or her others yet but plan to check them out. I've given this book away s gifts I liked it so much. Definitely recommended to anyone just doing a little introspection, looking to live the dance.
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