Bismi’Llāhi ir-Ramān ir-Raīm

In the Name of God, the Universally Merciful, the Singularly Compassionate


Today’s post is focused on a piece by Oriah Mountain Dreamer that speaks volumes about what it means to be a real human being. Your humanity is realized not by limiting and controlling your experiences, but rather by allowing your shutters to be blown open. How else can life breathe through your soul and resuscitate your heart? Many of us have to be broken open to finally wake up and live. You might be wondering how spiritual health and wholeness could possibly follow such an experience. Consider the challenges posed in the poem as they apply to your own sense of yourself. Identify the ways in which you check out, hold back, and ultimately choose not to live fully as your real, authentic self. Then consider some practical steps you can take to remedy the situation.

May we all realize what it means to live truly so that we might truly live. And Allāh ﷻ knows best.


The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Canadian Teacher and Author


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 dreams… 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 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 is 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 a 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 center 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.


© Ḥakīm Ilyās Kāshānī