Jun 17 2013

Ivan M. Granger – Holy Ground

Published by at 10:55 am under Ivan's Story,Poetry

Holy Ground
by Ivan M. Granger

Let the vision
of the vastness
you are
leave you
in glorious

Pilgrims will come
to imagine
the grand temple
that once stood,
not realizing

            the wreck
            made this empty plain
            holy ground.

— from Real Thirst: Poetry of the Spiritual Journey, by Ivan M. Granger

/ Photo by Mendhak /

I thought I’d share one of my own poems with you today…

So often we imagine our spiritual journey to be one of construction. We want to build a great shining monument within ourselves. It comes as a terrible shock how much the real spiritual work is actually about tearing down our structures.

Watch a wild field at dawn. Sit among the uneven grasses and opening wildflowers. Look at that empty space all around you. It is empty, yes, empty of our own constructions. But it is filled with life. It is an inherently holy space.

The same is true of the quiet depths in the heart. No perfect construction of spirituality is needed. We need to reveal the holy life that is already the foundation of our being. With courage and supreme balance, stand back and do nothing. Staying poised, just look. Notice all those fine structures we’ve erected over a lifetime, proclaiming, “Here I am!” Look closely, look long enough, and we start to see fine cracks appear. When we don’t actively shore them up, the cracks quickly expand. And then, all of a sudden — RUMBLE — the whole facade collapses.

THAT is the moment we’re waiting for! That is when we discover the empty plain beneath our feet. And we are a part of that living space.

The saints and sages of the past, the great artists and visionaries too — we imagine the grandeur of spirit they attained. But the truth is that their greatness was attained in their own collapse, amidst the ruins… and the giddy open spaces they then discovered.

Ivan M. Granger, Ivan M. Granger poetry, Secular or Eclectic poetry Ivan M. Granger

US (1969 – )
Secular or Eclectic
Yoga / Hindu : Advaita / Non-Dualist

Ivan M. Granger grew up in Oregon and Southern California. He has also lived on the island of Maui. He now lives in Colorado with his wife, Michele.

“Poetry has an immediate effect on the mind. The simple act of reading poetry alters thought patterns and the shuttle of the breath. Poetry induces trance. Its words are chant. Its rhythms are drumbeats. Its images become the icons of the inner eye. Poetry is more than a description of the sacred experience; it carries the experience itself.”


Poetry Chaikhana readers often ask me about myself. Who is the guy behind all those poetry emails? What drew you to sacred poetry? And just what does “Poetry Chaikhana” mean?

As a way to answer some of those questions, I thought I’d post an audio interview I did a few years ago. I talk a little about myself, and a lot about poetry — the transformational power of poetry, the ways poetry naturally expresses the sacred experience, the non-dogmatic nature of poetry. And I read a few poems.

Click to listen: Interview with Ivan M. Granger


Ivan M. Granger is the creator and webmaster of the Poetry Chaikhana website.

Email Ivan M. Granger

More poetry by Ivan M. Granger

15 responses so far

15 Responses to “Ivan M. Granger – Holy Ground”

  1. Patricia Tayloron 17 Jun 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Thank you Ivan. You confirm for me my own experience. I am happy to be ‘the wreck’, for freedom comes with the death and resurrection. I always enjoy your poems. Trish

  2. Carol Bentleyon 17 Jun 2013 at 5:18 pm

    thank you so much for sharing this with us. Strangely it has touched me in a way thq
    at none of your more “famous” poets have done. It certainly has made me look more into myself and my interior motives.
    My thanks, also, to Trish for her comments – great words of wisdom here and again provoked much thought.

  3. Patriciaon 17 Jun 2013 at 6:14 pm

    O I love this! So beautiful.

  4. Rachelon 17 Jun 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Dear Ivan,
    Last October, my home was severely damaged in Hurricane Sandy. I have been living in my healing clinic since then. Your poem moved me so much, saying with such a zen elegance so much of what has been living silently in my heart…Thank you. Rachel

  5. Patriciaon 17 Jun 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Ivan, thank you so much. Your e-card touched my heart as your poetry always does. I feel so grate
    ful and blessed! Much love for all that you bless us with here.

  6. martinaon 17 Jun 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Dear Ivan,
    I love this poem, and the reflection. I remember someone once asked me to define the Via Negativa; kenosis. Here it is, and now I cannot remember who to send it to! But it is precious, none-the-less. I really appreciate your insights and love of language striving to reveal the truth. Bless you!

  7. Dianeon 17 Jun 2013 at 9:56 pm

    Dear Ivan, Thank you for this beautiful poem – it speaks of exactly what I seem to be going through and gives me some hope and comfort. I’m sorry not to send you donations to help keep you going producing this wonderfull offering to us – my income is so tiny and tight. However if you ever feel inspired to use any of my photos (www.dianebarker.net) please feel free to do so. It would do my heart good to know I’d made some contribution to your work. With much love Diane

  8. Ivan M. Grangeron 18 Jun 2013 at 7:45 am

    Dear Diane ~
    The desire to help out means more than you might imagine. I truly don’t want anyone to push their finances to make a donation. The supportive thought behind it all is the real engine that powers the Poetry Chaikhana.
    And what amazing photographs on your site! I hope more people explore your work. To use your photographs with the Poetry Chaikhana, I would need the original JPEG or PNG image’s URL (web address), which are kept hidden by the gallery software on your site. I understand that may be necessary to protect your work, however. Do you post any of your photographs in more public photography sites, like Flickr? If so, I might be able to use the photos from there instead.
    Thanks for the wonderful photography, Diane. I hope more people discover your work.

  9. Dianeon 17 Jun 2013 at 9:59 pm

    PS Ivan, I wonder if you’ve come across Daniel Ladinsky’s reworkings of Hafiz (“The Gift” for example)? I find them really wonderfull.

  10. bob knabon 17 Jun 2013 at 10:12 pm

    a good insight
    thank you
    blessings _____________

  11. Markon 18 Jun 2013 at 12:13 am

    Simply wonderful!

  12. janet bradleyon 18 Jun 2013 at 1:00 am

    Love, love, love your poem. I cannot tell you what you have done for my heart and soul today.

    Thank you Ivan

  13. Taoon 18 Jun 2013 at 7:53 am

    dear Ivan,
    your deep vision in your poem made me think of Rumi:

    “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
    and rightdoing there is a field.
    I’ll meet you there.

    When the soul lies down in that grass
    the world is too full to talk about.”
    ― Rumi

  14. Therese Monaghan O.P.on 19 Jun 2013 at 7:42 am

    After experiencing the collapse of my computer and not being able to “fix” it and feeling powerless and lost I shut it down and prayed to just let go of my needs etc. this morning it was working miraculously and there was your poem, Ivan. Holy ground appeared. Thank you for your poem and meditation.

  15. Joyceon 19 Jun 2013 at 1:38 pm

    I love this poem, Ivan–thank you so much!

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply