Jan 27 2008
About the Poetry Chaikhana Website
The Poetry Chaikhana joyfully shares the sacred poetry of cultures, religions, and spiritual traditions from around the world.
There is, however, a definite Middle Eastern theme to the Poetry Chaikhana. This is partly to honor of the centuries of vibrant, ecstatic, devotional, irreverant, and truly profound sacred poetry the region has given to the world. But another important reason for the Middle Eastern flavor of the site is in order to counter the miserably limited portrayal of Middle Eastern cultures and religion we are given in the West.
Although I am not a Muslim or Sufi, it is desperately important to remind the Western world of the rich spirituality the Middle East has given to the world. Perhaps even more important is that we in the West must remember how strongly European Christian traditions, particularly Christian mysticism, has been influenced by the sacred (and poetic!) traditions of the Middle East through centuries of cultural interaction.
As you explore the Poetry Chaikhana, notice the similarity of experience and unity of heart described by Christian saints, Sufi shaikhs, and Hindu mahatmas. While we must cherish the differences within each tradition, those who believe that there is something fundamentally irreconcilable between the spiritual traditions of the world are trapped in misunderstanding and have not yet touched the heart of their own tradition.
It is my sincere hope that the Poetry Chaikhana will open your heart, inspire your mind, and elevate your spirit. May we all fall into the embrace of the Eternal One with ecstatic songs upon our lips!
Ivan M. Granger
I grew up in Oregon and Southern California. I have also lived on the island of Maui. I now live in Colorado with my wife, Michele.
I wrote this about why poetry means so much to me: “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 drum beats. Its images become the icons of the inner eye. Poetry is more than a description of the sacred experience; it carries the experience itself.”
You can read some of my poetry here.