Jan 06 2014

Total

Total Self

acceptance.

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Jan 06 2014

Poetry Chaikhana Anthology Update

I’ve dropped hints for quite I while that I am working on a Poetry Chaikhana anthology — and it is finally at a point that I think I can say a little more about it…

Balancing my available time and energies has meant a patient approach, but the anthology is beginning to take shape. I now have many of the necessary reprint permissions, and I expect to receive approval soon for several others.

(Why are permissions even necessary? While most of the original poetry selections are in many cases hundreds of years old and in the public domain, the English translations are recent. Those translations are creative works in their own right, which are copyrighted and require reprint permission from the poem’s translator or publisher.)

As the final permissions come in, the anthology is beginning to take its final form.

The next step will then be editing. Since the anthology will include a number of my commentaries. For those of you who have been reading my commentaries for a while, you know that I sometimes leap from idea to idea rather abruptly. And I include a generous seasoning of grammatical errors and misspellings for flavor. So I’m not planning to rush through the editing process.

Then comes final proofreading. When I get to that stage, I may ask for a handful of volunteers to help with the proofreading. The proofreaders for Real Thirst were such a big help a couple years ago.

At that point, I make final layout choices, design the books cover, and handle all of the necessary publishing details, like assign an ISBN number.

The last step sending it off to the printer.

And then we have our book!

I’m aiming for a Spring publication date. Summer at the latest. So mark your calendars!

I genuinely hope everyone will find something special in this upcoming anthology!

2 responses so far

Dec 20 2013

Jacopone da Todi – Love beyond all telling

Published by under Poetry

Love beyond all telling (from Self-Annihilation and Charity Lead the Soul…)
by Jacopone da Todi (Jacopone Benedetti)

English version by Serge and Elizabeth Hughes

Love beyond all telling,
Goodness beyond imagining,
Light of infinite intensity
Glows in my heart.

I once thought that reason
Had led me to You,
And that through feeling
I sensed Your presence,
Caught a glimpse of You in similitudes,
Knew You in Your perfection.
I know now that I was wrong,
That that truth was flawed.

Light beyond metaphor,
Why did You deign to come into this darkness?
Your light does not illumine those who think they see You
And believe they sound Your depths.
Night, I know now, is day,
Virtue no more to be found.
He who witnesses Your splendor
Can never describe it.

On achieving their desired end
Human powers cease to function,
And the soul sees that what it thought was right
Was wrong. A new exchange occurs
At that point where all light disappears;
A new and unsought state is needed:
The soul has what it did not love,
And is stripped of all it possessed, no matter how dear.

In God the spiritual faculties
Come to their desired end,
Lose all sense of self and self-consciousness,
And are swept into infinity.
The soul, made new again,
Marveling to find itself
In that immensity, drowns.
How this comes about it does not know.

— from Jacopone da Todi: Lauds (Classics of Western Spirituality), Translated by Serge and Elizabeth Hughes


/ Photo by AquaSixio /

Love beyond all telling,
Goodness beyond imagining,
Light of infinite intensity
Glows in my heart.

Too often statements like this can sound like a formula of religious piety, but it is more than that. These are the direct experiences of the mystic. The chest warms, the heart opens and seems to encompass all of creation. This is not just an idea or some philosophical notion — it is felt tangibly in the body as well as the soul. Love floods in, and a sense of utter harmony, rightness, the “goodness” of being. And many mystics also witness a dazzling gold-white light like an ocean that radiates through everything, showing the multiplicity of creation to secretly be a shining unity.

It is this that Jacopone da Todi is writing of.

I once thought that reason
Had led me to You,
And that through feeling
I sensed your presence…

I know now that I was wrong,
That that truth was flawed.

These verses are a call to the religious minded to not be content with thinking one has found the truth or assertions of belief alone. Or even to imagine that it is felt through elevated or refined emotions. He is proclaiming that the real truth is somehow more direct and surprising than that. All mental conceptualization is limited by the intellect and imagination, yet the reality we seek is beyond the thinking mind’s ability to conceive of…

Light beyond metaphor…

He who witnesses Your splendor
Can never describe it.

Here, words fail. The mind can only become a mute witness.

The very notion of self melts amidst that immensity…

In God the spiritual faculties
Come to their desired end,
Lose all sense of self and self-consciousness,
And are swept into infinity.
The soul, made new again,
Marveling to find itself
In that immensity, drowns.
How this comes about it does not know.






Jacopone da Todi (Jacopone Benedetti), Jacopone da Todi (Jacopone Benedetti) poetry, Christian poetry Jacopone da Todi (Jacopone Benedetti)

Italy (1230 – 1306) Timeline
Christian : Catholic

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3 responses so far

Dec 20 2013

hide-and-seek

In this divine game of hide-and-seek
stop pretending
there is any place to hide.

No responses yet

Dec 18 2013

Fierce Eye, Gentle Heart Cards Available Again

The initial printing of this card set sold out quickly at the beginning of the month, but we now have more. With such an enthusiastic response, there is a chance that they will sell out a second time — so place your order soon if you want to make sure to receive a set.

Fierce Eye, Gentle Heart, card set, sayings, short poems, Ivan M. Granger, Rashani Rea Fierce Eye, Gentle Heart
Card Set – 12 full-color cards

Sayings and Short Poems by Ivan M. Granger
Art & Design by Rashani Réa

$12.95
+ $2 Shipping

PURCHASE


A beautiful collection of meditative sayings, thought-provoking statements, and short poems accompanied by the colorful, collage-like artwork of Rashani Réa.

  • Keep a set of these cards by your bed, in your place of meditation or prayer, or at your desk.
  • Select a card each time you seek a new perspective, a spark of creativity, a moment of clarity, or renewed focus in your spiritual practice.
  • Frame your favorite and display it on a wall or bookshelf.

This lovely card set also makes a wonderful gift!

Note: These are not greeting cards.

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Dec 18 2013

Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi – Inner Wakefulness

Published by under Poetry

Inner Wakefulness
by Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

English version by Coleman Barks

This place is a dream
only a sleeper considers it real
then death comes like dawn
and you wake up laughing
at what you thought
was your grief

A man goes to sleep in the town
where he has always lived
and he dreams
he’s living in another town
in the dream he doesn’t remember
the town he’s sleeping in his bed in
he believes the reality
of the dream town
the world is that kind of sleep

Humankind is being led
along an evolving course,
through this migration
of intelligences
and though we seem
to be sleeping
there is an inner wakefulness,
that directs the dream
and that will eventually
startle us back
to the truth of
who we are

— from The Essential Rumi, Translated by Coleman Barks


/ Photo by Alice Popkorn /

Yesterday, December 17th, was the 740th anniversary Rumi’s “Wedding Day,” that is, of his death. Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi is a titanic, open-hearted figure in the world, and his influence throughout the world and down through the centuries is immense. The continuing ripple effects of his poetry and his spirit have much more impact on most lives today than mere conquerors. That’s the sort of hero the world really needs.

A few thoughts on today’s poem…

This place is a dream
only a sleeper considers it real

Dreams and waking up… The metaphor of being spiritually “awake” is used a lot but not always with deep reflection. It’s an easy concept to grasp, though it’s not taken very seriously most of the time because, of course, the person thinking about the idea of waking up is already awake in the most literal sense, right? The surprising answer is, Not really.

Become profoundly dedicated to your own process of awakening, find your moment, seize it, or, rather, yield into it… and see what you think then.

The experience of sudden opening reported by most mystics is startlingly on of actually waking up. It’s as if you’ve been drifting through life in a dream state and just not known it. Nothing around you has changed, but you finally, truly see things as they are. The dream-like barrier of mental filters and projections that has stifled your perception for so long falls away like a heavy blanket. You blink, look around yourself, and are surprised to realize you’ve been in a sort of half-seeing trance all your life… and now you are awake.

Perhaps just as surprising — and much more confusing to the intellect — is the simultaneous recognition that while you were in that dream state, there was still some part of your awareness that was always fully awake, quietly, patiently watching in the background. It’s just that now that inner wakefulness has come to the forefront. …A reminder to us that we don’t really need to “wake up;” instead, we just need to get out of the way of that part of ourselves that is already awake.

and though we seem
to be sleeping
there is an inner wakefulness

And from a purely poetic point of view, I really like the lines–

Humankind is being led
along an evolving course,
through this migration
of intelligences

To me this suggests that each experience, each “dream,” each person’s life is part of a grand migration of the human spirit, a journey of deepening remembrance and renewal.






Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi, Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi poetry, Muslim / Sufi poetry Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

Afghanistan & Turkey (Persia) (1207 – 1273) Timeline
Muslim / Sufi

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2 responses so far

Dec 18 2013

the world arises

The world arises
where self-acceptance is absent.

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Dec 13 2013

Kahlil Gibran – Reason and Passion

Published by under Poetry

Reason and Passion
by Kahlil Gibran

And the priestess spoke again and said: Speak to us of Reason and Passion.
And he answered, saying:
Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon which your reason and your judgment wage war against your passion and your appetite.
Would that I could be the peacemaker in your soul, that I might turn the discord and the rivalry of your elements into oneness and melody.
But how shall I, unless you yourselves be also the peacemakers, nay, the lovers of all your elements?

Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul.
If either your sails or your rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas.
For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.
Therefore let your soul exalt your reason to the height of passion, that it may sing;
And let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes.

I would have you consider your judgment and your appetite even as you would two loved guests in your house.
Surely you would not honour one guest above the other; for he who is more mindful of one loses the love and the faith of both.

Among the hills, when you sit in the cool shade of the white poplars, sharing the peace and serenity of distant fields and meadows — then let your heart say in silence, “God rests in reason.”
And when the storm comes, and the mighty wind shakes the forest, and thunder and lightning proclaim the majesty of the sky, — then let your heart say in awe, “God moves in passion.”
And since you are a breath in God’s sphere, and a leaf in God’s forest, you too should rest in reason and move in passion.

— from The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran


/ Photo by zabaraorg /

This is such an interesting section of Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet,” especially the way he emphasizes the positive nature of passion. Religious and spiritual traditions, both East and West, have a tendency to want to control or even suppress passion. Passion is sex. Passion is emotion. Passion is powerful, intense, turbulent.

Gibran acknowledges that “passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.” Passion, without limitation or conscious guidance, can become a chaotic, consuming force in our lives. But he doesn’t say we should get rid of passion or that reason should subjugate it. He speaks in terms of balanced, integrated use of passion in our lives.

Passion is the engine in our lives. Gibran gives us this image of a ship: passion is the ship’s sails, and reason is the rudder. The sails catch the power of the wind, propelling the ship forward. Passion is power, vitality, life!

But movement without direction is, at best, meaningless and, at worst, can lead us onto rocks. That’s why we need the rudder of reason to intelligently use the power of passion’s movement so that we can reach our destination.

One is not “good” and the other “bad.” Both reason and passion are necessary. They must be understood, brought into harmony, used effectively to balance each other.

This may sound like a bit of a tangent, but I’m reminded of the imagery of the Christian Nativity. In the traditional iconography, we see the infant Christ on a bed of straw in a manger surrounded by animals. In the gospel tale, two animals are mentioned specifically: an ox and an ass. Why those two animals? Esoteric Christian teachings sometimes explain it this way: the ox (an ancient symbol of Venus), represents sensuality and passion; the ass can be seen as embodying either the ego or reason. What are they doing in this image of divine birth? Notice that they are not suppressed; the ox and ass are not chained or slaughtered. No, they rest, they are at peace, tamed by the presence of spiritual light. More than that, they are actually protecting the infant, giving him their strength. As one 20th century Christian teacher phrased it, “They are warming the Christ child with their breath.” Viewed this way, the nativity gives us an image not of suppression, but of integration of the energies of life in support of the awakening soul.

I especially like Kahlil Gibran’s summations at the end–

“God rests in reason.”

“God moves in passion.”

Movement and stillness, when we balance both we have discovered how to dance!






Kahlil Gibran, Kahlil Gibran poetry, Christian poetry Kahlil Gibran

Lebanon/US (1883 – 1931) Timeline
Christian
Secular or Eclectic

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Dec 13 2013

altar

All the world
is an altar.

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Dec 11 2013

Holiday Book Recommendations 2013

Published by under Books

It has become something of a tradition for me to send out a list of book recommendations for the holidays as a reminder that books of sacred poetry make wonderful gifts of the heart. Since it’s already mid-December, I guess I had better get to it!

Here is a a holiday sampler I’ve gathered for you and your loved ones:

==

To slake that thirst (or awaken it)…

Real Thirst: Poetry of the Spiritual Journey
Poems & Translations by Ivan M. Granger

Original poems by Ivan M. Granger (yours truly) with new translations of works by visionaries from both East and West: John of the Cross, Francis of Assisi, Symeon the New Theologian, Hakim Sanai, Tukaram, Sarmad, Bulleh Shah, Sachal Sarmast, Vladimir Solovyov, Tulsi Sahib, and Antonio Machado.

“I found Real Thirst to be a slow, cool and refreshing drink. I believe you will find these poems an antidote to the rush of your days.” ~ JOHN FOX author of Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making

==

For the modern mystic…

Breaking the Drought: Visions of Grace
by Stephen Levine

The author of several classic books in the field of conscious living and dying — including A Gradual Awakening, Who Dies?, Healing into Life and Death, and A Year to Live. This collection reveals he is also a poet of clear vision and grace.

For those who like their insight short and power packed…

Haiku Enlightenment
by Gabriel Rosenstock

This book is an excellent sampling of haiku, traditional and modern, and, at the same time a wise and playful exploration of the essence of haiku. Enthusiastically recommended, along with its companion Haiku: The Gentle Art of Disappearing.

==

For the eclectic seeker…

The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry
by Stephen Mitchell

This is a compact anthology, but a wonderful collection that includes Li Po, Wu-Men, Rumi, Kabir, Mirabai, Rilke… And the added bonus of Stephen Mitchell’s way with words. One of my personal favorites.

==

For the wise woman…..

Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women
Edited by Jane Hirshfield

This is the first anthology I got years ago that made me say, Wow! Includes Sappho, Rabia, Yeshe Tsogyel, Hildegard von Bingen, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Hadewijch of Antwerp, Lalla, Mirabai, Bibi Hayati, Marina Tsvetaeva. The best collection I’ve found of women’s voices in sacred poetry.

==

One Song: A New Illuminated Rumi
Translated by Coleman Barks

A follow-up to the excellent Illuminated Rumi — excerpts of Rumi’s poetry accompanied by digital collage artwork that draws you deeply into each page. This book entrances on several levels. An excellent gift book.

Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God
Translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy

There are several very good translations of Rilke available, but I’ve slowly come to the opinion that Barrows and Macy, more than any others, get the tone just right. Their Rilke translations glow and uplift, but without losing the shadows that also haunt the spaces between his words. Perfect!

Sun at Midnight: Poems and Sermons of Muso Soseki
Translated by W. S. Merwin and Soiku Shigematsu

A friend introduced me to this collection, and I was entranced. Muso Soseki is known today for establishing rock gardening as meditative Zen practice, but his poetry — wonderful! And with translations by WS Merwin, you can’t ask for more!

==

New Discoveries…

Soul Food: Nourishing Poems for Starved Minds
Edited by Neil Astley and Pamela Robertson-Pearce

I came across this collection by accident, through a random recommendation on the Internet — and it has quickly become a favorite! A rich, tasty mixture of poetry by ancient and modern visionaries, from Mary Oliver and Wendell Berry to Kabir and Dogen, and several you may not have heard of before. Open to any page and discover a new treasure.

Through Corridors of Light: Poems of Consolation in Time of Illness
Edited by John Andrew Denny

Illness, loss, death… These are part of the experience of life, part of the spiritual journey. Yet we are starved for cultural and artistic reflections of these universal experiences, often leaving us feeling isolated in our grief. This book is a lovely, healing collection of poetry that explores these themes in ways that help us to recognize ourselves and return to ourselves.

==

A little Zen in your pocket…

The Poetry of Zen: (Shambhalla Library)
Edited by Sam Hamill and J. P. Seaton

A very nice sampler of Japanese and Chinese Zen poetry. Han Shan, Li Po, Wang Wei, Basho, Soseki, Ryokan, Issa… The book fits well in your hand when you’re walking to the riverside or the local coffee shop.

==

For the Jewish mystic…

The Poetry of Kabbalah: Mystical Verse from the Jewish Tradition
Translated and Annotated by Peter Cole

Finally we have a truly excellent collection of sacred Jewish poetry. While T. Carmi’s Penguin Book of Hebrew Verse is more comprehensive, Cole’s The Poetry of Kabbalah has more of a poet’s sense of language and even catches of few sparks from the mystic’s fire. This is poetry that startles and transports. The Poetry of Kabbalah has become my favorite source for Jewish mystical poetry in English. Very highly recommended.

==

For the Christian contemplative…

For Lovers of God Everywhere: Poems of the Christian Mystics
by Roger Housden

This has quickly become one of my favorite collections of sacred poetry within the many Christian traditions. John of the Cross, Merton, Hildegard von Bingen, Gibran, Dante, Meister Eckhart, Blake… and Roger Housden’s brief, thoughtful insights.

The Book of Mystical Chapters: Meditations on the Soul’s Ascent
Translated by John Anthony McGuckin

This is the book that, years ago, introduced me to the stunning poetry of Symeon the New Theologian, igniting my passion for his visionary poetry of light and transformation. You’ll also find poems and poetic renditions of writings from many other saints and mystics of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Still a favorite of mine.

Selected Poems of Thomas Merton
by Thomas Merton

I can’t recommend this collection highly enough. Merton, in addition to being a deep mystic, was a truly excellent contemporary poet. His poems feel entirely modern, yet touch on the eternal. While drawing on Catholic imagery, one can hear whispers of Eastern philosophy and insight in his words. Poems to reread and meditate deeply upon.

==

For the contemplative activist…

Call Me by My True Names: The Collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh
by Thich Nhat Hanh

Poetry by the beloved modern master Thich Nhat Hanh, exploring service and suffering, humanity and interbeing, breath and stillness, beauty and bliss.

==

Lovers and the Beloved…

Nobody, Son of Nobody: Poems of Shaikh Abu-Saeed Abil-Kheir
Translated by Vraje Abramian

I read this book early in my exploration of Sufi poetry — and I was hooked! Abu Said Abil-Kheir’s poetry ranges from the ecstatic and celestial, to struggles with abandonment. His poetry has an immediacy and even a sort of devoutly wry petulance. This book remains a personal favorite of mine.

I, Lalla: The Poems of Lal Ded
Translated by Ranjit Hoskote

This has become my favorite translation of poems by the great Kashmiri mystic poet, Lal Ded. Sharp insight, flashes of humor, and vast timeless spaces.

The Gift: Poems by Hafiz the Great Sufi Master
by Daniel Ladinsky

Despite the book’s title, these are not poems by the historic Sufi poet Hafiz; instead, it is a delightful collection of contemporary poems infused with the spirit of Hafiz. These poems tease and wink, and lead us chuckling to surprising moments of insight.

==

And for blessings…

To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings
by John O’Donohue

I keep being told by people how much they love this book of poetic blessings from the Irish philosopher, poet, and mystic, John O’Donohue. These poetically crafted blessings and meditations on the passages of life manage to elevate the spirit, warm the heart, and, on occasion, bring a tear to the eye.

==

For even more book recommendations, click here.

May you and your loved ones have a special holiday season during this time when the sacred light renews itself in the midst of darkness –

– and may the new year bring you bright blessings!

Ivan

2 responses so far

Dec 06 2013

Maya Angelou – Seek patience

Published by under Poetry

Seek patience
by Maya Angelou

Seek patience
and passion
in equal amounts.

Patience alone
will not build the temple.

Passion alone
will destroy its walls.


/ Photo by Luizdesign /

The passing of Nelson Mandela is a huge event in the world. For me, as with so many of you, he was an important icon, a great soul who inspired me to be more in myself and strive for more in society.

The world was certainly blessed by the life of Nelson Mandela, a man of courage, brilliance, and dignity, who opened a pathway of healing, not only for the people of South Africa, but for all of us around the world. He gave us a vision of hope for the future.

With Madiba’s passing, we have received an invitation and a challenge: Can we, individually and collectively, step up and step through into a better, more just, more inclusive world? Will we strive against the forces of inertia and fear, meeting them with strength, tenacity, and heart? And can we yet do so with joy and a wide-open heart? Mandela’s life says to us, it can be done.

…One further thought: Every image of Mandela you are likely to see in the next few weeks is of the thin, gentle, aging sage, with his sparkling eyed smile. The image I’ve included is a variation of that same wise face. But do yourself a favor and search the Internet for photos of Mandela as a bearded young man. You can see a surprising strength of body supporting his strength of character. But you still might catch that sparkle in his eye too.






Maya Angelou, Maya Angelou poetry, Secular or Eclectic poetry Maya Angelou

US (1928 – )
Secular or Eclectic

More poetry by Maya Angelou

2 responses so far

Dec 06 2013

perfection and complexity

What is perfection
in such a complex universe?
It is enough
to be profoundly human.

No responses yet

Dec 04 2013

Anna Swir – My Body Effervesces

Published by under Poetry

My Body Effervesces
by Anna Swir

English version by Czeslaw Milosz and Leonard Nathan

I am born for the second time.
I am light
as the eyelash of the wind.
I froth, I am froth.

I walk dancing,
if I wish, I will soar.
The condensed lightness
of my body
condenses most forcibly
in the lightness of my foot
and its five toes.
The foot skims the earth
which gives way like compressed air.
An elastic duo
of the earth and of the foot. A dance
of liberation.

I am born for the second time,
happiness of the world
came to me again.
My body effervesces,
I think with my body which effervesces.

If I wish,
I will soar.

— from Soul Food: Nourishing Poems for Starved Minds, Edited by Neil Astley / Edited by Pamela Robertson-Pearce


/ Photo by Joy Krauthammer /

I only recently discovered the poetry of Polish poet Anna Swir. (Her full name is actually Anna Swirszczynska, but I guess it has been shortened by translators for syllabically limited English speakers.)

This poem, in particular, really grabbed my attention.

I am born for the second time.
I am light
as the eyelash of the wind.
I froth, I am froth.

Just those opening lines alone bring a giddy sort of self-recognition and slows our pace to an easy saunter.

And then the following lines–

I walk dancing,
if I wish, I will soar.

Reading those lines, we too begin to move more lightly, playfully. And we start to rise…

An elastic duo
of the earth and of the foot. A dance
of liberation.

…That meeting of earth and foot, a place to stand, to gently push against, and to move upon.

I am born for the second time,
happiness of the world
came to me again.

Okay, I can’t hold back: one quick metaphysical tangent– Religious traditions all over the world, not just Christianity, make references being being born again, a second birth, a spiritual birth, a renewed self. Yet what they fail to mention is that this second birth is not the result of affirming some doctrine; it comes through deep inner opening… and it is accompanied by the most profound giddy bliss! It’s as if there is some great secret delight underlying all of creation, and in that moment of rebirth, the happiness of the world washes over you.

My body effervesces,
I think with my body which effervesces.

From the intellect’s point-of-view, that pervasive joy doesn’t quite make sense. All you have to do is read the day’s news to know how much suffering and trauma exist in the world. Yet there is also this effervescent joy. And it’s not just an idea of joy; it is felt, by every cell of your body. Your body just bubbles with an uncontainable bliss.

Sometimes the situation requires thinking with the intellect in order to engage with the challenges and struggles that churn on the surface of life. But it is just as important is discovering our inherent effervescence, and learn to “think” with that body so we can engage with the world through that deep joy. The intellect can argue that that’s nice, but it is ineffective at solving problems. But try that effervescence. It “knows” something even more powerful: that joy and love are highly contagious. And that’s the most effective work.

So, next time you feel your feet rising, don’t fight it…

If I wish,
I will soar.

Fierce Eye, Gentle Heart – Card Sales!

Wow! The interest in the Fierce Eye, Gentle Heart Card Set has been fantastic! In less than 2 days we’ve already sold out of our initial printing!

But don’t worry — if you have placed an order or want to place an order, I am working with the printer to have more cards ready as soon as possible. They should be available in one to two weeks. Since this card set is a new item, I didn’t anticipate how hugely popular it would be, and so I ordered too few cards initially. But more are coming soon!

If you are interested in receiving a set of these cards in December, place your order soon, and I will do everything I can to get them to you on time.

International Shipment

Several of you have asked about shipping outside the US. As of yesterday, the PayPal order form has been updated to with international shipping prices. So please feel free to order from the UK, Australia, India, Pakistan… I can’t absolutely guarantee that international deliveries will arrive before the end of the year, but I’ll do my best to make it possible.

Non-PayPal Orders

I have received a few questions from people who would like to order but prefer not to use PayPal. You can always send a check or money order (in USD, please) to:

Poetry Chaikhana
PO Box 2320
Boulder, CO 80306
USA

If you mail in payment, I will do my best to get shipments out for the earliest possible delivery.

I do not yet have a merchant credit card account set up. That means I do not have the ability to process credit card numbers directly — sorry.

Thank you, everyone, for your enthusiastic response!






Anna Swir, Anna Swir poetry, Secular or Eclectic poetry Anna Swir

Poland (1909 – 1984) Timeline
Secular or Eclectic

More poetry by Anna Swir

3 responses so far

Dec 04 2013

spend a lifetime

We can spend a lifetime
looking, traveling, and acquiring.
Or we can look in the mirror.

No responses yet

Dec 04 2013

Card Set Updates

Fierce Eye, Gentle Heart – Card Sales!

Wow! The interest in the Fierce Eye, Gentle Heart Card Set has been fantastic! In less than 2 days we’ve already sold out of our initial printing!

But don’t worry — if you have placed an order or want to place an order, I am working with the printer to have more cards ready as soon as possible. They should be available in one to two weeks. Since this card set is a new item, I didn’t anticipate how hugely popular it would be, and so I ordered too few cards initially. But more are coming soon!

If you are interested in receiving a set of these cards in December, place your order soon, and I will do everything I can to get them to you on time.

International Shipment

Several of you have asked about shipping outside the US. As of yesterday, the PayPal order form has been updated to with international shipping prices. So please feel free to order from the UK, Australia, India, Pakistan… I can’t absolutely guarantee that international deliveries will arrive before the end of the year, but I’ll do my best to make it possible.

Non-PayPal Orders

I have received a few questions from people who would like to order but prefer not to use PayPal. You can always send a check or money order (in USD, please) to:

Poetry Chaikhana
PO Box 2320
Boulder, CO 80306
USA

If you mail in payment, I will do my best to get shipments out for the earliest possible delivery.

I do not yet have a merchant credit card account set up. That means I do not have the ability to process credit card numbers directly — sorry.

Thank you, everyone, for your enthusiastic response!

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Dec 02 2013

Announcement: Fierce Eye, Gentle Heart – Card Set

I hope you had a joyful Thanksgiving (if you’re in the Thanksgiving part of the world). My wife and I played tabletop games with friends. It is also Hanukkah. And the Winter Solstice, Christmas, and the New Year are all quickly coming up. May this be a blessed time of light and renewal for all!

And I have some news…

I am so pleased to announce that the Poetry Chaikhana is offering a beautiful new card set of sayings and short poems. It is a collection of several of my “thought for the day” sayings and a few short poems, with artwork Rashani Réa of Dharma Gaia Cards.

Fierce Eye, Gentle Heart, card set, sayings, short poems, Ivan M. Granger, Rashani Rea Fierce Eye, Gentle Heart
Card Set – 12 full-color cards

Sayings and Short Poems by Ivan M. Granger
Art & Design by Rashani Réa

$12.95
+ $2 Shipping

PURCHASE


A beautiful collection of meditative sayings, thought-provoking statements, and short poems accompanied by the colorful, collage-like artwork of Rashani Réa.

  • Keep a set of these cards by your bed, in your place of meditation or prayer, or at your desk.
  • Select a card each time you seek a new perspective, a spark of creativity, a moment of clarity, or renewed focus in your spiritual practice.
  • Frame your favorite and display it on a wall or bookshelf.

This lovely card set also makes a wonderful gift!

This collection of cards came together in a surprising way: During the past few months I’ve been quietly working on a Poetry Chaikhana anthology, a selection of the amazing poetry we share each week, accompanied by my commentary and spiritual ramblings. (I know I’ve been promising this anthology for some time, but it is coming together nicely and should be available next year.) In the midst of that work, a half-formed but strong spark of an idea popped into my head: do something with cards. I casually emailed Rashani Réa, an artist I know in Hawaii who does stunning, collage-like artwork imbued with a strong spiritual element, and I suggested we think of doing something together. She surprised me several days later, saying that creative inspiration had taken over and she was already immersed in the design of the cards. A few weeks later — here they are!

Rashani also waived her normal design fee to support the work of the Poetry Chaikhana. Thanks to her generosity, your purchase of these cards doubly benefits for the Poetry Chaikhana — and you get this wonderful card set!

And, if these sell well, we may put together a series of “Poetry Chaikhana Cards” — Lalla, Rumi, Basho, St. John of the Cross… Is that something you’d like? Let us know.

Here are a few examples from the card set:

Fierce Eye, Gentle Heart, card set, sayings, short poems, Ivan M. Granger, Rashani Rea Fierce Eye, Gentle Heart, card set, sayings, short poems, Ivan M. Granger, Rashani Rea Fierce Eye, Gentle Heart, card set, sayings, short poems, Ivan M. Granger, Rashani Rea Fierce Eye, Gentle Heart, card set, sayings, short poems, Ivan M. Granger, Rashani Rea
Protect
the wild places
in yourself
See everything
with a fierce eye
and a gentle heart.
The divine
is experienced in the heart.

The intellect, at best,
can only trail behind and take notes.

Beloved, they want to know:
Did I reach up to You,
or did You reach out to me?

And they want to know:
What is real
touch?

How can I explain

– we pour
into each other.

~ Ivan M. Granger

Purchasing these cards is a wonderful way to support the Poetry Chaikhana. They also can be given as gifts of inspiration this holiday season.

You can order through PayPal by clicking the ‘Purchase’ link above or on the Poetry Chaikhana website. Or, if you prefer, you can send a check or money order to:

Poetry Chaikhana
PO Box 2320
Boulder, CO 80306

Please be sure to include your delivery address.

I should mention that, because these cards are a new and we don’t yet know how popular they will be, our initial printing is limited — so if you want a set right away, make sure to place your order soon. If they sell out quickly, more cards will be available after mid-December.

Have a beautiful day!

Ivan

11 responses so far

Nov 26 2013

Life & Death, Belief & Meaning

Published by under Other Voices,Poetry

I forwarded many of your email messages and blog comments to ebj. He sent this note and two more poems in response…

————

I am deeply moved, both by folks’ words and what I sense of their energy within those words.

Since some have requested more, I offer two recent pieces (one earlier this evening in response to what I’ve been moved to write because of what you’ve forwarded. The other in reference to my present state of being – on the verge of not being.

Clearly

We can touch without touching,
Connect without meeting,
Love without longing.

The word is spreading
In giving we receive.
In receiving we give.
Our degrees of separation
Apparently reflect
Our degrees of connection.

With open hearts,
Centered mindfulness
Possibilities abound into the Infinite
A concept beyond conceivable
The irony is that we
Still have a word for it
To share, inspire and raise the level
Of our sacred connections
Even higher.

ebj 11/25/2013

Life & Death, Belief & Meaning

sitting on what may
become my deathbed in a few weeks
Wylie, the prince of cats, crawls on my lap.
then a question arises:
should I write down these simple thoughts
or pet him?

when he moves to my feet
I begin:

some believe in an afterlife
what if there isn’t?

some believe in paradise
and/or
the other place…

some believe in karmic rebirth
to atone for transgressions
and/or
reap rewards
until enlightenment.

some believe it all ends
at their last breath.
what if it doesn’t?

as each spends their moments
immersed in their beliefs
where are they?
what are they doing
with the water or the wood?

as we attempt to prepare
for our sacred moment-
those of us given the blessed chance to prepare
(which many of us could before it is upon us)-
what are we preparing for?
where are our thoughts, our minds?

the body is frequently denounced
for its imperfections and distractions,
its drives and constant needs,
the source of so much suffering and pain
but let us speak a moment for the body
as it carries the water and the wood
as it serves as the vehicle
for our soul in this present form
for it is always here now
until it isn’t…

ebj 11/20/2013

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