Holy Ground

by Ivan M. Granger


Original Language English

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

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

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/ Photo by Mendhak /


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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

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.



Recommended Books: Ivan M. Granger

Real Thirst: Poetry of the Spiritual Journey For Lovers of God Everywhere: Poems of the Christian Mystics Poems of Awakening: An International Anthology of Spiritual Poetry





Holy Ground