Awakening to the Poetic:

Meditation and Poetry for Coming Alive

A 9-week online workshop series

with Brooke McNamara

Wednesdays, 9 Live Workshops:

January 10, 17, & 24

February 7, 14, & 21

March 6, 13, & 20

(no class January 31 & February 28)

9-10:30 am PST | 10-11:30 am MST | 11am-12:30 pm CST
12-1:30 EST | 5-6:30 pm GMT
6-7:30 pm CET | 10:30pm-12am IST

~ optional meditation 30 minutes prior to each class ~
(same Zoom link)

All workshops will be held online via Zoom, and recordings will be available for registered participants.



I don’t like to write, I love to listen. 

All day tuning my ear 

to the underbelly of silence. 


Want to hear a secret? 

That sweet quiet

is what’s writing these words.

~ Brooke McNamara


In these bewildering times, both our inner and outer worlds are undergoing rapid change. So much is unknown. We may fear becoming overwhelmed or disconnected from the emotional, relational, creative, and spiritual resources we need most right now.


What if there is a dimension of experience always available right here, which is innately meaningful and vital - without cause or condition?


What if it's possible to simply awaken to receiving and transmitting this poetic dimension of being human?


We can tune and open ourselves to the living poetry of life – that which tenderizes the heart, soothes the mind, energizes the body, erupts in sudden laughter, and inspires compassionate action. When we do, we access the world’s innate aliveness, teeming with seen and unseen layers of intimacy, guidance, beauty, humor, and ever-present Awareness awake as it all.


“It takes a great deal of effort to see what’s in front of you, whether that’s a stone, a mountain, or another person. After much watching, after much witnessing of the metamorphosis from object to presence, you find that everything is self-luminous.”

~ Don Domanski, Poetry & The Sacred  

Meditation harmonizes body, mind, and breath, allowing deep letting go of unnecessary tension and revealing an ever-present Awareness. This deeper nature is our birthright to realize, is not separate from any moment or expression of life, and is refuge when old reference points fall away.


Poetry ushers us into a realm of imagination, soul, and the liminal where we remember or sense things we didn’t know we knew. A realm where we can receive vision or whole-hearted wisdom (Prajna), not available through thinking or the conventional five senses alone. Where we may court and be courted by our muses, guides, or noble daemons. And where we can unfold bits of magic and insight simply by showing up to the page. 

By far the best poetry class I’ve ever done.”

~ Bridget Hanley, Writer, CA


“This course has been medicine for me.” 

~ Esi Wildcat,

Artist & Priestess, Los Angeles, CA


"The sessions with Brooke and the community she gathers are gently powerful and powerfully gentle. After every session you have a sense of having had close friends for a visit and you would like them to stay, almost like when you were a kid, playing outside and being called in for dinner — you just want to play a little more…”

~ Igno Van Niekerk,

Author, Photographer, Storyteller, South Africa



Please choose the price that works for your current financial context:

$565, $345, or $125

 ~ 3 partial scholarships available for current students, BIPOC, and those with significant financial constraints ~


How do you awaken and tune to the poetic? Do you remember your ways as a child of connecting to this animate, breathing world?


In these times of rapid change, challenge, and opportunity, it is vital that we connect in brave, supportive community to remind ourselves of the nutrients embedded in reality – the powerful ways that pain and loss carve through our beings, the delicious refreshment of beauty in all its forms, and the ultimate satisfaction of resting as our true nature: vast, unborn, and indestructible. 


It is vital that we fuel each other with the wisdom and compassion we receive when we turn our embodied gaze toward subtle, poetic dimensions folded into every moment of being alive.





It doesn’t have to be

the blue iris, it could be

weeds in a vacant lot, or a few

small stones; just

pay attention, then patch


a few words together and don’t try

to make them elaborate, this isn’t

a contest but the doorway


into thanks, and a silence in which

another voice may speak.


~ Mary Oliver


  • Optional meditation instruction and sitting practice 30 minutes prior 
  • Spoken poems and teachings to bring themes alive in your experience
  • Writing prompts, guidance on technique and artistry, and time to explore through your own writing
  • Interpersonal exploration and time for connection in small groups and big group
  • Co-creation of robust relationships and intimate community through consistent creative and spiritual practice together
Brooke McNamara headshot with glasses

About Brooke

Brooke McNamara, MFA, is a poet, meditation instructor, and transmitted Zen teacher and lineage holder. She has published two books of poems: Bury the Seed and Feed Your Vow. She loves to create poems from 3 main ingredients: the raw material of everyday life, wholehearted and visceral listening, and the mind of meditation. For her poetry, Brooke is the recipient of the Charles B. Palmer prize from the Academy of American Poets. She has taught at Naropa University in Yoga Studies and at the University of Colorado, Boulder in Dance. Brooke is president and a founding teacher at Dragon Lake Zen, and teaches in-person and online courses and retreats to facilitate the awakening of innate wisdom, compassion, artistry, and play. She lives in Boulder, CO with her husband, Rob, their two sons, Lundin and Orion.

You will also be invited to join a private Facebook group for members of Awakening to the Poetic, in which to share poems, share your own writing and receive feedback, and generally explore together what comes up in the workshops.
Workshops will be recorded and sent to you within 48 hours, along with prompts and inquiries to consider in your writing and living between workshops.


Week 1, January 10th: Ordinary Magic: What Does it Mean to Awaken to the Poetic?


Week 2, January 17th: Befriending Poetry as an Intimate Companion


Week 3, January 24th: The Heart of Meditation Sometimes Speaks


NO CLASS January 31st: Catch Up, Integration, & Rest


Week 4, February 7th: Elegant Effort: Discipline and Freedom


Week 5, February 14th: “Roam and Play in Samadhi”


Week 6, February 21st: Weaving Words with the Power of Silence


NO CLASS February 28th: Catch Up, Integration, & Rest


Week 7, March 6th: Jisei/ Japanese Death Poems: What Do I Want to Say Before I Die?


Week 8, March 13th: "Beloved Community": Inter-Being, Interdependence, and Inspiration


Week 9, March 20th: Celebration and Reading of Works: Integration and Completion



My central passions were fed to the point where I'm now uncluttering my life to focus more completely on what matters the most to me.

~ Ernie Tamminga, CA


This course totally opened the floodgates to my creative flow… I found each session deliciously rich with nourishment & inspiration.” 

~ Elizabeth Winheld, Writer, CEO of WINC, Boulder, CO 


My expectations have continually been surpassed. I would highly recommend this course for poetry beginners or seasoned practitioners.

~ Priya Logan, Aritst, Doula, Mother, Scotland


I deeply appreciate that you hold this space grounded in your Buddhist practice and as a beautiful bodhisattva-poet-warrior-gentle being!

~ Sabine, Germany


You are invited to awaken to deeper dimensions of yourself and this life, and to express your honest, beautifully unique, surprising discoveries.


You are invited to remember together our shared infinite heart, and weave visions of play, truth, beauty, and justice, together in community, as a weekly ritual.


I hope you'll say yes to this adventure!




Some ask the world

and are diminished

in the receiving

of it. You gave me

only this small pool

that the more I drink

from, the more overflows

me with sourceless light.


~R.S. Thomas