Summoning the Unseen:
Poetry and Meditation to Conjure Deep Support and Inspiration
A 12-week online workshop series
with Brooke McNamara
& Special Guests
Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Gabriel Wilson,
Ash Ruiz, Donna Mejia, and Freeda Be
Fridays, March 12th - May 28th, 2021
9-11 am PST/ 10am-12pm MT/ 11am-1pm CST/ 12-2 pm EST/ 5-7 pm GMT/ 6-8 pm CET
Suggested Investment: $395, but please pay what you can
(more or less is welcome)
In these bewildering times, both our inner and outer worlds are undergoing rapid change and unraveling. So much is unknown and yet to be seen. 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 vivid - without cause or condition?
What if it's possible to tune ourselves to receiving and transmitting this poetic dimension of being human?
When we tune and open ourselves to the poetic dimension of life, we may access the world’s innate aliveness, teeming with unseen layers of imagery, intimacy, guidance, archetypal narratives and codes, as well as spacious awareness holding and infusing it all.
How do you 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, with an overwhelming flood of imagery, information, and disinformation flowing in from the outside, it is vital that we become both discerning about what we take in to our minds and psyches, as well as pro-active about sourcing the imagery and intelligence of our own souls, intuition, and deep being.
It is vital that we connect in brave, supportive community to feed each other the wisdom and vision we receive when we turn our embodied gaze toward unseen, poetic dimensions folded into any and every moment of being alive.
And, in this kind of trustable community, we can learn, discern, and think critically together about what information - whether received from the outside or inside - is truly life-giving, and also gently come to know what might be unjust or oppressive, to ourselves or others, that we’ve simply assumed to be the way things are.
Poetry can usher us into this realm of soul, imagination, and the liminal where we remember or sense things we didn’t know we knew. A realm where we can receive vision or calibration not available through thinking or the conventional five senses alone. Where we may court and be courted by our muse. And where we can unfold and reveal bits of magic and insight simply by showing up to listen or bring pen to paper.
Meditation can harmonize 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.
It is vital to gently allow in to our awareness and nervous systems that which has been in shadow, individually and collectively, and - as in the teachings of activist, author, and lawyer, Valarie Kaur - to wonder about who we really are, what we must resist and dismantle to enact a revolutionary love, and also how we can reimagine something more beautiful, equitable, and life-giving for all.
This may emerge for you in a short poem of forgiveness for yourself. It may manifest in a letter of apology to an estranged friend. Or it may become a vision for deep structural change at work. “To attend to the moment is to attend to eternity. To attend to the part is to attend to the whole,” asserts the maxim from the compilation of Jewish teachings, Pirke Avot.
In these transitional times, it is vital that we help each other feel and express the pain of injustice and loss. It is vital that we also feel the burn, ache and pleasure of longing for something more for ourselves and our world, something deeper in, something more alive, connected and intimate with the holy truth of death — something perhaps already here, but as yet untended or made manifest.
You are invited to enact, articulate and enjoy your vision of truth, beauty, and justice, presence and play, together in community, as a weekly ritual.
By writing our way into and from our deep hearts, our untethered imaginings, and our solemn declarations of what we stand for in this life, we will create a blueprint for our living and relating with all of life in its sentience, wonder, grief, and mystery.
We will summon the unseen forces around and within us to activate deep support, inspiration, and service, here and now.
Week 1, March 12th: Ordinary Magic: What Does it Mean to Summon (& be Summoned by) the Unseen?
Week 2, March 19th: Concentration & Receptivity: Becoming Wholehearted for Auspicious Engagement Now
Week 3, March 26th: Risk & Play: Flirting with the Unknown with special guest Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
Week 4, April 2nd: “Keeping the Appointment”: Practice as Discipline & Freedom
Week 5, April 9th: Beloved Community: A Temple in Time with special guest Gabriel Wilson
Week 6, April 16th: Lay Down Your Burdens: Rest, Integration, & Flow
Week 7, April 23rd: Celebrating the Song of Your Full, True Self with special guest Ash Ruiz
Week 8, April 30th: Devotion, Acknowledgement, & Praise: “Writing Under the Influence” of Artists You Love Most
Week 9, May 7th: The Poetry of Possession: Opening Our Instruments to Dialog with Deity with special guest Donna Mejia
Week 10, May 14th: Renewable Energy: Skillful, Creative Engagement with Tension
Week 11, May 21st: Infinite Identity - Creativity Beyond Binaries with special guest Freeda Be
Week 12, May 28th: A Ceremony of Commencement: Co-creating Completion
Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer (she/ her) co-hosts Emerging Form (a podcast on creative process), Stubborn Praise (an online poetry reading series) Secret Agents of Change (a surreptitious kindness cabal) and Soul Writer’s Circle (with a meditation teacher). Her poetry has appeared in O Magazine, on A Prairie Home Companion and PBS Newshour, Poetry of Presence, and in her daily poetry blog, A Hundred Falling Veils. Her most recent collection, Hush won the Halcyon Prize. She teaches poetry for parents, scientists, mindfulness retreats. One-word mantra: Adjust. https://www.wordwoman.com
Gabriel Wilson (he/ him), founder of Developmental Design, is helping us unlock the power of radical collaboration in service of enacting greater freedom, fairness and compassion. He is a facilitator, advisor, and co-author of Compassionate Conversations: How to Speak and Listen from the Heart. His work takes us to the intersection of social justice and purpose driven enterprises, design thinking, human psychology and group dynamics. http://developmental.design
Ash Ruiz (all pronouns) is a Singer/Songwriter, Psychosynthesis Life Coach, and Nondual Wig Snatcher. Ash has been guiding others in realizing and confidently being the loving intelligence they truly are for the past 20 years through speaking engagements, workshops, retreats, private and group sessions and by serving as the melodious soundtrack for some of the greatest spiritual leaders of our time. www.ashruiz.com
Donna Mejia (she/ her, Associate Professor, CU Boulder Theatre and Dance) is a choreographer, scholar, instructor, director and performer specializing in critical race theory, pedagogy, contemporary dance, traditions of the African and Arab Diaspora, and emerging fusion traditions in Transcultural Electronica. Donna is a 2020-2021 Faculty Fellow for the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Crown Wellness Institute. She is affiliate faculty for Women and Gender Studies, and Ethnic Studies. Donna is also an authorized instructor of the Brazilian Silvestre modern dance technique with over 30 years of practice. She is the first professor of transcultural fusion globally, and approaches learning with humor, an open heart, thick skin, and a critically thinking mind. She serves as the Director of Graduate Studies in Dance for CU Boulder, and balances her time teaching, lecturing, and touring. https://donnainthedance.com/.
Freeda Be (all pronouns) is a queer/non-binary transpersonal counselor and embodiment mentor. Freeda received a Master’s in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from Naropa University and is a co-founder and creative director of Queer Asterisk. Freeda supports clients in finding freedom, empowerment and authentic self-expression through increased present-moment awareness of the body and mind. Freeda is passionate about supporting clients of diverse identities and life experiences in discovering liberation in the midst of difficult life circumstances, not in spite of them. As an Asian-American adoptee, Freeda uses his own personal journey of otherness and belonging to support clients in finding home wherever they are. https://queerasterisk.com
What people are saying about my online workshops:
"Wow, that was an amazing experience! Thank you for your skilled facilitation and incredibly thoughtful workshop design. I can feel how you have created this container with so much love and intention. I feel safe to let myself go to places I haven’t gone in groups before, allowing for deep releases and awakening interesting creative ideas and questions."
- Jewel Afflerbaugh, Photographer
"I loved this workshop! It was the perfect place for me to celebrate who I am as an artist and who I am becoming. It gave me new ideas, new exercises, new perspectives, and best of all new community for all my creative endeavors. Brooke and Lauren's facilitation was uniquely deep and relatable and wise. I cannot recommend this experience enough!"
- Lindsay Chrisler, Coach + Comic
"Participating in Summoning the Unseen will be etched in my heart as the most powerful medicine during these times. The combination of meditation and poetry continues to invite me into deep inner stillness, amplifying my capacity to listen and reflect, to move beyond the noise and chaos and witness my own quivering voice.
This course has offered a practice that reverberates connectedness between us. There is magic to be experienced as our whole group listens to a poem and allows it to land with unique resonance. The beauty of witnessing how each of us are moved within the online space has increased the beauty tenfold and I am deeply grateful to be held in a circle of people with hearts wide-open, as we weave the words, witness ourselves and each other, and uncover wisdom to navigate these times.
The guest teachers have been a delightful bonus to find new pathways into this art; they have inspired me deeply. Some are lingering with me, weeks later. For me, Summoning the Unseen is weaving an invisible web between the hearts of the world and whispering poetry, vulnerability and love into these silken strings, summoning the soul to wake up more fully into conscious living."
~ Heather Baillie,
Death Doula, Poet, Teacher,
“My expectations have continually been surpassed. Every week the balance between space and structure is delicately and sensitively facilitated by Brooke (sometimes accompanied by other guest teachers that bring their own energy to the space) so that I have been delighted by the range and depth we have accomplished in a relatively short time. The sessions stay with me all week and I find myself having a wider palate to delve into and many moments of inspiration and experience when I want to find my voice. I would highly recommend this course for poetry beginners or seasoned practitioners.”
~ Priya Logan, Aritst, Doula, Mother Scotland
Enjoy an introductory
"Summoning the Unseen" workshop:
Please join a powerful, intimate, international community of humans for an exploration of opening to the poetic together, and sourcing the support and inspiration of the unseen around and within us all.
For me, there are four enduring, overlapping practices for opening to the poetic: reading poetry, writing poetry, meditation, and real connection in community. Exactly how these practices work their magic feels like a matter of grace, but they reliably provide bridges into the breathing soul of this moment.
Reading and writing poetry, meditation, and connection in community, as practices to up-level sensitivity toward and enchantment with this gorgeous, terrible world and our gorgeous, terrible selves requires embodied perception. These practices require that we feel the language of the poetic touching our private inner landscapes so we can become awake to the wisdom locked up or liberated in our flesh and bones. For this reason we’ll include gentle somatic practices and inquiries to open and activate the intelligence and perception of our whole body and being.
The real beauty of reading and writing poetry as a presence practice, the secret that keeps me coming back to drink this water-from-the-source, is that it requires my embodied perception, but at the same time trains it. The more I give, the more I get, so to speak. The more I wrestle, die, and delight with my favorite poets and poems, the more I perceive the rest of my world with full body-mind, sensuous curiosity and love. And then, at moments, this “me” perceiving “my world” dissolves into simple, undivided flow - the poetic.