Summoning the Unseen:

Poetry and Meditation to Conjure Deep Support and Inspiration

In-Person Autumn Retreat:
4 days in Boulder, Colorado

with Brooke McNamara

October 25-28, 2022

at the Boulder Zen Center + Boulder Guest House


“There is another world

but it is inside this one.”

~ Paul Eluard


“The poet is the priest of the invisible.”

~ Wallace Stevens

You’re invited to adventure to Boulder, Colorado, USA this autumn for an enlivening deep dive into connection with your own self, incredible community, and the unseen support and inspiration waiting to vivify your life.

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. And so ~

Let us gather together in person around an invisible fire of great wisdom and love, and become still.

Let us become concentrated and warmed by the unseen flames, pulled into a heartfelt, coherent listening, born of a visceral longing for the sacred.

When we listen like this, we effortlessly lean toward what we innately belong to, what wants to guide and inspire us from just beyond the veils of consensus reality.

“Poetry is just the evidence of life. 

If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.”

~ Leonard Cohen


Each day of retreat will include two 30-minute meditation periods in the beautiful, traditional Boulder Zen Center, as well as 2 Summoning the Unseen workshop periods (including poetry and meditation teachings from Brooke, guided discussion and interpersonal connection, and time to write freely and with prompts.)

Workshops will take place at the Boulder Guest House, connected to the Zen Center, all of which is located walking distance from Boulder’s charming Pearl Street and Downtown.


Boulder is magnificent in October ~ Autumn is in full radiance and the natural beauty of the mountains and charm of this vibrant town are vitalizing. Our location is also just across the street from Naropa University, a 1-minute walk to the Boulder Creek Path, and a 10-minute drive to Chautauqua and Flatirons hiking trails.


Light breakfast with coffee and tea will be served each morning and lunches will be catered by Boulder’s own Radiant Kitchen, serving amazingly delicious, locally grown, nutrient dense meals. Vegan or plant-forward + meat options will be available. 


*An application is required and retreat is limited to 13 participants.

People of all genders, skin color, sexual orientation, age, experience level, and religious, national, and political background are encouraged to apply.


Early-bird price (by Sept 27): $595

Regular price (by Oct 11): $665

50% Refund available until Oct 18th;  

no refunds will be issued after Oct 18th.


Retreat fee does not cover travel, lodging, or dinners. Additionally, participants are responsible for exploring and purchasing their own travel insurance for the retreat and corresponding travel expenses.


Our daily schedule is below, but subject to change according to what is alive in the group each day.


9:15-9:55:  Coffee/tea and light breakfast (+ Orientation on first day)

10-10:30:  Meditation in Zendo

10:35-12:00:  Writing Workshop in Guest House 

12:00-12:45:  Lunch in Guest House or Gardens

12:45-1:30:  Writing Workshop in Guest House

1:35-2:00:  Meditation in Zendo

After 2pm, you are free to rest, write, walk along the Boulder creek, explore Boulder, or take a hike on one of Boulder’s many breathtaking trails. You may also wish to take a short drive up into the majestic Rocky mountains. 

*The evening of the 28th, for those still in town, we will have an optional dinner out together.




Boulder Guest House, where our retreat takes place, offers the comforts and amenities of a boutique hotel within the context of an urban Zen Buddhist practice center. The Victorian house, which has long been a bed and breakfast, has been updated to have a contemporary feel, inspired by Zen.

If you’re traveling from out of town and would like to stay on-site, 2 rooms are blocked off for Summoning the Unseen retreat participants until September 15th, to be booked on a first-come, first-served basis. Click HERE to read more and see pictures of these lovely rooms.


Additionally, Boulder’s Basecamp Hotel is a short walk from our retreat location, and Airbnb is a good option as well. 

Please contact my assistant, Kailey Murphy, for support with lodging: 

“do not choose the lesser life. do you hear me. do you hear me. choose the

life that is. yours. the life that is seducing your lungs. that is dripping down

your chin.” 


~ Nayyirah Waheed



Out-of-town guests will need to fly into Denver International Airport and drive or take a shuttle/ uber for about 40 minutes to our retreat location in downtown Boulder. We will provide more specific directions to registered participants closer to the retreat dates.


  • 4 days of meditation and poetry training in community and led by Brooke
  • 4 mornings of coffee, tea, and light breakfast
  • 4 delicious, nutrient-dense catered lunches from Radiant Kitchen
  • Use of Boulder Zen Center’s zendo for sitting practice, and Boulder Guest House’s common space and gardens for gathering, writing and relaxing (during retreat hours)
  • A booklet of poems and materials prepared by Brooke for our workshops
  • Travel 
  • Accomodations
  • Dinners

Guests are responsible for purchasing travel medical insurance and cancellation insurance which are strongly recommended. Purchasing travel insurance helps to mitigate any unexpected circumstances such as medical issues prior to traveling or while traveling, last minute flight cancellations or personal issues that might affect your trip. Retreat participants can look into rates and policies through

All participants are required to sign a health & liability waiver in order to attend this retreat. This will be provided after registration and before arrival to retreat.

If you need to cancel, 50% refund will be provided before October 18th; no refunds will be issued after October 18th. No refunds will be given for failure to attend or complete the retreat.

All participants are encouraged to purchase travel insurance.  In the light of the COVID-19 global pandemic, you are strongly encouraged to explore your options to purchase a premium policy with a Cancel For Any Reason contingency.  Group travel bookings are not protected so it is the individual’s responsibility to protect their own investment.  To get an immediate quote for travel insurance, visit Travel Insured.

All participants will be required to send a negative Covid PCR test within 48 hours of retreat starting. We will all agree to further covid safety protocols closer to the retreat dates that are appropriate to the context at that time.



Two partial scholarships are available for participants in financial need, who are willing to contribute through work-trade. Please email Kailey Murphy for more information: 


“This course has been medicine for me.” 

~ Esi Wildcat, Artist & Priestess, USA


"The sessions with Brooke and the community she gathers are gently powerful and powerfully gentle.”

~ Igno Van Niekerk, Author & Leadership Trainer, South Africa


"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.”

~ Heather Baillie,Death Doula, Poet, Teacher, Scotland


“My expectations have continually been surpassed. Every week the balance between space and structure is delicately and sensitively facilitated by Brooke so that I have been delighted by the range and depth we have accomplished in a relatively short time.”

~ Priya Logan, Aritst, Doula, Mother, Scotland


“My central passions were fed to the point where I'm now uncluttering my life by withdrawing from some contexts in order to focus more completely on what matters the most to me.”

~ Ernie Tamminga, Philosopher, USA



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.


In these bewildering times, let us gather together to engage these sacred rites: of imbibing and creating poetry, of meditation and falling into intimacy with what matters most, and of being in community with the intention to be touched by sources of unseen support and inspiration.


When I Met My Muse

~ William Stafford


I glanced at her and took my glasses

off — they were still singing. They buzzed

like a locust on the coffee table and then

ceased. Her voice belled forth, and the

sunlight bent. I felt the ceiling arch, and

knew that nails up there took a new grip

on whatever they touched. "I am your own

way of looking at things," she said. "When

you allow me to live with you, every

glance at the world around you will be

a sort of salvation." And I took her hand.