The Kosmic Vitality of Poetry and Music

Brooke McNamara is a poet, professional dancer and ordained Zen monk (a student of Diane Musho Hamilton, Roshi). She offers online courses in poetry, meditation, and creative practice. Brooke has published two extraordinary volumes of poems: Bury the Seed and Feed Your Vow.

Steve starts by reading from Stuart Davis’s forward to Feed Your Vow – wonderful poetry in itself! – a prelude to a 20 minute ‘performance’ combining Brooke’s poetry with excerpts from Steve’s Blue Pearl: A One World Oratorio (don’t miss the world premiere on 14th May in London and streamed live and on demand for 7 days,

The performance is in three sections – spirituality and shadow; spirituality and sexuality; beyond words, beyond music – reflecting the theme that Steve and Brooke then go on to discuss: Integral art as an expression of Integral spirituality, with its Integral embrace of every dimension of our humanity. Along the way they touch on:

  • the “Kosmic vitality” which, as Ken Wilber says about Brooke’s work “is what poetry at its best is meant to evoke, all the way up, all the way down”;
  • re-visioning our cultural attitudes to sexuality;
  • how seeing everything as sacred can ‘bless’ our wounds and the work of healing them;
  • and how the Integral artist, coming from an understanding and lived sense of wholeness – embracing shadow, sexuality and the messiness of daily life – offers up that possibility of wholeness to the person experiencing their art, and the encouragement to engage fully with life, wherever you are. As Zen master Dōgen said, “It’s too late to be ready.”

We hope you enjoy the conversation! Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Be sure to check out Stephen's world premiere of Blue Pearl: A One World Oratorio by Stephen Banks!

The world premiere of Steve’s profound, inspirational new choral work, ‘Blue Pearl: A One World Oratorio’ will be at 7:30pm (BST) on May 14th, performed by the London Mozart Players and Excelsis & Vox Farnham Chamber Choirs conducted by Rob Lewis, at St Giles’ Cripplegate, London, and streamed live and on demand.

More information and tickets available at