Jacksonville resident, Celeste Krueger, Ed.S., is leading a series of meditative writers workshops at the Museum. Take a journey through the inspiring Collections and captivating Historic Gardens as Celeste guides you every step of the way. Each session is unique, so you can sign up for a single day of your choice or all three!
Want to know more about the workshops? We sat down with Ms. Krueger to learn more about her process and what this series will be about.
Cummer Museum: What makes this Writing & Meditation Workshop unique?
Celeste Krueger, Ed.S.: This workshop is not about grammar and punctuation or structure. Rather, it’s about how to bypass all the constructs and critical thinking that prevent us from freely expressing – or sometimes even experiencing – our thoughts, feelings and creativity. In the tradition of Natalie Goldberg’s work, it blends simple meditation and focusing techniques with slow walking meditation and a unique writing method that helps engage your authentic voice.
Natalie is a Zen practitioner and internationally known author whose New York Times bestseller Writing Down the Bones: Freeing The Writer Within launched this writing method. The focus is on creating a safe space for all writers at all levels to get familiar with their minds and say what they really want to say on the page. We read, we listen and we write.
CM: Who Should Participate?
CK: Anyone who wants to find their true voice, tell the truth unedited, reconnect with their muse, get in touch with their own thoughts and feelings, or turn off their inner editor/critic. Although there’s a low-end age limit – we don’t accept participants younger than 16 – people of all ages, experiences and backgrounds find this process appropriate, useful and meaningful.
CM: What should participants bring?
CK: You should dress comfortably and bring a writing utensil you like and a notebook you enjoy writing in. Other than that, you may want to bring a shawl or sweater if you tend to get chilled, and you might even want to bring a cushion. The goal is for you to be comfortable and relaxed. If you typically write on a laptop, it’s OK to bring it, but I always recommend that you work in longhand if possible.
CM: What will participants take away?
CS: A sustainable writing practice. Something that you can take with you and use forever.
CM: How did you get involved in this work?
CS: As someone who’s interested in human potential, I was drawn to Natalie’s work. I studied with her for nearly 10 years, have practiced the work for a long time, and shared it with others ranging from business executives to students to professional writers. I am honored to be one of a handful of practitioners teaching the practice with Natalie’s blessing here in the Southeast.
CM: Why are you doing this at the Cummer?
Because the gardens and exhibits inspire creativity and quiet the mind. If the weather is good, we will do some meditative walking and writing in the outside, but the whole space is focusing, uplifting and perfect for our needs.
CM: What do people say about these Workshops?
“Celeste, I’m so glad you’re doing this!”
Natalie Goldberg, Author of Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
“Whatever kind of writing you do — commercial, artistic or technical—[this] workshop is like a deep-tissue massage for the part of your brain that creates great sentences.”
Richard Salkin, Principal, TightPersuasiveCopy
“This workshop was the creative spark I needed to remind me why I love to write. I would take another one …in a heartbeat!”
Paula Rosenblatt, Speaker & Licensed Mental Health Counselor
“Celeste’s beautiful energy and sense of fun really helped me win free of my critical mind. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and can’t wait to do it again!”
Susan Pelter, Principal, Susan Pelter Communications