A library provides a perfect place to mull over mindfulness.
That’s why Georgetown County Library’s Waccamaw Neck branch in Litchfield Beach this week will begin a weekly “Meditation and Mindfulness” series, 7-8 p.m. on Tuesdays through Nov. 1. The series will be led by Ken LaDeroute of Pawleys Island, founder of the Clarity Mind Institute and Affirmation Music for Better Outcomes, based in Asheville, N.C.
Heather Pelham, the public services librarian for the system, said scheduling this free series was “the brainchild” of Steele Bremner, the Waccamaw Library programming director, who has “done some really interesting programming along this vein,” such as “The Sacred Art of the Sand Mandala” and a spiritual mini-retreat.
LaDeroute, coach for the “Meditation and Mindfulness” workshops, said his inspiration for this exploration began in his hometown of Kapuskasing, in far northern Ontario, about a 12-hour drive from Toronto, past Sault Ste. Marie. He said he found his “escape” from being bullied as a schoolchild by teaching himself the guitar, which led to a career begun by leaving home at age 17 to join a rock band and tour across Canada and the United States for 14 years.
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Coming across books on meditation in a store later opened his world about calming his mind down on fear – especially amid the long distance from his family – with its antithesis, appreciation, to better maximize “mindfulness and awareness” for positive turns in his life. An avid canoeist with a wife who sings, LaDeroute has made an occupation on coaching individuals and companies around the globe in an array of fields.
Question | This is not your everyday library program, let alone a series. Among your presentations in libraries, is that setting a more popular option for this type of activity, with self-soul-body enrichment?
Answer | “Meditation and Mindfulness” can be taught in any area, however the library is a really good public forum. … It’s a beautiful room there in the Waccamaw Library’s DeBordieu Auditorium.
Q. | With the word or concept of meditation, what thoughts first strike people, and what should it mean?
A. | I believe [they] think of stopping themselves; they also think it is too entirely too much of an endeavor for them. Really, meditation is very easy. We all do meditation, but it’s something that is core-connected, a core skill that must be practiced, just like going to a gym. The more you practice … the better to serve the mind and that small, little voice inside the mind that we all have. … It’s really a fun process. …
Look up a the sky and the clouds passing by. Imagine those as one of your thoughts, or plenty of thoughts – maybe there are a lot of clouds in your sky. As you lose them, they get wispy and break up, … to reveal a clear, blue sky. …
Meditation is a way to break up the chaos, the dysfunction of the mind. We think, based on studies by scientists, about 40,000 to 60,000 thoughts a day. The funny thing is we’re quite boring in that most of those thoughts are the same every day. …
Meditation is about the present moment, without thoughts of the past and future.
Q. | Is meditation in most, or in growing, demand among certain demographics, professions, or even by one gender more than the other?
A. | The word meditation isn’t as trending a word as mindfulness is. … Mindfulness means awareness, to be mindful and aware. Another definition of mindfulness is being in the present moment … and accepting what is, without judgment – That’s the key one. …
We’re analyzing every aspect of our memory, of everything we’re doing, of everything we’re thinking. …
We are overwhelmed by digital distancing and information overload, what I call infobeasity. … Thinking is not the highest human function; intuition and flow states are.
Women probably key into meditation more quickly than men do, but more men are getting into the field.
Q. | Over the eight weekly workshops here, what general framework or map will you lead participants?
A. | Every class is a beginner’s class, because you come into it with a beginner’s mind each time. … In essence, if I can transpire just a little bit of what it feels like to be more meditative, then more mindfulness can take place. … It’s really simple, all secular, with no religious involvement and no sitting in fancy lotus postures. You can sit in a chair, and anybody of any age can do it.
Contact STEVE PALISIN at 843-444-1764.
If you go
WHAT: “Meditation and Mindfulness” weekly series
WITH: Ken LaDeroute of Pawleys Island, founder of Clarity Mind Institute and Affirmation Music for Better Outcomes, based in Asheville, N.C. – 404-669-6463 (NOW-MIND) or www.claritymind.com
WHEN: 7-8 p.m. Tuesdays through Nov. 1
WHERE: Georgetown County Library Waccamaw Neck branch, 41 St. Paul Place, Litchfield Beach, off Willbrook Boulevard.
HOW MUCH: Free