www.spiritanddevelopment.com is dedicated to Spirit, Health and Personal Development. Gabriel van Woerkom explained in a short interview why he started the site and what his hopes and wishes are for its future development. Below are my questions to him and his answers.
(IO=Iddo Oberski, GW=Gabriel van Woerkom)
IO: What motivated you to create spiritanddevelopment.com, a site specifically dedicated to spirit and development?
GW: My motivation came after I started writing an e-book about meditation. I quickly noticed that I really enjoyed writing about this topic. So I wanted to take it to a next level by making my own website.
Out of my own experience I knew that meditation alone wouldn't turn someone's life around. First it is important to know that meditation is not just a tool for relaxation. Through meditation you learn more about yourself. On my website I explain what meditation is and I discuss several meditation techniques.
With this knowledge about yourself you can change the way you live your life in this world. In order to help people make this change I also started to write about spirituality, personal development and health.
I believe that the combination of spiritual alignment with personal development is an effective approach in order to improve one's life experience. In fact I believe if people would separate these they would miss out the chances to live their life's to the fullest. For life has an allot challenges and having only one tool to cope with these challenges often isn't enough.
IO: Can you say a bit more about what you mean by 'spiritual alignment' and how it may be different from 'spiritual development'?
GW: Spiritual development implies that there is something to develop. Spirituality is not about adding something to yourself or changing who you are. It is about transcending the human experience.
Most humans are unaware that they are more than just the body. And even more are unaware that the mind can be silenced. The reason for this is that people are too identified with their mind. Many people believe that they are the stream of thoughts and derive their sense of self from it.
Meditation is an important tool in spirituality in order to discover your real self. When the identification with the mind is let go of by the continuous practice of silence through meditation, one discovers that one is not the thoughts or the body but eternal consciousness.
Therefore I use the term spiritual alignment, which implies that you align yourself with your true nature.
IO: Why did you decide to write a book on meditation?
GW: I already had about two years of experience with meditation and had read several books on the topic of spirituality. Based on this I started working on an e-book about practicing meditation. I wanted it to be short and straight to the point.
The book is written. However I haven't released it yet. I'm planning to release it in the month of June on Amazon.com. The reason for this it that now and then I still make some minor changes. I want to release a book that is well written and that takes time.
IO: If there is one thing you would like visitors to spiritanddevelopment.com to take away from it, what would it be?
GW: I want them to realize that they are more than just human beings. Limiting your identity with just the human experience inevitably creates suffering. The reason is that because deep down people know there is much more to life than they are aware about.
Out of this inner knowledge people continuously seek their true identity. However most people are stuck in the world of form. They unconsciously try to find themselves in the things they do or in the things they get. Not getting what they want is unconsciously seen as not knowing who they are and this is accompanied by a dreadful feeling.
It is also a common belief that you learn to know yourself through others. That is a major mistake. People already are themselves and there is nothing that can change that. In order to become fully aware of this they have to look within. Other people cannot tell you who you are, they can only point towards the truth and help you on your journey.
IO: What is the most enjoyable aspect of meditation for you?
GW: The most enjoyable aspect of meditation for me is the experience of pure silence, which is the complete absence of thoughts. The feeling that accompanies the state of pure silence is incredible. I cannot describe how it feels. It is beyond words. But I can tell for myself that there is nothing in this world that matches this experience.
I don't manage to be completely silent for long periods of time, but I'm slowly getting better at it. It is mostly from this state that I get the inspiration for writing one of my next articles for my website.
IO: What are your future plans for spiritanddevelopment.com?
GW: I'm currently still in the initial phase of the website. I have already written more than 40 articles, but there are still many subjects on meditation, health and personal development that I still have to write about.
So at first I'm still going to continue to create more content on spiritanddevelopment.com. I'm also planning to make some videos to add to my website this coming summer. That is as far as my current planning goes.
IO: Many thanks Gabriel for these helpful answers. I always find it interesting how every individual needs to find their own unique, personal journey through life. There simply are no quick fixes or one-size-fits-all solutions. Meditation can be a powerful tool in this, but it may not be for everybody. But there is only one way to find out and that is to try it and build up a regular practice, before judging it. I wish you all the best of luck with spiritanddevelopment.com!
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