About Venwoude

‘We’ are a dynamic group of about 30 employees closely working together, coming from an inspired common vision. This group is supported by a surrounding field of sympathizers. Together we manage, run and carry Venwoude forward. In a sustainable and holocratic manner, to the best of our ability.

Mission: Venwoude inspires people ‘to grow up, wake up and show up’, partly in response to the world-wide crises of our times. Or in the words of our mission: “Venwoude is a living laboratory for transforming the human condition, where dedicated professionals and interaction with others facilitate your conscious growth and healing into wholeness on all fronts.”

Venwoude 30th anniversary: In 2018 we celebrated our 30th anniversary! We feel happy and grateful that Venwoude is recognized both nationally and internationally as an inspiring power center for the integral development of both individuals and society as a whole.

History

Center Venwoude was founded in 1988 by the late Ted Wilson together with a group of trainers/therapists who were using a method for emotional bodywork developed by him and Geert van Coilie, called Emotionaal Lichaamswerk (ELW®). Under Ted’s inspired guidance, a community was formed on the Venwoude estate that explored and practiced new ways of living and working together. Its overall purpose was conscious growth and developing new incentives and alternatives for our increasingly materialistic Western society.

The community was influenced by a wide range of methods and approaches, as well as by the many international spiritual teachers that found their way to Venwoude over the years.

Realizing that Venwoude forms an integral whole and should never become anyone’s personal property, from the very start the estate was incorporated into a foundation called S.O.I.L (Stichting Onderwijs Integrale Lichaamstherapie). Over the next 30 years, a very colorful palette of workshops and trainings would be offered here, first under the name of School for Body & Soul, which in 1999 became the Institute for Emotional Bodywork, offering professional training as well. Since 2015, after a thorough overhaul, this institute has been transformed into the Venwoude Levensschool (Venwoude Life School).

Especially in the starting phase of the community, a lot of exploration and experimental practices took place in areas like personal growth, relationships, intimacy and sexuality, parenting and spiritual development. The experience and expertise the community gained as a result would serve as a source of inspiration for the workshops and group trainings offered to participants from all over the Netherlands, under the motto of ‘practice what you preach’.

Collective leadership
After the death of Ted Wilson in 2007, it was decided to continue Venwoude on the basis of collective leadership. This eventually led to a thorough revision of Venwoude’s set-up, management and operations. We also took this as an opportunity to carefully examine Venwoude’s past, in order to process and transcend previous mistakes without throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

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Estate

Venwoude’s 40-acre estate is situated in a nature sanctuary in the woods of Lage Vuursche, 16 kilometers or 10 miles north of the city of Utrecht in the center of the Netherlands. Away from the noise of modern life, the deep quietude emanating from the majestic beech and pine trees is palpable on the entire terrain. This makes Venwoude an ideal environment for personal growth, consciousness work and spiritual transformation.

Heart of the estate is the pool (‘ven’ in Dutch) from which Venwoude derives its name.

The two main buildings are the white Villa (with kitchen and dining room) and the glass Pyramid (with reception lounge and bar, a meditation room upstairs and a dance cellar downstairs). Scattered over the grounds are various group facilities and sleeping accommodations. At the edge of the Sun Meadow there is a sweat lodge area and a sauna. A meditation garden and walking spiral in the wood invite you into even deeper contact with nature.

Each and every corner radiates beauty, harmony and an eye for detail.

Flowers and plants
Due to the loving care that we extend to our many borders, terraces and lawns with inviting benches, they are a feast for the eye all year round.

We grow a variety of fresh herbs in our own kitchen garden. A large part of the beautiful flower arrangements in the Villa and the Pyramid come from our own gardens, just as the many flowers in pots and borders around the Villa.

Pool and forest
Heart of the estate is the pool or ‘ven’ from which Venwoude derives its name. Over time, through careful eco-management, a unique biotope has developed here, including various species of salamanders, frogs and toads. There are also ring snakes and experts have been able to count up to 20 species of dragonflies.

You can spot up to seven different birds of prey on our estate, as well as roes and foxes.

History
Diving into the history of this region, you will encounter prehistoric burial mounds, medieval manors and traces of peat-winning, as well as mention of 19th-century measures against desertification.

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Kitchen

“Cooking is an act of love” says a maxim on the wall of Venwoude’s kitchen. Just how tasty and variable vegetarian food can be is proven every day by our cooks, who are all well-trained in wholefood cooking.

Apart from solid Dutch cooking we serve dishes from all over the world. We follow the seasons and strive for a good balance regarding taste, digestibility and nutritional value.

Organic and predominantly vegetarian food
As much as possible we serve fresh, organic, local products that are cultivated with respect for people, animals, wildlife and the environment. Sometimes our vegetables literally come straight from the farm – which you can definitely see and taste!

We also make a conscious choice in eating little fish or meat. Simply because that is more healthy overall, more animal-friendly and less taxing on the environment and climate of our planet.

For more information or special requests, please email to info@venwoude.nl or call +31-35-666 84 47.

We are happy to help you with all your enquiries!

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