Integral Living is a residential program where you live in the Villa of Venwoude for at least a year. Every three months there is an opportunity to join. During this year, you practice putting the path of Interconnected Individuality into action, day in, day out, together with your fellow participants. Held in the container of a group of kindred spirits, you learn to come into your own as a unique individual, coming from your essence beyond your ego.
Since this residential program implies a substantial commitment, both on your side and on ours, we feel it is important that you have some experience with our vision and way of working. We therefore ask that you have finished at least the Opening and Fundament trainings before starting your residential year.
In principle, you commit to a period of at least one year, which you can prolong by one more year at the most. After that, extension is only possible in consultation with staff.
The residential program can be seen as a world tour. You will explore new horizons and acquire lots of new experiences, in a context that is very different from what you’re familiar with. Your focus is always on the next steps on your own path of growth, in continuous consultation and alignment with your fellow travelers. For the duration of this program, they are your ‘chosen family’, meaning that you take on some responsibility for your own and each other’s wellbeing and unfolding.
Living beyond ego
During your year of Integral Living, we will keep inviting you to practice ‘living beyond ego’. This is a fundamental commitment to share your personal development with the other participants, including all that is going on for you. This implies renouncing the exclusivity of a life that is all about you, with your ego or separate self at the steering wheel.
Living in connection beyond ego also implies that you strive to transcend your (automatic) attachment to your separate self. This is a path of growth and self-realization beyond your egocentric individuality. Its aim is to help you grow as a human being and deepen the quality of your presence, for the benefit of yourself, others and the world. It helps you to become aware of your pain and your longing, to see through your defense mechanisms and to come into a more mature relationship to life itself.
During your residential year, you work on your conscious growth following an integral approach, that is, along several lines of development: physical, emotional, relational, ethical, mental and spiritual.
Your physical health
You take responsibility for your health and physical condition. You eat healthy food, get sufficient exercise and strive for an appropriate body weight. You are aware of the weaknesses of your system and give them extra attention as much as possible.
Your emotional and relational development
Now that you have made the choice to work on your personal growth in close connection with others for some time, you will become aware of your relational conditioning. Unconsciously and automatically, you will now project your past experiences with parents, siblings etcetera on the members of your temporary ‘chosen family’. You gratefully examine the old patterns that are stirred up in this way, seeing them as a chance to grow. Even conflicts with others can serve your self-investigation well.
Your ethical development
You are aware that in all areas of your life, there will be issues with an ethical component. You honor the standards of your own ethical framework and keep working at this. You are willing to act in increasingly conscious and responsible ways.
Your mental development
You strive for a clear vision for your life. You explore your undermining opinions and beliefs about yourself, others and the world. You take responsibility for always taking the highest possible perspective when looking at all domains and events in your life.
Your spiritual intelligence
You are committed to your own spiritual development. You follow the ethics of your heart, an ethics that evolves from regularly connecting with what you see as a higher power or dimension. As a ‘muscle-building’ practice for your spiritual development, you will keep entertaining the following questions: ‘What is essential?’, ‘What is truly important?’ and ‘What is true for me?’ In this way, based on your own experience, you discover your highest priorities for organizing your life.
You also create opportunities for yourself to have direct spiritual experiences, by taking part in forms of spiritual practice such as bodywork (qi gong), meditation, Working in Flow, study, breathwork and activities of the Venwoude Sangha.
Supervision and intake procedure
Supervisors for the Integral Living program are Pauline Botden and Mauk Pieper. Both have 30 years of experience in living and working with groups of kindred spirits with the explicit intention to put Interconnected Individuality into practice.
The full intake procedure consists of 2 conversations and a personal meeting.
Costs: the standard price is € 1250 a month, including food and other facilities at Venwoude. There is a gradual increase for people with higher incomes.