Arend Heijbroek – The Netherlands
Work at the International Theosophical Centre (ITC) in Naarden
When compared to the past, the work at the ITC has changed a lot. What remained is a combination of practical and spiritual work in an increasingly complex environment.
One of the official statements of the ITC says “Any stay at the Centre is meant to promote quietness of mind, peace and a harmonious life”. This statement seems quite contradictory to the day to day experience of the workers. Life and work on the ITC often seems like a dynamic boiling pot. At the same time we aim to be true to our principles. A TS centre is Theosophy in action, learning from apparent paradoxes. An overview of our work.
The three residents of St. Michael’s house – the main mansion at the ITC – need to be constantly available. Painters and contractors collect keys and need to be informed about specifics of the work to be done. A range of meetings take place at the house, while workers / visitors may stay overnight.
Radha Burnier visiting the ITC- Naarden in 2012, surrounded by residents and workers
Tenants, both groups and individuals, come to collect the keys of the buildings they rented for their activities. Clear appointments with these tenants need to be made in advance, while they get an invoice afterwards according to the use of rooms etc. The buildings need to be checked frequently to see whether they are cleaned and otherwise ready to receive the groups. In our climate that includes timely activating the central heating. New groups go through a careful scrutiny to see whether their work is along the spiritual lines of the ITC. This alone is the work of several volunteers.
Then there is a group of workers in the library, where after internal renovation most of the over 5000 books are now computerized. The library will play an important role in the future of the ITC as study and retreat center and thus needs more volunteers to expand the opening hours.
At work in the library
The wood and garden group is a small team working hard one weekend a month for much needed maintenance, such as clearing the roads and removal of dead trees, as well as making improvements when possible. Visitors enjoy the fruits of their work. Maintenance of the buildings absorbs a lot of our time, energy and financial resources. Working on a spiritual center often means working on many odd jobs.
Considering the long list of work to be done one may easily overlook the lodge work and other spiritual activities at the ITC, including those organized by the ITC itself. This is done by a small team, in cooperation with the Dutch section. This resulted in the need to modernize our publicity, so a range of new leaflets has been published and a new website has been developed.
All together the ITC is grateful to be supported by some twenty volunteers for all the work to be done. Such team work can only been done effectively if there is a clear understanding where we are and where we want to go to. All this work is coordinated and stimulated by the Council (eighteen persons) and the Executive Committee (five persons) on a day to day basis, including chairman, secretary and treasurer. More information on the ITC and its activities can be found on www.itc-naarden.org.
Read more about the Centre’s history. Click here