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Vaekstcenteret (Centre for Growth) can be seen as an open modern lay monastery and a meditation training centre. Not a monastery in the ordinary sense with traditional beliefs and dogmas. The assumption is that all major religions share a common spiritual core. This basic core teaching is conveyed and worked with in workshops and training at Vaekstcenteret.

Some of the fundamental values of Vaekstcenteret are: a belief in democratic principles, acceptance of our Christian cultural foundation, equal opportunities for men and women, and a fundamental scientific attitude towards inquiry. In Jes Bertelsen’s words, “There is a lot of illusion in adopting the rituals of a medieval, feudal system; the very core of the great spiritual schools is the general spiritual intelligence, free of cultural and limited norms”. The project at Vaekstcenteret is to convey this core spiritual reality in a way that modern individuals can understand and use without having to compromise common sense.

Doctor of Philosophy, Jes Bertelsen is the founder of Vaekstcenteret, as well as its source of inspiration, and spiritual teacher.

At the end of 1982, Jes Bertelsen resigned his teaching position at Aarhus University to found Vaekstcenteret, and hence put into practice the principle that one must live what one believes together with other people.

His writing includes over 20 books - ranging from university time dissertations and doctoral thesis on Kant and Kierkegaard to books with a broader perspective of depth psychology and self-development – to a number of years with emphasis on advanced texts on meditation, and on to the latest two books suited for a more general public. Some books have been translated into Dutch, English and German. Books regarding consciousness and meditation have been translated into a two-volume work in German.
In English, a recent addition is a book entitled: ‘Essence of Mind – An Approach to Dzogchen’.

Vaekstcenteret occupies a large traditional whitewashed farm in the village of Noerre Snede, and was founded in 1982. It is a place of residence, an educational centre, as well as a place of intensive training of meditation. The centre is maintained, and lead by the members of the centre community - approximately 70 adults and children. Most members of the community have jobs outside the centre and are living at the centre to take part existentially in the task it is to train compassion and awareness , the foundation of meditation, benefitting from the presence of an authentic spiritual teacher.

A dome arches over the meditation hall that has become the centre and heart of Vaekstcenteret. The people living here as well as the many people who regularly visit and who feel a strong attachment to Vaekstcenteret have meditated here for several hours every day all year round since 1982.

Vaekstcenteret is organized as a foundation that conducts workshops and training. The daily management is in the hands of an executive committee representing the people living here under the leadership of the formal board of the foundation.

The income of Vaekstcenteret primarily stems from workshops and training courses, rental of rooms, a bookshop, a monthly fee of 500 kroner from the people living here, and donations.

There is a staff of teachers supplemented by guest teachers each semester offering workshops and courses in self-development and the training of consciousness – the basic work of meditation. This kind of self-development with a spiritual perspective is a modern version of the basic schooling known from classical spiritual traditions. The fundamental teaching thus deals with training bodily awareness, personal maturing and self-knowledge for the benefit of one’s personal life and work and for society in general. On that basis a more exact spiritual teaching is available for those particularly interested and suited.

This advanced spiritual training is taken care of by Jes Bertelsen, whose Tibetan teacher, Tulku Urgyen, in 1989 authorized him to teach Dzogchen (an advanced form of meditation) from a western perspective and for westerners. Tulku Urgyen acknowledged Vaekstcenteret’s basic schooling as valid preparation for the actual meditative praxis.

In his teachings and on the basis of his own training and experience Jes Bertelsen establishes a synthesis between eastern and western spiritual knowledge and praxis, with modern psychological and philosophical thinking as one of the prerequisites.

The intensive spiritual praxis involves both training consciousness and maturing the heart. It is a path of learning that demands a high degree of grounding, centering, and balance. Human maturity is seen as a fundamental basis for deeper meditation, and as a resource in a world characterized by great demands for adaptation, efficiency, and creativity.

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Rørbækvej 10, DK-8766 Nørre Snede     Tlf +45 7577 1617