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About Us

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Well Being Retreat Center hosts a variety of nondual spiritual retreats, nature appreciation events, meditation and mindfulness retreats, and yoga workshops on 160 acres of scenic rural land in Tazewell, Tennessee bordered by 2 1/2 miles of the environmentally significant Powell River.

Well Being Foundation, the 501(c)3 non-profit, non-denominational, unaffiliated organization located that owns and operates Well being Retreat Center. 

Mission Statement

"To promote harmony with Nature, wellness of body and peace of mind"

Our Detailed Intentions may be found Here

Origins of Well Being Retreat Center

Who can say exactly why things happen as they do, or why we make the choices that we make. All we can say is: that’s what happened. And here we are at Well Being Retreat Center on an oxbow bend on the Powell River in (very) rural Northeast Tennessee.

Of course, there were contributing factors. Don had spent some time in his 20’s happily living in Appalachia (West Virginia) before earning a living rose to the level of importance. Both he and Patty loved being out in Nature and near water. Both had travelled extensively in the world and were ready, apparently, to find a place to call home. The silence and beauty here were compelling and the sense of being held by the river palpable.

Don Oakley is the Founding Director and President of Well Being Foundation, a non-profit organization he founded more than 25 years ago without knowing exactly what it might ever become. At the time, he was working in Portland, Oregon as a Civil Engineer, a residential developer and homebuilder. In the meantime, Patty Bottari was living in California and working as Adyashanti’s public contact and travel planner. After selling his Portland business is 2005, Don volunteered in Adyashanti’s office and romance ensued.

When the land in Tazewell was purchased in 2008, Don and Patty knew exactly one person in Tennessee – and he lives five hours away. It was simply a leap of faith to a location that was easy to love. The land purchase was not the result of any market survey or calculated pluses and minuses. We simply loved the land. Don & Patty were married on the land in 2008 at the top of the hill. Adya and Mukti officiated. It felt like the land received us.

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We have never had a long term plan. When we were first here, we thought we should and we tried to formulate one, but we could never really believe it. There was a time in our prior lives where future goals were motivational, but something else seemed to be called for here. We were here on the land, fully committed to being here and to seeing what evolved. We found ourselves doing the next thing that seemed important to do. First the organic garden. Then a few earth-sheltered cabins in case anyone ever visited. Then a field kitchen to feed the few people who showed up. Then a meeting hall with a real kitchen and our first event – a honeybee workshop. Then a meditation retreat. Then a few cabinettes. Then an office by the river and an open air pavilion. Then some Tiny Houses to accommodate the growing number of guests. No plan to be enslaved to; just organic growth in response to wanting to share the beauty of this land with others. We find ourselves still just doing the next obvious thing every day. 

But looking in the rear view mirror, there seems to be a pattern that has emerged that may have been shaped by caring for the land, its natural inhabitants and its new human guests.

Through this simple gesture of offering a venue for gatherings of sincere people choosing to explore and realize their essential nature, Well Being Retreat Center has come into being. The Center now seems to have a life of its own. Don & Patty call it their “all-in, one-and-only retirement project.” We simply wake up every day and do what needs to be done. We still don’t have a plan.

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Retreat Meals

Full Service, freshly prepared meals are served for Retreat attendees. We serve vegetarian meals, or non-vegetarian meals with a vegetarian and vegan options. Nearly all of our recipes are gluten-free and mostly organic, often from our garden in the warmer months. Click here for a more detailed information on Retreat Meals

if you are renting a cabin for your own personal retreat or sabbatical (not associated with a hosted retreat, the cabins have kitchenettes that are available for you to do your own meal preparation.

Staff and Volunteers

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Well Being Retreat Center operates with a dedicate team of full-time and part-time staff and the generous assistance of volunteers and interns

Those who work at Well Being Retreat Center have a clear sense of being in service to what the retreat center offers.

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The Land

We believe that the land plays an essential role in the retreat experience that is offered at Well Being Retreat Center. The silence, natural beauty, and spaciousness all support investigation into one's own deepest nature.

The land includes 2 1/2 miles of frontage on the scenic and healthy Powell River, the Top of Hill with its 360 degree view, several miles of walking and nature trails, a large Labyrinth, a Fire Circle, a Library, Zen Den, and Powell River Pavilion.

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